The debts are many that accumulate on the way to a book’s completion. There are those to family and friends who first hear of the enterprise, scarcely begun; then at various turns in the research and composition phases they hear more and more. At the very forefront of this loyal little band is my wife Anne Lane who, time and time again, listened to the author’s ideas and frustrations and offered constructive comments. Not only that, Anne also gave incredible time and pen work to actual drafts of the work as they emerged and underwent revisions. Her gift for authentic, expressive narrative prose has been a blessing throughout as has her unfailing good humor and support.
The readership of a “panel” of scholars of varied disciplines served both to confirm the plausibility, if not the merit, of the work over-all and to provide indispensable criticism of its earliest full draft. They are Richard Barnet, William Bell, John Vile and Bruce Wheeler. Special thanks are due to John Vile for undertaking to critique the second draft of the manuscript as well. His close attention to the text was invaluable.
I remain very grateful for all their generous contributions of reactions and suggestions. While many of their points were adopted, only the author should be considered responsible for what has finally emerged from the process.
Recognition of key institutional support is also due. The staff of the Rare Book and Papers Collection of the British Library, London, as well as