One of the chief delights of studying intellectual history is the opportunity it affords for long and deep discussions with friends and colleagues. Certainly I have become convinced that one's views and perceptions in this area are more likely to be substantially influenced and moulded through conversation and dialogue than is the case in some or most other areas of historical enquiry. In particular, I owe an immense debt of gratitude, as well as vast intellectual stimulation, to my friends Richard H. Popkin, Patrick Chorley, Wim Klever, Yosef Kaplan, Anthony McKenna, Winfried Schröder, Malcolm de Mowbray, Wiep van Bunge, and Adam Sutcliffe. In addition, I am glad to have the opportunity to thank for their help with more specific points, texts, bibliographical guidance, as well as yet more stimulating discussion, Michiel Wielema, Sarah Hutton, Miguel Benítez, Marc Bedjaï, Manfred Walther, Piet Steenbakkers, Fokke Akkerman, Herman De Dijn, Stuart Brown, Rienk Vermij, Giuseppina Totaro, Silvia Berti, Mordechai Feingold, Wijnant Mijnhardt, Wyge Velema, David Katz, Andrew Fix, Nathan Wachtel, Charles Amiel, Theo Verbeek, Ed Curley, Steven Nadler, Nicholas Tyacke, David d'Avray, Enrico dal Lago, Henk van Nierop, and Justin Champion.
Since a work such as this necessarily involves extensive research in archives and libraries abroad, and it proved far from easy to obtain support for it, I am happy to record my gratitude to the Dutch Language Union and to University College London for meeting much of the cost. For his unstinting encouragement while he was at the Oxford University Press I am also much indebted to Tony Morris. Finally, I am immensely appreciative of the vast amount of expert help provided by numerous librarians and archivists in many parts of Europe and, most of all, the staff at the British Library.