George Sandys: Travel, Colonialism, and Tolerance in the Seventeenth Century

By James Ellison | Go to book overview

PREFACE

This book is an expanded version ofa D.Phil. thesis at Oxford University which I began in 1978 and completed in 1998. I have been extremely fortunate in the help and encouragement I have received along the way. John Rathmell, Richard Luckett, and Molly Mahood originally stimulated an interest in this area; John Carey subsequently supervised the thesis at Oxford in the late seventies and welcomed me back like the Prodigal Son when I decided to finish it in the mid-1990s: without his help and encouragement it would never have seen the light of day. My parents, Roger and Stella Ellison, provided support and sympathy, as did Karina Williamson. My mother also read over the manuscript and corrected my English at various points. I owe a significant debt to Liz Hare of the Office of Lifelong Learning at Edinburgh University who first prompted me to dust off some yellowing files and complete the work; the D.Phil. examiners, Graham Parry and Tony Nuttall, provided many helpful improvements and corrections, and Graham Parry in his capacity as General Editor for Boydell & Brewer's Studies in Renaissance Literature has continued to offer the benefit of his expertise. Alison Thorne introduced me to the world of New Historicism. The reader for Boydell provided invaluable, detailed assistance in navigating through the heated historical debates on religion and politics prior to the Civil War period.

Much of the recent research for the book has been done at the National Library of Scotland and the Special Collections departments of Edinburgh and Glasgow Universities: I have received unfailingly prompt and courteous assistance from them, as from the staff of Duke Humfrey's Library at the Bodleian, who also gave me a warm welcome back after a fifteen-year interval. Two scholarly debts deserve special recognition. I have relied extensively on the work of R. B. Davis throughout this study; more recently, Theodore K. Rabb's study of Sir Edwin Sandys has added very considerably to our understanding ofa complex and opaque personality whose involvement in literary circles of the period deserves greater recognition.

-vii-

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