The Croydon Boy trilogy
In these three volumes, Peter Saunders blends sociological research with social history and some personal reminiscences to reflect on how life in Britain has changed since World War II.
CROYDON BOY: Growing up in post-war Britain
Who was the best-selling recording artist in Britain in 1967? Not the Beatles, the Stones, the Who or the Beach Boys. It was Engelbert Humperdink.
The reality of the sixties often fails to live up to the hype. Very few young Brits were tripping on acid, demonstrating in Grosvenor Square, or battling among the Mods and Rockers on Brighton beach. Peter Saunders wasn't - he was too busy fretting that he might never lose his virginity.
Croydon Boy examines how dramatic post-war changes in family life, sexual mores, education, law and order, standards of living and personal freedoms impacted on the lives of ordinary kids growing up in Britain in the 1950s and 1960s.
Paperback (revised edn, 2020, ISBN:9-781716-577376) £12.49 (308pp)
Hardback (first edn, 2017, ISBN: 978-0-244-92399-0) £17.95 (304pp)
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"It's a wonderful book and I loved the mix of sociology and autobiography"
"Beautifully written, highly readable and immensely evocative"
"I read it in one sitting and wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed it. It made a pleasant change to read some 'warts and all' reminiscences rather than the more usual 'sanitised' approach"
"An excellent read"
"Has brought back many memories and I have been chuckling out loud many times. I am amazed at the detail of your recollection"
"Wonderful, just like reliving the first 20 years of my life. I laughed out loud and cried"
"Such a riveting read. I thoroughly enjoyed the intertwining of personal and social histories"
"A great piece of social history"
"Laughed and cried all the way through it, it is a great book"
"I couldn't put it down... exceptionally entertaining and a brilliant portrayal of life in the 50s and 60s, a really important comment on social history... a wonderful book, I thoroughly enjoyed it"
"I got your book as a Christmas present from my wife...most enjoyable and a fascinating read...very enlightening"
"I cannot describe adequately the range of emotions I experienced when reading this wonderful book. I feel quite exhausted!... You have such sensitivity - and humour... So THANK YOU for a wonderful book... I will look forward to reading more of your writing."
CROYDON BOY II:
Settling Down in Unsettled Times
THE SIXTIES ARE OVER...
The Beatles have disbanded. Ali has lost his heavyweight crown. Crystal Palace have been relegated to Division III. The government has even scrapped British Summer Time.
Married at 20, a father at 21, we catch up with the author in 1971 living with his in-laws. It's not working out too well.
The world isn't in a good state either. British troops shoot 13 civil rights demonstrators in Londonderry. Eleven Israeli athletes are slaughtered by Palestinian terrorists at the Munich Olympics. Unemployment and inflation are spiralling. And with the miners out on strike, we're lighting our homes with candles.
But then, out of the East (Lincolnshire, to be exact) comes a new leader. An Iron Lady with a hair-do like a helmet who promises to restore peace and harmony to the land. That's when the shit really hits the fan.
Part sociology, part social history, part autobiography, this sequel to 'Croydon Boy' takes a very personal look back at raising a family, building a career and searching for the meaning of life during the tumultuous years of the 1970s and 1980s.
Paperback (2021) £11.95 (254pp)
ISBN:9-781716-144912 (purchase direct from Lulu or through Amazon)
CROYDON BOY III:
Growing Old in a New Millennium
STRIKE ANOTHER MATCH, GO START ANEW...
After the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, academics in the West proclaimed 'The End of History.' They said centuries-old ideological battles were over; everyone now was signed up to liberal, Enlightenment values. But nobody told Osama bin Laden that.
The day of the Twin Towers attack on New York City, Peter Saunders was at Heathrow waiting to fly to Australia. His marriage was behind him. So too was his career as an academic. He was off to start a new life.
But it's not always easy starting over. Especially when they begin to cancel all the flights.
Part sociology, part social history and part autobiography, this final volume in the Croydon Boy trilogy looks back on the years since 1990 and asks how we ended up having cops go on bended knee to demonstrators, men using women's toilets, vicars sticking themselves to motorways using superglue, and the whole population wearing facemasks?
Expected publication date: 2023
Meet the family...!
WHY CORNELIUS STOTT CHANGED HIS NAME
and other family stories
Clearing his parents' loft after his mother died, Peter Saunders found a family bible given to his Great Grandmother by her son John to mark his death in the Great War. But how could a soldier return from the dead to give his mother a bible?
His search for an answer led Saunders into a warren of fabulous family stories from the past. He encountered coal miners from Gloucestershire, cotton workers from Manchester, farmworkers from Scotland, illiterate peasants who emigrated to England from Ireland. There were pinhead makers, hatters, rag sorters and prostitutes; children in convalescent homes and old folk in the Workhouse; soldiers who died in the Flanders mud, and soldiers - like John - who came home broken men.
None of them was rich or famous. They were among the millions of common men and women of these islands whose names we have forgotten, but whose labours created the modern world we inhabit today. Here are their stories.
Paperback (2021, ISBN: 9-781008-966611) £12.99 (301pp)
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"Brilliant!! Excellent read, so cleverly put together...I do think that this book would positively encourage people to research their Family Trees to see if they have any rogues, vagabonds or criminals in their families! It’s such a vibrant collection of yarns full of humour, pathos & at times, utter wretchedness.......all human life is there!! Fantastic achievement."
"Couldn't put the book down once I started reading it. I loved it... interesting and compelling"