This book has been long – perhaps too long – in the making and many people have influenced its evolution and composition. For conversation, advice, criticism, and support I am grateful to Paul Alkon, Michael Chappell, Merrill David, John Drozd, Howard Erskine-Hill, the late John Fletcher-Harris, Clement Hawes, David Hopkins, Kathleen Nulton Kemmerer, Paul J. Korshin, the late Christopher Macgregor, the late H. A. Mason, John Mason, Tom Mason, Earl Miner, John Newton, Fred Parker, Michael Payne, Claude Rawson, Cedric Reverand, Marc Ricciardi, Christopher Ricks, Philip Sicker, Philip Smallwood, Simon Varey and Howard Weinbrot. Stephen Fix, J. Paul Hunter, Clifford Siskin, andJohn Sitter - initially anonymous readers on a review panel read an earlier, much longer version of this book, and to them I am indebted for their vote of confidence as well as for their collective eagle eye which drew my attention to various aspects of the manuscript, both small and large, that needed attention – a process of honing and improvement that was loudly echoed by the critical rigor and boldness of the still-anonymous readers for the Press.
Above all, I would like to thank my friend Phil Smallwood for the great generosity of spirit and critical intelligence with which he has read my work over the last several years.
The editors at Cambridge University Press have shown extraordinary patience, tact, and acumen during long periods while this work was in progress: I am grateful to Kevin Taylor, Josie Dixon, and especially to Linda Bree, who kept my courage to the sticking place, and who herself courageously and consistently stayed with this project when all seemed lost.
As my sense of the compelling and rewarding nature of Johnson's writing deepened and changed over time, I found myself formulating and reformulating many of my ideas in response to the demands of a modern interdisciplinary curriculum, and the interests – and resistance – of my