The Secret Wound: Love-Melancholy and Early Modern Romance

By Marion A. Wells | Go to book overview

Acknowledgments

This book could not have been written without the generous support of Middlebury College, whose leave policy allowed me to spend an entire year in London. The book was conceived in its present form in the British Library, where I was fortunate enough to be able to lay my hands on almost any medieval or early modern medical text that promised to contain vital information about love-melancholy.

My work is indebted to the influence of a number of scholars and friends. I would like to record here a profound debt to the late Don Fowler, Fellow and Tutor in Classics at Jesus College, Oxford, until his tragically early death in 1999. As my Classics tutor for three formative years and later as a friend, Don gave freely of his vast knowledge—so freely indeed that he shaped my thinking not only about particular classical texts but about the intellectual enterprise as a whole. My reading of Virgil in these pages is colored by the pathos of his memory. Earlier versions of some of these chapters benefited from the scrupulous attention of the late Thomas Greene, whose groundbreaking work on early modern literature informs my own work well beyond the scope of particular citations. I am greatly saddened that although he helped to shape the seed that became this book, he did not live to read it in its present form. Susanne Wofford introduced me to Spenser’s poetry in an exciting graduate seminar at Yale, and I am grateful to her both for setting my course through this remarkable poem and for her continued interest in my work. I am also delighted to record my gratitude to my colleague and friend at Middlebury, John Elder, who generously read the whole manuscript in time to offer crucial advice and sorely needed encouragement. I would also like to thank Stanford Uni-

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