Author hosts Norton talk

Historian and author Anne Fletcher.
Historian and author Anne Fletcher.

Ryedale Book Festival has invited historian and author Anne Fletcher to talk about her debut book.

She will discuss ‘From the Mill to Monte Carlo’ on Friday, September 27 at 7pm at The Hive on Commercial Street, Norton.

Joseph Hobson Jagger.

Joseph Hobson Jagger.

The story is about Joseph Hobson Jagger who, as a child, worked in the mills of Victorian Bradford but went on to “break the bank” at Monte Carlo in 1880.

Writer Anne Fletcher, his great-great-great niece will talk about her search for her ancestor’s story and how newly discovered sources helped her prevent his extraordinary life from being lost to history.

She will reveal not only why Jagger went to Monte Carlo, but why his experience of the industrial revolution gave him the means to defeat the casino and return home a millionaire.

So little evidence survives of this extraordinary tale of rags to riches resulting in Joseph’s tale being eclipsed by more famous winners so that not only his achievement, but also his very existence has been doubted.

Anne Fletcher said, “I grew up on tales of our family’s famous ancestor, about whom I was told a song was written, ‘The Man Who broke the bank at Monte Carlo’ and I was thrilled to recount the tales myself!

“Using my skills as a professional historian I started to search for the truth about Joseph Hobson Jagger, which has taken me from Yorkshire to Monte Carlo, from archives in Bradford to those in South Africa and to seek help from amongst others Sotheby’s, Midland Railways and Thomas Cook.”