THIS BOOK IS A revised version of my doctoral dissertation. Since that time, I have new colleagues to thank for their support and encouragement, and two previous debts continue to require acknowledgment. Williams College, where I was Visiting Assistant Professor from 1982-84, and where I completed my dissertation in 1983, generously provided funds towards the publication of this book. I am grateful to Columbia University for their support for the same purpose. I am particularly grateful to E. Michael Gerli for his invaluable advice on this manuscript and to my editor, Thomas Lathrop, for his encouragement in this project.
My deepest debt of gratitude continues to be to my thesis director, Alan Deyermond, of Westfield College, University of London. I will always be grateful that his visiting professorship at Princeton coincided with the years of my doctoral program. His classes were a joy, his encouragement unwavering. In the prologue to Arnalte y Lucenda, Diego de San Pedro begged his readers, "que la burla sea secreta, y el favor público." Professor Deyermond's criticism of my work has ranged from gentle to harsh--and always justifiably so. But his support of his students goes above and beyond the call of duty and they, unlike the apprehensive San Pedro, need never expect anything but encouragement and honest criticism. In spite of the distance between New York and London, the crackling telephone lines and erratic mail delivery, Professor Deyermond has continued to demonstrate great interest in my publications and my talks at conferences. Therefore, it is indeed with my deepest gratitude that I dedicate this study to my teacher, greatest critic, staunchest supporter, and friend--Alan Deyermond.