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'Eighteen months ago, at the fag end of a mild New South Wales winter, I moved with my family from the Blue Mountains outside Sydney to South America : Chile first, then Argentina, and ultimately Easter Island, to research a book about my family. They were Scottish merchants, those forbears, Wee Free Protestants with a Bible in one hand and an account ledger in the other. Who set up business in Valparaiso, Chile, in the mid-nineteenth century and then went about becoming rich.' (Editorial)