It is a special pleasure to acknowledge my debt to the Max-Planck-Institut für Geschichte in Göttingen, where I completed much of the research for this book as a visiting fellowduring the summers of 1993, 1995, and 1997. I am grateful to Gerhard Oexle and especially to Jürgen Schlumbohm for serving as sponsors during my terms at the Institute. Hans Erich Bödecker and Rudolf Vierhaus also gave generously of their time and ideas, and I hope that Hartmut Lehmann, the Institute's director, knows howmuch his friendship and support have meant to me over the years. I would also like to thank my fellow participants in the seminar on Women and Political Thought in Tudor-Stuart England, led by Barbara Harris at the Folger Shakespeare Library in the fall semester of 1994, where some of the ideas in this book germinated.
A grant from the University Research Council of Emory University during the fall semester of 1995 released me from my teaching duties and made it possible for me to write drafts of several chapters. A sabbatical leave granted by Emory's College of Arts and Sciences in the fall of 1998 enabled me to finish much of what remained. I am grateful to my home institution for its support, and to Patsy Stockbridge in the Department of History for her help in preparing the final version of the manuscript. I also wish to acknowledge the able assistance of Johanna Rickman in helping to track down lost citations and references.
I would also like to thank professional colleagues inside and outside the field who took time to read various parts of the manuscript. Where they did not succeed in purging it of factual errors or interpretive lapses, it was not from want of trying. Especially deserving of my thanks are Thomas E. Kaiser, who over the years has been an unfailing source of intellectual stimulation and insight, and Elise Wirtschafter, who took time away from a Guggenheim fellowship to read and comment on the manuscript in full. I owe a substantial debt to Dena Goodman, whose work has helped guide my thinking about Enlightenment salons and refined my understanding of Jürgen Habermas. Her close reading of the introduction and chapter 6 raised questions I may not have answered, but her criticisms did save