The research and writing of this book was supported by a fellowship from the Mellon Foundation for the Humanities and grants from the Furman University Research Fund.
This book was conceived during my studies at the University of Toronto, with thanks to Germaine Warkentin, Mary Nyquist and Janel Mueller for their guidance and encouragement. It began its life during my tenure at Brandeis University, and for midwifery I have to thank Rosemarie Garland Thomson, Nancy Goldstein, Elizabeth Sagaser and Elisabeth Panttaja as well as William Flesch, Alan Levitan and Gary Taylor. For the extended process ending in the baptism of a publisher's imprimatur, I thank many colleagues: Nicholas Radel, Andrew Murphy, Magdalena Zaborowska, Brandie Siegfried, Tracey Rizzo and Patricia Badir for reading and commenting on drafts of the manuscript; Paul Stan wood, Paul Parrish, Claude Summers and Achsah Guibbory of the John Donne Society for helpful comments on the final chapter; and above all my reader at the University of Delaware Press whose advice has been endlessly thorough, generous and thoughtful. Members of the Medieval and Renaissance Colloquium in Vancouver, B.C., in their responses to the revised argument, helped me to marry my intentions to the act itself, and my editors at the University of Delaware Press and Associated University Presses have created a union out of my disparate styles and voices. Needless to say, any remaining faults are mine alone.
In another respect, though, I think it is certainly true that no woman, and no woman-scholar, is an island. While writing this book I also had two children and survived transitions among four cities, three jobs and two countries. The fact that I am still able to write at all is largely due to the support of the friends and family who proof-read, baby-sat, cooked meals, did laundry, weeded the garden, and continued to grace me with enthusiastic, sympathetic attention. Of these, I thank most of all Antony Hodgson, whose belief in me and my work has never wavered even when my own did. He is one who has in truth “loved well and faithfully.”