Robin Quinn is an author and radio producer based in South-East England. His new book, The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo explores the life of Charles Deville Wells, fraudster and gambler, and spans the second half of the nineteenth century and the early twentieth century. Published 2016 by The History Press Ltd.
THE MAN WHO BROKE THE BANK AT MONTE CARLO
The incredible true story of Charles Deville Wells, gambler and fraudster extraordinaire.
Charles Wells has two loves in his life: a beautiful, headstrong, French mistress, Jeannette, and his sumptuous yacht, the Palais Royal. At the risk of losing them both, Wells stakes everything he owns at the roulette tables in Monte Carlo’s world-famous Casino – and in the space of a few days he breaks the bank, not once but ten times, winning the equivalent of millions in today’s money.
Is he phenomenally lucky? Has he really invented an “infallible” gambling system, as he claims? Or is he just an exceptionally clever fraudster?
Based on painstaking research on both sides of the Channel and beyond, this biography reveals the incredible true story of the man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo – an individual who went on to become Europe’s most wanted criminal, hunted by British and French police, and known in the press as “Monte Carlo Wells – the man with 36 aliases”.
HITLER'S LAST ARMY
After the Second World War 400,000 German servicemen were imprisoned on British soil – some remaining until 1948. These defeated men in their tattered uniforms were, in every sense, Hitler's Last Army.
Reviews of Hitler's Last Army
“Probably the best book on the subject in the last 20 years”
“I recommend this book as a must to read.”
[★★★★★ Amazon review by “a German ex-POW”]
“Well written, interesting, informative, and heart-warming in equal measure … I would recommend this even to those not especially interested in WW2, as a fascinating slice of Anglo-German social history of 70 years ago. Buy it."
[★★★★★ Amazon review by J.B.]
Blog: All Posts
- The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo December 14, 2014
I’m now researching my next book the story of Charles Deville Wells, The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo. Wells broke the bank in 1891. I also found records of a man named Joseph Hobson Jagger, who is said to have broken the bank as early as 1875. The difficulty is that all accounts of his win that I have found up to now date from 1901 onwards. It seems extraordinary that the story of a man winning a fortune would not be reported at the time. This suggests to me that the Jagger story could be a legend created around 1901 … or that I have failed to locate earlier references, which is quite possibly the case! Does anybody know of any earlier reports of Jagger’s casino win? Answers, please, to: firstname.lastname@example.org[Note added later by RQ: “Please see my later blog post dated 21 October, 2016″]
- Preview December 5, 2014
I’ve just received an advance copy of Hitler’s Last Army from my publisher. The book looks and feels great – so it’s a big ‘Thank-you’ from me to all the team at The History Press!
- The making of Hitler’s Last Army November 15, 2014
An acquaintance of mine who lived on a farm during the Second World War once told me how German prisoners of war had been sent to carry out agricultural tasks, and how they had impressed the locals with their capacity for hard work. After the war one of these POWs, whose home was in the eastern zone, had been reluctant to go back to Germany and had remained on the farm until the mid-1950s.
Something about the incongruity of it all – the idea of prisoners staying in what had recently been for them an enemy country – appealed to my curiosity. I started looking into the subject more deeply in late 2011 and my idea for a book on the subject – Hitler’s Last Army – was taken up by The History Press. Incidentally, the title was inspired by one German prisoner’s recollection of being marched, with hundreds of other POWs, along a street in Britain on their way to a prisoner of war camp. ‘The English civilians didn’t pelt us with stones like in Belgium,’ he recalled. ‘The English stood at the side of the road, and just said, “Hitler’s last army!” No stones – just “Hitler’s last army!”’