Richard Dawkins in Edge:

Dawkins4 I should have been a child naturalist. I had every advantage: not only the perfect early environment of tropical Africa but what should have been the perfect genes to slot into it. For generations, sun-browned Dawkins legs have been striding in khaki shorts through the jungles of Empire. My Dawkins grandfather employed elephant lumberjacks in the teak forests of Burma. My father's maternal uncle, chief Conservator of Forests in Nepal, and his wife, author of a fearsome 'sporting' work called Tiger Lady, had a son who wrote the definitive handbooks on the Birds of Borneo and Birds of Burma. Like my father and his two younger brothers, I was all but born with a pith helmet on my head.

My father himself read Botany at Oxford, then became an agricultural officer in Nyasaland (now Malawi). During the war he was called up to join the army in Kenya, where I was born in 1941 and spent the first two years of my life. In 1943 my father was posted back to Nyasaland, where we lived until I was eight, when my parents and younger sister and I returned to England to live on the Oxfordshire farm that the Dawkins family had owned since 1726.

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