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The siege of Glenrowan is more than just an Australian legend. The 41 hours when the Kelly Gang took over Ann Jones' Glenrowan Inn and held the police at bay have become a part of the Australian psyche. Most people kw the bare bones of the story, but few kw the names and actions of some of those who literally made history over those two days. In this impeccably researched work and vivid retelling, Ian Shaw brings the characters to life through their own words and the observations of those who were there. The real heroes - and the real villains - take centre stage, just as they did at Glenrowan in June 1880. There's the soulful Joe Byrne who toasts the success of the gang one moment and bleeds to death on the hotel floor the next. And the two younger outlaws, Dan Kelly and Steve Hart, who were well and truly out of their depth, seeing way out at the end, preferring to die rather than surrender. Above it all sits the enigmatic figure of Ned Kelly - vainglorious, cunning and brave - a figure who made too many mistakes in too short a time for his gang to survive.
Ian Shaw is the author of The Bloodbath: The 1945 VFL Grand Final.