I am grateful to the Department of English Language and Literature, University of Liverpool, for a period of teaching remission which enabled me to complete this book. Several of my colleagues in the Department have generously shared their knowledge and enthusiasm with me: in particular, Julian Ferraro has given readily of his time, expertise, and books. I have learnt much from my conversations with students at Liverpool and at St John's College, Oxford. Katy Hooper has given, as always, steadfast support throughout. Finally, I would like to thank Richard Bradford and Jan Jedrzejewski, the series editors, and Liz Thompson, the development editor, for their help and encouragement throughout the making of this book.