I am most indebted to Roger B. Henkle and George P. Landow, under whose guidance I originally began my work on narrative form and biblical hermeneutics. But I would also especially like to thank Joseph A. Wittreich, Jr., and Barbara Kiefer Lewalski, whose scholarship and teaching, though not in the field of Victorian literature, was invaluable to my study of an exegetical tradition that proved to be as important to George Eliot as to Milton, despite their different genres and genders. Lastly, I also thank Claire Rosenfield, who encouraged my work on George Eliot's "subversive hermeneutics."
Fellowships from both the Danforth and the Charlotte W. Newcombe foundations supported my work while at Brown University. I am indebted for support of another kind from the members of the Pembroke Research Seminar at Brown University, whose rigorous critical discourse informed and stimulated my attempts to analyze George Eliot's rapprochement with a hermeneutical discourse of a very different order. I am especially grateful to both Elizabeth Weed and Joan Scott, whose searching analysis of historical and interpretive problems in the seminar did much to revise my assumptions and open new possibilities.
U. C. Knoepflmacher's reading and criticism of the manuscript led to many revisions. He is not responsible for any remaining mistakes, but certainly is for some of the improvements made between the final version and earlier ones.
A group known as ID 450 has greatly fostered my involvement not only with George Eliot but with women's writing "in the plural." Finally, I would like to thank my mother, who first read to me, and my husband, who stayed with me throughout the years of my "adult" education and who has contributed more than he recognizes to this book. To my three daughters, who mothered both the text and its author, this book is dedicated.