Recently, looking through old papers, I came across a whole collection of those addressed ‘To Whom It May Concern’. From time to time when applying for a job I had written for recommendations to various people.These included the Headmistress of my boarding school, the Professor of Philosophy at Bedford College and the Director of Education for Huntingdonshire. It is wonderful what kind things people will say about one to help one on one’s way. Sadly, I know only too well how I have often fallen short of these expectations. It was with a strange feeling of relief that I tore those papers up.
This is not a story of personal achievements and failures. It is more an attempt to bring to life the marvellous variety of people whose lives have touched mine. If in writing these memoirs I succeed in arousing in my readers a fraction of the interest and pleasure that I have enjoyed through contact with my family and friends, then I have also succeeded in paying the tribute that I owe to these dear people, most of whom have by now gone ahead before me.