Writing this book has been a great joy, and much of pleasure has come from working with and being surrounded by a special bunch of people. Many work at Lancaster University. I owe a great debt to the staff of the Inter-Library Loan section of the University Library for their invaluable assistance in getting hold of much of the material on which the book is based. My colleagues in the Department of Geography have once again tolerated my indulgence of exploring new territory, and were sensible enough not to enquire too often how the writing was coming along. Matthew Ball drew most of the figures, with flourish and enthusiasm, and some figures were drawn by Claire Jarvis who is now teaching’s gain and cartography’s loss. I have been working on the book for over 18 months, but benefited greatly from a term’s study leave in which to complete the writing.
I am grateful to Tristan Palmer at Routledge for his encouragement, his commitment to this book, and his belief throughout that I could write it and he could defend it! I owe special thanks to David Livingstone (School of Geosciences, The Queen’s University, Belfast), David Ley (Department of Geography, University of British Columbia) and Joan Taylor (Department of Religious Studies, University of Waikato) for their many helpful suggestions on how to improve the manuscript, and accept full responsibilities for any errors or inaccuracies which remain.
As ever, my immediate family have met most of the personal costs of writing a book and they have done so with customary generosity. My son Sam and daughter Elizabeth think nothing of their father being glued to the computer all day long, and must often wonder how other kids’ dads spend their days. Angela, the powerhouse of the Park family machine, has long since come to understand and accept how preoccupied I am while writing, and is getting very skilful at juggling often irreconcilable demands on her time, space and energy. She is the true hero of the piece, without whom it would have been inconceivable for me to even think of tackling this venture. I hope she is pleased with the outcome!