My first debt of gratitude is owed to Ralph Hexter, my teacher and friend, who encouraged me to write the dissertation that has grown into this book: I have relied on his warm support and shrewd advice for more than a decade. My dissertation also benefited from the characteristic acumen of my other advisor, Gordon Williams, and I thank him again here.
Over the past six years I have entirely rewritten my dissertation, and the result is a very different (and, I hope, better) book. I have been grateful to David Halperin for his friendly encouragement and keen insights throughout this process; they have helped shape this book into what it is. Both he and Ralph Hexter have read and commented on the entire manuscript, as has Daniel Selden, and I offer all three of them my warm thanks here. Their contributions have strengthened my book just as their astuteness has saved me from embarrassment on a number of occasions, although it goes without saying (and so, like everything that goes without saying, will be said anyway) that the blame for any errors, infelicities, or wrongheaded conclusions lies with me alone. I also wish to thank Randolph Trumbach, who read parts of the manuscript and with whom I have had many helpful conversations on the history of sexuality.
Finally, I would like to acknowledge the help of Oxford University Press's anonymous readers, who pulled no punches, and to express my warm gratitude for the support and advice of various friends over the years: Panayotes Dakouras, Lee Elliott, Mario Erasmo, Marco Formisano, Debra Hamel, Edward Harris, and Ned Lochaya.