This first chapter originally appeared in the first edition of this book. I decided to include it again because it will still help to throw some light on why I have written the things that appear later in the book as it remains rooted in my own personal biography, which I briefly outline. In the earlier edition I threatened that a more detailed description of my life might one day appear as an autobiography or as a thinly disguised novel. I hope, at this later stage, that I can reassure anyone who might feel worried about featuring in either of those two enterprises that neither is now likely to appear. Having written more than a million words during my academic career I do not intend to spend my retirement slaving over a word processor and I cannot imagine that there is much of a readership out there wanting to hear more from me. So this may be your last opportunity.
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