I am grateful to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for funding this research and to the University of Saskatchewan Office of the Vice President (Research) for funding to prepare the manuscript for publication. The following graciously granted permission to reprint the illustrations in this book: Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University; Huntington Library; University of Glasgow Library; University of Waterloo Library; Newberry Library; University of Edinburgh Library; Regents of the University of California Press; and William E. Engel.
Above all, I am grateful to a host of individuals who have enabled me and the work published in this book. While an undergraduate at the University of Waterloo, I was introduced to John Donne by Roman Dubinski, a consummate teacher who taught me much about Donne and his age. Similarly, John North exemplified for me the teacher-scholar and has been a much valued friend and supporter. I began an academic career in large part owing to the encouragement of these men. I first began thinking about the topos of courtship in Brenda Cantar's graduate course on court(ier)ship in Sidney and Spenser, also at the University of Waterloo. At the University of Toronto I was fortunate to work with a diesis committee that was perfectly suited to this combination of scholarly interests: Greig Henderson and Michael Dixon were expertly equipped to help me sort through the intersections between Burke, rhetoric, and religious devotion; Douglas Chambers provided more of the same and also led me to begin making connections through avenues of early modern literature and culture that are still taking me in new and interesting directions. Anyone working on Donne's sermons is indebted to the work of Jeanne Shami, and I am doubly so for her criticism of the earliest form of this work as a doctoral dissertation. One of the press's external readers of my manuscript provided many more helpful suggestions for revision, and my diligent and thorough editor at MRTS, Leslie MacCoull, made many recommendations that improved the text and enriched my footnotes. For less formal conversations that helped to shape my thinking on these and related ideas that matter to me, I thank Dana Brown, Bill Bunn, Colby Grypiuk, Steve Habermehl, Nick Cradock-Henry and Sean Davidson; and to the fellowship at Lincoln Road (formerly Lakeshore), many thanks for blessing me and my family through all our years in Waterloo. Finally, I owe everything to Mel and the boys for enriching my life and saving me from my work.