Glenrowan is a novel written by Aidan Phelan (A Guide to Australian Bushranging) that dramatises the infamous Glenrowan Siege of 1880 that resulted in five deaths and multiple other casualties. It is a window into the past and an exploration into the psychology of outlaws, their pursuers, their victims and their supporters.
The novel draws from recorded history to weave a narrative of passion, desperation, love and tragedy. It is the story of how one small town became swept up in a whirlwind and brought an end to one of the most infamous criminal careers in history.
The first edition was published in 2020 in a limited edition of only 500 copies, nearly all of which have been sold as of June 2022. This version has been stocked at a variety of locations including (but not limited to) Kate’s Cottage in Glenrowan, the Benalla Kelly and Costume Museum, and Geelong Gaol. Featuring cover art by Matthew Holmes, this edition includes illustrations for each chapter by the author.
In 2022, a “definitive edition” is being released that is an expanded and revised version of the original. Parts that had been cut from the original due to length have been restored and new illustrations and supplementary materials have been included. It will be available as a print-on-demand title through Ingramspark, which distributes through a wide variety of outlets around the world, allowing international readers a chance to own the book at a more affordable price point than previously possible.
Aidan Phelan is the writer and historian for A Guide to Australian Bushranging, an online resource that has been bringing Australia’s outlaw heritage to a worldwide audience since 2017. Glenrowan is his first novel. He has also worked as an illustrator and regularly provides illustrations for An Outlaw’s Journal by Georgina Stones. He is also developing Glenrowan as a television mini-series with Matthew Holmes (writer and director of The Legend of Ben Hall.) He is also a member of the Australian Crime Writers Association.
Aidan has a Bachelor of Arts and a Diploma of Education, and studied writing and editing at what is now known as Melbourne Polytechnic. He was born and raised in the suburbs of Melbourne and developed a fascination with the story of Ned Kelly on his first visit to Glenrowan as a child. This soon grew to be a consuming passion for Australian history, culminating in the creation of A Guide to Australian Bushranging; a repository for the information he has gathered on the subject of colonial banditry, incorporating reviews and articles about the associated popular culture.