The Making of Stan Laurel. Echoes of a British Boyhood discusses his father’s mysterious family background and how he was able to secure, at a young age, such a prominent position in the theatrical world of the north of England. describes Stan’s birth and early life in Ulverston and Bishop Auckland  and his family life and boyhood years in North Shields, including early theatrical performances, such as his role in The Rivals of Dockwray Square, described in print for the very first time. describes his mixed and often funny educational experiences in North Shields, Tynemouth, Bishop Auckland, Gainford (near Darlington) and Glasgow. discusses the long and fascinating road he took from his first public appearance in Glasgow, through years of comparative theatrical obscurity, to international film stardom when teamed up  with Oliver Hardy. analyses his crucial roles in the creation of the Laurel and Hardy films and the way in which his boyhood experiences are echoed in so many of them. No other book makes any comparable attempt to unravel this key relationship. plots the later stages of his career after leaving Roach for other studios and his eventual return to the British variety stage in three tours with Oliver Hardy during which their health deteriorated and they were forced into premature retirement. notes how successive generations of comic actors have acknowledged Stan Laurel’s influence on them and that, even 60 years after Laurel and Hardy’s last film, tributes are still being paid to him in the twenty-first century. discusses his lifelong links with his boyhood home. As well as visiting it when the opportunity arose, he wrote frequently to many people up until his death. He not only loved reminiscing, and would often lapse back into the Geordie dialect, but enjoyed hearing about new developments in what he called “the old town”.   includes a selection of photographs and historical material about North Shields relevant to Stan’s boyhood, much of it related to the themes and gags he was to introduce later into the Laurel and Hardy films.