The material from function theory, up to the residue calculus, is developed in a lively and vivid style, well motivated throughout by examples and practice exercises. Additionally, there is ample discussion of the historical evolution of the theory, biographical sketches of important contributors, and citations (original language together with English translation) from their classical works. Yet the book is far from being a mere history of function theory. Even experts will find here few new or long forgotten gems, like Eisenstein's novel approach to the circular functions. This book is destined to accompany many students making their way into a classical area of mathematics which represents the most fruitful example to date of the intimate connection between algebra and analysis. For exam preparation it offers quick access to the essential results and an abundance of interesting inducements. Teachers and interested mathematicians in finance, industry and science will also find reading it profitable, again and again referring to it with pleasure.