Published: 28/04/2017
ISBN: 9781788036320
eISBN: 9781788030472
Format: Paperback/eBook

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About the Author

I am sole author of 34 works, which have been translated into 18 languages and published in 22 countries. I have also worked as a co-author on seven books, five in collaboration with my late wife, Ver... read more

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The Wireless in the Corner
A boy’s eye view of London in peace and war
by Alan Palmer

“Nothing in my childhood stands so sharply etched in memory as this transition from peace to war, with its strange mixture of drama, pathos, anticlimax and near farce. Almost certainly at no other time did we as a family find ourselves so dependent on the wireless.”

Based on diary entries, family letters, photography albums and newspaper cuttings, The Wireless in the Corner is the personal account of a boy brought up in London’s suburbia during the second quarter of the 20th century, the years English historian, Asa Briggs, called ‘the Golden Age of Broadcasting’.

Drawing on his sharp visual and aural memory, author Alan Palmer recounts his early life as the only child of elderly parents living at Gants Hill in unfashionable Ilford. After a trip to Belgium, aged six, Alan became gripped by the events in Europe and observing international affairs became as much a hobby as collecting stamps. Listening to the wireless every evening, Alan’s childhood is as much a personalised political, social and military history as it is reminiscence.

The Wireless in the Corner is written with the intention of recapturing the strain of the Blitz, and later of flying bombs and rockets, and the relieving moments of peace and contentment that were held so dear to the author. The book carefully distinguishes between what was known then and what readers know now, so as not to obscure events with thoughts based on present assumptions.

Inspired by A. J. P Taylor, and similar to the work of Philip Ziegler and A. L. Rowse, The Wireless in the Corner will appeal to readers interested in military history and autobiographies. It will also appeal to those interested in life during the war.

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New publication in April 2017:
“The Wireless in the Corner'. This is a personalised history of the years 1926 to 1945 as witnessed by me during a childhood in which I was precociously fascinated by events in Europe. It is based on diary jottings, newspaper cuttings as well as published books to provide a social and political survey of the 1930s and the war years up to VE Day in detail.

Oxford Mail

That's Books

Home Front History

Books Monthly

Alan Palmer tells us his own gripping story of his early life living in East London in the 1930s, as a boy, and the 1940s as a teenager and young man. He manages to weave fascinating historical detail into the narrative of the build-up to war, with a boy's eye view of the horror and effect on him, his family and friends. A genuine page-turner. A very enjoyable, informative and rewarding book.

by Chris


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