This study has benefited greatly from the colleagues and friends who read various chapters—James Chandler, Kim Chernin, Frances Ferguson, Kevis Goodman, Stephen Greenblatt, Thomas Laqueur, David Miller, and Hilary Schor—and from the three readers—Patrick Brantlinger, James Eli Adams, and George Levine—who recommended its publication to Princeton University Press. My editors at Princeton University Press, Hanne Winarsky and Terri O'Prey, have been unfailingly patient and helpful. I am also thankful to the scholars at several universities and to the Dickens Universe at Santa Cruz for giving me the opportunity to develop these ideas in public lectures and for generously correcting my mistakes and suggesting new lines of argument. I would also like to thank the Cambridge University Library and the University of California's Bancroft Library.
Thanks are also due to the young scholars who served as research assistants during the years that this project has gestated: Benjamin Widiss, Emily Andersen, and Amy Campion, and to the staff of the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study. Ryan McDermott and Leslie Walton read proofs and indexed with minute attention to detail. The research and writing were supported by the University of California's President's Fellowship in the Humanities and by the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. Without the constant support of my department at Berkeley, this book would never have been finished.
As always, my husband, Martin Jay, was my best reader, toughest critic, and most loving supporter. My adorable grandchildren, Penelope, Frankie, and Sammy, kept my spirits up throughout the writing, and my daughters, Shana Lindsay and Rebecca Jay, gave me their help and encouragement. I dedicate this book to them.
A part of chapter 3 was first published a very long time ago in Zone (5 : 345–65), and a portion of chapter 2 was first published even longer ago in Representations (14 : 83–106).