Matthew's thanks go out (in no particular order) to...

Alan for encouraging me to write this in the first place (and waiting so long for it)

Stef for those conversations

Matt Tweed (the only person I know who could effectively illustrate "nothing") for being such an excellent person to work with, cheerfully and diplomatically putting up with my occasionally ridiculous levels of rigour.

John Martineau of Wooden Books for layout assistance

Raymond Manzoni for tireless, cheerful mathematical assistance

Roger Bullis for some helpful suggestions in the early phases of the project

Leon Conrad of Liberalis Books and Etan Ilfeld of John Hunt Publishing for their support

The Tomkins family for their kindness and hospitality at a difficult time for me during the preparation of Volume 1

Heather and John for the time and space at Cannings Court, the perfect combination of organic gardening and creative writing

Dave and Libby for the time and space at Littlehall Woods

Miriam and Tom for time and space at Mayton Cottages

Marcus for proofreading and some very helpful discussions

Mum and Dad for encouragement and support (and Dad – enemy of the split infinitive – for proofreading, too)

Dr. Dr. Andy 'Shroom' Letcher-Bard (University of the Hedge) for several superb shared Summer Solstices and for his helpfully off-putting insights into the mainstream publishing scene.

John Dietrich for abundant (and motivating) enthusiasm on seeing a very early draft

Tim Munton for conversational inspiration, dream interpretation and boundless enthusiasm

Sir Robert Bunkum for honest appraisal (and helping to kill off the embarassing early draft of Chapter 1)

Mark Griffith for enthusiasm and informed advice

Vicky for encouragement, guidance, enthusiasm, tea, soup and adventures

Chris the unashamed hippy from Washington (or Oregon?) for that excellent spiral galaxy metaphor

Dave Prentice for various sources of inspiration (extra shaman points!)

Melski, for letting us use her address

Lord Thomas of Exeter for vital software assistance

Inge, for her Ingeness

Keith Hunter, brother-in-Drone, for barcode assistance

Andrew Burniston for Jungian input

Michael Schneider for ethnomathematical input

Robert Nelson (Pennsylvania State University) for clarification on his "economics as religion" work

John Mason (Open University), Ellen Simmt (University of Alberta), Julia Anghileri (Cambridge University), Rochel Gelman (Rutgers University) and Les Steffe (University of Georgia), for helpful input on early childhood experience of number

Robin Mackay (Collapse, Urbanomic Studio) for a rare open-minded and willingness to engage seriously with some elusive concepts

Emily Lygo (Exeter University) for Russian language assistance

Olivier Ramaré for clarification regarding the Schnirelmann constant

Dan Goldston (San Jose State University) for pointing me to the obscure Guinand paper on the Riemann zeros counting function

Matilde Marcolli (California Institute of Technology) for the guidance on compact Riemann surfaces

Jon Keating (Bristol University) for answering my quantum chaology queries

Brian Hayes (American Scientist) for nuclear spectra data assistance

Robin Robertson, Barry Jeromson and Alex Abercrombie for Jungian perspectives

the wonderful Zoe Rahman for inspiring the "jazz goddess" illustration on p.177 of Volume 2

the Sondryfolk collective, for making the time spent finalising Volume 2 so much more enjoyable than it might otherwise have been

Frank Sommen (Ghent University) for pointing out to me in 1994 that "every number is a different animal"

Roy Chisholm (my PhD supervisor at Kent University 1990–94) and his wife Monty for their warmth and encouragement

Terence McKenna (RIP) for getting me thinking about prime numbers in the first place, albeit from a completely misguided perspective

Jerry (RIP), Phil, Bob, Bill and the rest of the crew for endless musical nourishment, comfort and elevation (and for all the signposts to new space)

The good pixies of Lundy Island

Lilli! for inspiration beyond measure