On my retirement in the summer of 1984, Professor Gelder, in a generous valedictory speech, drew attention to the entry under my name in Who's Who. ‘You will notice’, he said, ‘that he has described himself as ‘Writer and Psychiatrist’, not ‘Psychiatrist and Writer’ The inference which Michael Gelder intended that his audience should draw is in fact justified. I have not whole-heartedly devoted myself to the practice of psychiatry to the exclusion of other pursuits; certainly not since I was 40, when my first book was published. I have contributed nothing to psychiatric research. If my psychiatric writings contain anything of value, it is because I have interleaved them with the fruits of reading from other disciplines.
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