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The Book

Cover endorsements:

Polly Button’s tangled life and brutal death sheds light on a dark period in Nuneaton’s history. They make for a gripping story, but there is significance beyond telling a good tale. Struggling to raise a family as a single parent, when traditional industry is collapsing, and dire poverty is an ever-present threat, is a struggle many are familiar with today. Polly Button – a name redolent of its time – has something to tell us, even from the grave.
– KEN LOACH, TV and film director, twice winner of the Palme D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival

Packed with meticulous original research and scholarship, this is an absolutely fascinating book. It reveals the economic catastrophe that hit Nuneaton in the early 1800s through the impact it had on destitute families and the personal tragedies it produced.
– JOHN BURTON, Nuneaton historian and Chairman of the George Eliot Fellowship

Thoroughly researched and effectively captures the atmosphere of poverty and desperation in early 19th Century Nuneaton.
– DAVID PATERSON, Chair, Nuneaton branch of the Historical Association

Feedback on the book:

This was undoubtedly one of the most informative and well researched books I have ever read. I have been a resident of Nuneaton for over 30 years but knew little about the history of the town. I do now. Don’t think I’ve ever read a book so quickly. Such a tragic story all round, from the sad events in Polly’s life resulting in the spiralling downhill to the eventual tragic and violent outcome. Superbly written. Excellent.
– Kevin Rowe

A well written, very well researched book about the tragic life and death of Polly Button.
– Rosie Goodwin (one of the nation’s best-loved authors)

This book is so much more than a murder story. It is also a well-researched study of the socio-economic conditions which prevailed in Nuneaton at the time Polly was murdered.
– John Veasey

Greetings from Hong Kong. I have just completed reading the Undoing of Polly Button and thoroughly enjoyed it. The historical background on Nuneaton and the struggles townsfolk endured was very enlightening. Thank you, I can only imagine the amount of work and research put in to write such a detailed account.
– Adrian Taylor

I had a copy bought for me as a present by my sister-in-law. As an old Nuneatonian, born 70 years ago, I thought I knew the place well until I read this great book. I started reading it on Saturday morning and simply couldn’t put it down until I had finished it by Sunday lunch. I highly recommend the book and commend the author for his marvellous research.
– Philip Lea

It’s an outstanding piece of historical research. The beautiful cover, with the lady in the misty fields, just seems so evocative of the tragic life of Polly Button. The quality of the actual physical book, the print and illustrations are superb. I particularly enjoyed reading about what happened to her children.
– Brenda Evans

Really enjoyed this book – not only the fascinating story of Polly Button but the social history of Nuneaton and how we have evolved over the years. Steve has cleared up a lot of the myths behind the Polly Button story; great research into this project.
– Stephen Holland

An exceptionally well researched and written book. The historical context sets the scene perfectly for the events that follow. Beautifully presented, the illustrations, maps and charts add to and support the fascinating story. Highly recommended.
– Helen Beeston

Really well researched, well written and interesting book. I love the fact that the oppressed life of poor, wretched Polly now counts.
– Vivien Proctor-Parr

My son-in-law and two grandsons are direct descendants of Polly and her daughter Elizabeth. It’s a fascinating story and I’m impressed at how well the social detail of the times is woven in. Very informative. [Melbourne, Australia]
– Olga Mitchelmore [Melbourne, Australia]

Difficult to put down.
– Jim Gee

It’s a lovely book. It is really good and brilliantly written so far, it arrived in the post and was beautifully packed. I’d recommend it to anyone, it’s brilliant.
– Denise Wing

I picked the book up on Saturday at 13.00 from the Zen of Essence finished it Sunday, the same time. Loved it – so interesting to hear about Nuneaton at the time, felt so sorry for all the residents.
– Claire Louise Field

What a fascinating book! So much historical background too. Well done – this story is amazing.
-Janie Jay

Sitting on a wall waiting for my daughter and can’t wait to get stuck in to reading this. For once I hope she doesn’t hurry.
– Jan Richardson

Fascinating insight into Nuneaton at the time, very well written, thoroughly enjoyable. Well done!
– Steph Taunton

Great read Loving it, unfortunately grandchild keeps getting in the way of me finishing it.
– Jane Thompson

I bought this book to take on holiday with me three weeks ago, and I have to say it is a brilliant read. Well thought out. Excellent factual content with lots of background information. Very well written and presented. It has to be one of the best books to read, and a local story as well. Loved it…
– Kit Parker

Steve Moore tells the tale of Polly Button’s fate in a vivid and compelling narrative that revives the sense of time, place, and circumstances.
– Professor Fred Burwick, Professor Emeritus, Department of English, University of California, Los Angeles

The book is brilliant.
– David Clarke

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the book. It is so well researched, and the references and pictures give an image of how hard life at that time must have been. Thank you very much for writing it and sharing your research with us.
– Stephanie Pitt

The book is really interesting, learning more about my husband’s ancestry at each read and the facts are very informative. Thank you, Steve, you have done a brilliant job.
– Linda O’Connor

I have today started reading your book. Just Wow! The most interesting book I have read in a while. I’m so interested in all of your research. Thank you for an amazing read.
– Stephanie Jayne

Just wanted to say that I’m halfway through the book, and it’s truly brilliant. You have done an amazing job. I can visualise what Nuneaton would have been like in that time, the murder of Polly was truly awful!  Looking forward to reading more. Just wanted to say a big congratulations on what you have achieved.
– Jessica Cooke

A great read. Well researched and well written. Most enjoyable.
– Elaine Whitney

I had signed copy as a Christmas present just started it, very absorbing. I’m from Yorkshire and live in Nuneaton. Finding the book even more interesting because of my links to the town. Thank you for writing this book.
– Wendy Bonas

This is an amazing piece of work. A wonderful piece of local history. So many people are a part of this story. Well done.
– Lizie Biolik

Received as a birthday present, engrossed. Heard of the skipping song as a child, now finding the reason behind the song.
– Alison Melbourne

A brilliant read, recommended.
– John Harris

Great book and enjoyed reading the Who Do You Think You Are? magazine article.
– Maxine Round Smith

I’ve just bought the book, read a couple of chapters, really interesting can’t put it down.
– Sue Parkes

I am just reading the book, fascinating read.
– Sandra Tyler-Haywood

I’m saving my book for Christmas Day.
– Jean Jackson

Great book. Great insight.
– Allan Salisbury

A masterpiece of thorough research!
– Gef White

I bought this book to take on holiday with me three weeks ago, and I have to say it is a brilliant read. Well thought out. Excellent factual content with lots of background information. Very well written and presented. It has to be one of the best books to read, and a local story as well. Loved it…
– Kit Parker

I finished reading this book last night. I really enjoyed it, and was impressed by how well it had been written.
– Elaine Joy

So, got this book yesterday from Joco Gifts and I have found it hard to put it down. What an amazing book – thank you to you all.
– Anne Brown

We’ve brought our copy on holiday with us. I’m desperately waiting for hubby to finish so I can start reading!
– Elaine Meechan

An excellent book, easy to read with good size print – packed with info / diagrams / photos. I cannot believe something as horrific as this murder took place in my home town – well researched by the author and highly recommend this book to anyone and not to just those who live in the town where it took place.
– Anon (‘NuneatonUK’) – (Amazon)

Murder Trail Walks

I really enjoyed the walk & talk yesterday about the murder of Polly Button. Thanks for taking the time out to do it and all the work involved.
– Steve Arnold

Very interesting to follow the Polly Button story, thank you for a very enjoyable tour.

– Alison James

I really enjoyed the walk today, what a fantastic turnout. You did a brilliant job, especially for a first time. I think hearing about the social conditions really brings the story to life. Your thorough research puts it all in context. I look forward to reading the book. Thank you for an interesting day.

– Lynne Rosser

I admire the amount of diligent work you have done researching this story and sharing it with everyone today, much appreciated.

– Stanley Rooney

I can’t believe I live so near to the site of this horrible murder! I live in Lexington Court right next to the old Wheatsheaf that was a pub until recently When I moved here 19 years ago it was still a pub and I didn’t know a thing about this!

– Angela Owens


Very enjoyable talk last night at the library. I can’t wait for my copy of the full story.

– Marie Barr

Just ordered my copy. Tonight’s meeting at the library was excellent

– Jan Richardson

Nuneaton needs lots more events like this…evidenced by the large turnout tonight.

– Richard Grant

Very interesting evening, thoroughly enjoyed. / The presentation was excellent in context – well done. / Interesting talk, very well presented. / Really interesting local tale. Steve has obviously done his research. / Very interesting talk, excellent local knowledge. / Really interesting – local knowledge and entertaining.

– Selection of feedback from talk at Nuneaton Library, 3 June 2019

General Comments

Blimey, he [Danks] did go round the houses didn’t he!

– Kerry Brabazon

I’ve lived in St Mary’s Road for 28 years and had heard about Polly Button’s murder but didn’t know just how close it was.

– Linda Holmes

As a child my dad always said his garage was haunted by Polly, so very interested to learn more.

– Stacey Brown

Well done Steve I am so looking forward to reading the book.

– Glenda Lewis

Admire your enthusiasm and diligence in researching this story. Enjoyed your excellent walk in Nuneaton earlier this year, keep up the good work!

– Stanley Rooney

Running a business on the site where Polly Button’s house once stood, I’m really interested in this.

– Zoe Holland

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