I wish to record my sincere thanks and to acknowledge my indebtedness to my former teacher, the Reverend E. F. F. Bishop, who first suggested that I might translate this work and who gave me much help and encouragement in its early stages. I have also enjoyed generous co-operation from my colleagues in Glasgow. Dr. J. S. Trimingham gave up much time to discuss translation problems with me and Emeritus Professor James Robson gave me the benefit of his advice in respect of residual difficulties. This is, so far as I am aware, a pioneer translation into English and there are a few places where I am not entirely satisfied with the translation nor convinced that the sense of the Arabic has been pierced. It will be a task for future translators to clear up these obscurities.
I also wish to express my sincere thanks to the Publications Standing Committee of the University of Glasgow whose generosity has made the publication of this work possible and, in particular, I am greatly indebted to the University Librarian, Mr. R. O. Mac Kenna, for his guidance and helpfulness. I am also grateful to Miss D. E. Collins, Messrs. Faber and Faber, Ltd. and Messrs. A. P. Watt and Son for the permission given to quote two extracts from G. K. Chesterton's Chaucer. Finally I wish to express my thanks to the house of E. J. Brill for undertaking the publication of this book and my deep appreciation of the skill and craftsmanship with which they have produced it.