My first thanks go to my family: my sister Katie, for responding to interminable email messages and phone calls whenever I hit a stumbling block; my sister Audrey for caring about other things and helping me keep things in perspective; my parents, grandparents, aunt, and uncle, and in-laws for continual support and an honest interest in understanding my project; my daughter Maggie, whose short and erratic naps forced me to focus my energies; my second child, whose imminent arrival encourages me through the final stages; and most of all, my husband Mark, who never stopped asking, “Aren't you done, yet?”.
Thanks are also due my graduate advisor, Sue Lanser. Her belief in the value of this project helped me keep working when I wasn't sure where I was going. Her copious, prompt, and meticulous comments on my writing, as well as on my ideas, helped me give this what semblance of coherence it currently has. All errors, omissions, and deficiencies are, of course, my own. And for keeping me intellectually stimulated and socially connected, through discussions of a wide variety of literature, questions about my own perspective, and introductions to many other perspectives, I offer great thanks to the University of Maryland Eighteenth-Century Reading Group, especially Eleanor Shevlin, Sharon Groves, Leigh Anna Eicke, Jeanine Hurley, Claire Pettengill, Joe Snader, Liza Child, and Melissa Sites.
A condensed version of chapters 1 and 3 was originally published as “Engendering the Bildungroman: The Bildung of Betsy Thoughtless” in Genre vol. 28, no. 33. Copyright by the University of Oklahoma. It is reprinted here with permission.
Extended quotations from the following copyrighted works appear by permission of Oxford University Press: Pride and Preju-