This section is headed Introduction
rather than Preface
(which it really is) in the hope of decoying habitual preface-skippers into reading -- for their own comfort -- at least the following paragraphs down to the first row of stars before going on to meet some of the great mathematicians. I should like to emphasize first that this book is not intended, in any sense, to be a history of mathematics, or any section of such a history.
The lives of mathematicians presented here are addressed to the general reader and to others who may wish to see what sort of human beings the men were...