THE WATCHMAKER'S REVENGE
THE WATCHMAKER'S REVENGE:
MURDER, SUICIDE AND INSANITY IN VICTORIAN COVENTRY
by Adam Wood
"Last night considerable excitement was caused in Coventry by the report that a number of persons had been shot and seriously wounded by a man who was going about the town with a revolver."
The horrific actions of watchmaker Oliver Style on the evening of Thursday, 27th May 1880 are now long forgotten. But at the time the case was national - and international - news, and barely left the pages of local newspapers for six months.
He had walked into the Old Half Moon tavern on Coventry's Spon End and shot two customers and the landlady without saying a word, then just as suddenly left and made his way to Much Park Street, where he shot his wife, their infant son and his mother in law.
Think of Coventry's famous watchmaking industry, and the image which comes to mind is of a genial, skilled craftsman, hunched over a workstation, carrying out his work with infinite care to support his loving family. But scratch beneath the surface and tales of drunkeness, domestic abuse and infidelity are rife.
This book examines the long-forgotten case of Oliver Style and the harrowing aftermath of his actions, and reveals the real lives of the Coventry watchmaking community.
Illustrated / bibliography / index.