In a book much concerned with the solitude of intellectual labor, it is a special pleasure to acknowledge so much intellectual exchange and support. This project began to stir at Cornell University, where M. H. Abrams, Jonathan Culler, Dorothy Mermin, and Paul Sawyer were especially helpful. I was able to begin writing during a junior faculty research leave at the University of Rochester, for which I owe special thanks to Morris Eaves and Cyrus Hoy. I am also grateful to Indiana University for a summer faculty fellowship and a junior research semester, which greatly assisted me in completing the book.
The English department at Indiana University, Bloomington has been such a stimulating and supportive environment that it seems invidious to single out particular colleagues. But I am especially grateful to Patrick Brantlinger, who helped to make room for yet another Victorianist and read much of the book in draft, and to my colleagues at Victorian Studies, Andrew Miller, whose exacting criticism is too little in evidence here, and Donald Gray, whose generosity made possible additional course relief, and whose editorial genius is an inspiration. For sympathetic and painstaking readings of particular chapters, I am greatly indebted to Amanda Anderson, Mary Burgan, David DeLaura, Richard Dellamora, Lee Sterrenburg, Herbert Sussman, Steve Watt, and Paul Zietlow, as well as the readers for Cornell University Press. At an early stage of the project I was prodded by conversations with Herb Sussman, who along with Linda Dowling generously shared unpublished material. John Kucich, whose rich and provocative work on the Victorian novel was a crucial stimulus to this project, has helped in more ways than he knows. George Ford and Gerhard Joseph have provided wonderfully steadfast encouragement and guidance through the