This research began as a PhD, generously funded by the British Academy, at the University of Edinburgh. I was able to bring the project to fruition in large part because of the support offered to me by my subsequent employers — the University of Edinburgh, the British American College London and De Montfort University. I would also like to express my thanks to those who founded and fund the Fulbright-Robertson Visiting Professorship in British History at Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri, through whose liberality I was able to canvass my opinions in the United States before committingthem to print.
A version of my Introduction has already appeared in History: the Journal of the Historical Association, volume 83 (July 1998). I am grateful for the permission of its editor to reproduce it here.
I would like to record my gratitude to those who encouraged and advised me in this research at various stages in my academic career — to the late Paul Edwards, to Nick Phillipson, Frances Dow, Geoffrey Carnall, Gary Kelly and Iain McCalman, and above all, to Harry Dickinson, a model tutor, post-graduate supervisor and mentor.
It has been pointed out to me — and I know it to be true — that these acknowledgements would not be complete without recognition of those who have given me friendship and support, sometimes accommodation, and usually only mild harassment about what I have been doingall this time. Thank you to Henry, Jenny, Lizzie, Patricia and Stephen in Edinburgh, to Hugh, Liz, Malcolm, Mary and Tim in London, to Dave, Rebecca and Sam in Fulton, and to my family in St Albans.