I am indebted to many good teachers and magnanimous friends for helpful readings, stimulating questions, good advice, and sympathetic encouragement. Among them, I especially want to thank Rebecca Bushnell, Grace Ioppolo, Ann Rosalind Jones, Lena Cowen Orlin, Peter Stallybrass, the Medieval/Renaissance group at the University of Pennsylvania, and Stanley Wells and Peter Holland, the editors of Oxford Shakespeare Topics'. I am also grateful for the generous and efficient assistance of Andrew McNeillie and Tom Perridge at Oxford University Press; John Pollack, Michael Ryan, and Daniel Traister at the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at the University of Pennsylvania; and Georgianna Ziegler at the Folger Shakespeare Library. Most of all, I am indebted to Donald Rackin and Jean E. Howard. They read everything, and the entire project from beginning to end was energized by their intellectual challenge and sustained by their emotional support.
An earlier version of Chapter ι was published under the title 'Misogyny is Everywhere' in Dympna Callaghan (ed.), A Feminist Companion to Shakespeare (Oxford: Blackwell, 2000), pp. 42—58. Chapter 4 incorporates material from my essays 'Shakespeare's Crossdressing Comedies' vaA Companion to Shakespeare's Works Volume III: The Comedies, edited by Richard Dutton and Jean E. Howard (Oxford: Blackwell, 2003), pp. 114-36; and 'Shakespeare's Boy Cleopatra, the Decorum of Nature, and the Golden World of Poetry', PMLA 87 (March, 1972), pp. 201-12. Chapter 6 incorporates material from my essay 'Dating Shakespeare's Women', Shakespeare Jahrbuch 134 (1998), pp. 29-43.