I have incurred numerous debts in the course of writing this book. First, I thank the Center for Medieval and Early Renaissance Studies at the State University of New York at Binghamton for permission to reuse, in various chapters of this book, portions of my article, "'The Emperour of Mens Minds': The Renaissance Trickster as Homo Rhetoricus," which appeared in Creative Imitation: New Essays on Renaissance Literature in Honor of Thomas M. Greene, ed. David Quint, Margaret W. Ferguson, G. W. Pigman III, and Wayne A. Rebhorn ( Binghamton, N.Y.: Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies, 1992), 31-65. I also thank the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation as well as the University Research Institute of the University of Texasfor greatly appreciated fellowships and other financial support which allowed me the free time needed to bring this book to completion. I am especially grateful to those people who willingly wrote letters of support on my behalf: William J. Kennedy, Leah Marcus, Patricia Parker, and David Quint.
My work has profited enormously from having been presented to students and colleagues both at the University of Texas and at other institutions, including the Claremont Graduate School, the California Institute of Technology, the University of California at San Diego, the University of Colorado, Texas Tech University, and the Università Cattolica in Milan. I owe a debt of gratitude to my colleagues Frank Whigham and John Rumrichfor having read and commented most helpfully on various portions of the manuscript. Perhaps the greatest debt of