THIS WORK HAS DEVELOPED over a far greater period of time, and through many more drafts and canceled pages, than its present length might suggest. That is my own fault, and it is doubly great given the variety and distinction of the help I have received while writing.
Of the many people who have worked with me, I owe the greatest debt to two: to Maureen Quilligan, without whom I never could have started this project; and to David Lee Miller, without whom I never could have finished it. The remaining small army of readers I must acknowledge, and thank as best I can, in chronological order. The group includes Robert Y. Turner, Margreta de Grazia, Clark Hulse, Stephen Orgel, Arthur Kinney, and Constance Jordan; but a number of anonymous readers have also contributed to the manuscript in sometimes massive ways. They know who they are, and I thank them, too. In addition, I am especially grateful to my editors, Jerry Singerman and Mindy Brown, who have dispensed a lifetime's worth of counsel and hand-holding on this single project and this single author.
Others have assisted me as well, in a variety of ways. Elizabeth Beck with helped me with my Latin. The Folger Shakespeare Library provided a short-term grant that enabled me to complete my research; I owe much to the help of Nati Krivatsky in particular, and the Folgcr staff in general. Arthur Searle helped me with manuscript research at the British Museum. My home institution, Florida State University, gave me a summer grant that enabled me to proceed with my rewriting. Studies in English Literature, Renaissance and Reformation, and Milton Studies published early versions of my work on Ford, Tyndale, and Milton respectively, and while that work is so different from the present study that I am reprinting nothing, I am grateful to these journals for giving me a forum in which to develop my ideas. My wife, family, friends, colleagues, and students put up with me.
This work was written in memory of my father; but I also want to acknowledge my deep debt to Philip J. Gallagher, my friend and teacher, who died suddenly and tragically in 1987.