My first thanks must always be to Douglas Gray, my tutor and later research supervisor, who introduced me to John Fisher, and whose learning and wisdom are equalled only by his patience and good-humour. Next, to St Hilda's College, not just for the ASM studentship, most welcome though it was, but to the Principal, Fellows, and tutors, in particular Anne Elliott and Celia Sisam, for their benign influence on the education of women, and for six happy and rewarding years.
My thanks are due also to the George Drexler Ofrex Foundation, the Sir Richard Stapley Educational Trust, and the Buttle Trust, who gave me grants to fund the third year of my postgraduate research. During the early years of work on this book, I encountered much kindness from people who have since died, including the late Professor Dame Helen Gardner. I am especially grateful also to the memory of Dr David Rogers of the Bodleian Library, who advised me about Fisher's bibliography and made important material available to me.
Compiling this book would have been quite impossible without the help of the staff of the Bodleian Library and of the British Library. I am very grateful also to the Cambridge University Library, Dr Williams's Library, Lambeth Palace Library, and the Public Record Office. Malcolm Underwood of the St John's College Archive has been patient and generous in answering my questions, and I owe thanks too to his predecessor at St John's, Mr N. C. Buck, Dr Orchard, and Dr H. C. Carron of Emmanuel College Library, the librarian of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and Fr. F. J. Turner SJ of Stonyhurst College Library, who was helpful and hospitable so long ago that he has probably forgotten about it. Among others who have helped me are Mr Reggie Alton, Dr Allen Chapman of Wadham College, Fr. Hilary Costello of Mount St Bernard Abbey, Richard Rex, who made helpful comments about a draft of the controversial sermons and commentary, Maria Dowling, Brenda Richardson, Fr. Terry Phipps, and Pastor Traugott Vitz of Germany, who sent me useful comments via the Internet about Luther's table talk. My thanks are due in addition to the readers of Oxford University Press and in particular to my editor, Hilary O'Shea.
This book is dedicated to my parents, who took a lively interest in the John Fisher project but did not live to see it accomplished. It is not possible adequately to thank my husband Paul, who has patiently supported my research and the company of John Fisher throughout our married life. Finally I must thank my children, James, Robert, Mary, and Elinor, without whom this book would have been finished at least twice as quickly, but not half so happily.