An abridged version of Charles Lysaght’s speech at Adrian Kenny’s launch. I am honoured to be invited to launch this reissue by Lilliput Press (with relatively minor additions) of a book entitled Before the Wax Hardened written by my friend Adrian Kenny and first published a quarter of a century ago. Of its many fine features the finest is its honesty. It is an intrusion of honesty into a notoriously dishonest genre of literature – autobiography. Autobiographies or memoirs are so often exercises in public relations written by the successful and would-be successful painting a sympathetic picture of themselves with a few discreet boasts. It may be that most people are happy not to have…