Roughly eight years ago we met in Manhattan with Nick Phillipson to plan a new journal to be launched by Cambridge University Press. Two Americans who knew each and had worked together well, and who were largely in agreement about what MIH should accomplish. We were well aware of the quality of Nick's scholarship, of course, and had heard through the transatlantic grapevine that he was a great colleague. Still, we were more than a little apprehensive. What if Nick had a totally different idea of the journal? What if the personal chemistry didn't work? Within an hour of our discussion we knew that we had “lucked out” on both counts. Readers familiar with Nick's work will surely agree that he has one of the sharpest and most imaginative minds in the discipline, and that he had been combining intellectual history with social and cultural history well before historians started making such a fuss about it. Manhattan was the right place to meet. An urban gentleman (in the best of senses), Nick is a gourmet of awesome range (everything from haute cuisine to deli food) and a sparkling conversationalist and raconteur. Lunch or dinner with him is an event. No one takes more care, or pleasure, in ordering a good bottle of wine. The subject of conversation need not be history; he is a lover of art and music, and has been very active in the cultural and civic life of Edinburgh, where he was a celebrated teacher at the university from 1965 to 2004.