To call William Hesketh Lever an entrepreneur or a visionary would be to pin him down, to imply a limit to the scope and depth both of his personality and his achievements. Lever was both these things, but he was so much else besides. He was a philanthropist, an innovator, a skilful salesman, a marketing genius, politician, eccentric, fanatic, occasionally a tyrant, even on occasion an inventor, a supporter of the rights of women, factory workers and the elderly, an enthusiastic ballroom dancer and always a family man. He made some grim mistakes, particularly with respect to his Pacific and African ventures, but his astonishing contributions to social progress in England are spectacularly praiseworthy, and he was knighted for them. Amongst his various extra-curricular obsessions, which included architecture, ferns and gymnastics, the 1st Viscount Leverhulme was a dedicated collector.