Black Bart: The Poet Bandit
Infinity Press announces the release of the historical novel, BLACK BART: THE POET BANDIT, ISBN # 0-7414-5138-7, penned by local Siskiyou County author Gail Fiorini-Jenner and co-authored by Butte County, CA, historian Lou Legerton. The book's illustrations and cover art were done by Glenn Harrington, illustrator for the PARADISE POST.
To date, Jenner has co-authored three regional histories for Arcadia
Publishing, including IMAGES OF THE STATE OF JEFFERSON; WESTERN SISKIYOU
COUNTY: GOLD & DREAMS; and THE STATE OF JEFFERSON: THEN & NOW. Her first
novel, ACROSS THE SWEET GRASS HILLS, won the 2002 WILLA LITERARY AWARD for
In addition, Gail has sold a number of articles and stories to national, Christian, regional, and educational publications, including BETTER HOMES& GARDENS, COUNTRY WOMAN, DECISION, PARENTS OF TEENAGERS, EVANGEL, INSIGHT and RANGE magazines. Several of her children's stories were included in three separate anthologies published by TYNDALE and she co-authored a teacher's curriculum guide for SIMON & SCHUSTER. She writes for Southern Oregon's NPR/Jefferson Public Radio's historical "As It Was" series as well as co-authors a historical column for The PIONEER PRESS.
Her writing has also placed in a number of national writing contests, including The Jack London Novel Contest, The William Faulkner Short Story Contest, The Chesterfield Film Project, and several screenplay contests.
Co-author Lou Legerton worked for Wells Fargo for many years, then retired to Paradise, California, where he began his intense and thorough search into Charles E. Boles' controversial and fascinating life. He traveled 11,000 miles in six years and interviewed several members of the Boles' family. His research filled six large notebooks and a number of large boxes.
Legerton was named Man of the Year in Paradise last year for all of his many local and charitable contributions. He and Jenner were introduced by Jenner's father, Lou Fiorini of Chico, and the team began working on a fictionalized version of Charles' life several years ago. An abridged version of the story was published by the PARADISE POST.
BLACK BART: THE POET BANDIT follows the life of the infamous and enigmatic California highwayman and scourge of Wells Fargo, BLACK BART. The 55,000 word novel explores the person behind the flour-sack mask and plugged shotgun, Charles E. Boles, aka BLACK BART.
According to the authors, this is the first novel written about the man who successfully held up 28 of 29 Wells Fargo stages across Northern California eclusively about his holdups. This story portrays the man and his early life, as well as his criminal adventures. He really is a fascinating character.
Gail Jenner adds, "The story chronicles Bart's participation in the gold
rush, the Civil War, where he fought admirably and advanced from private to
first sergeant, his post-war years and failed marriage, several of his
robberies, and even his purported love affair. The story ends with an
epilogue that explores the known facts and myriad of tall tales related to
The last chapter also contains a photograph, found and shared by Charles' great niece, which is only the fifth known photograph of the mysterious bandit outlaw.
"As an end note, Wells Fargo, to this day, offers a reward for Black Bart," explains Lou Legerton. "Interestingly, though, Bart possessed a great sense of humor, was well-liked and often called a gentleman."
To date, book signings have been lined up in and around Butte County. For those who would like to set up a local signing, please contact Gail Jenner, 468-5331. Books are available locally, but for more information, contact Jenner or Legerton or Infinity Publishing.
Contact Gail L. Jenner