As with most edited collections the making of this volume has been something of an uphill struggle, but one that was nonetheless smoothed by the generous support of friends and colleagues, and one that was certainly worthwhile. No one could want a more committed, resourceful, and enthusiastic editor than Leslie Mitchner, and I would like to thank her for her wonderful work on this collection. I would also like to express my gratitude to the all the contributors for entering into the spirit of the collection and producing such stimulating essays. My own contribution benefited enormously from the comments and criticisms of Elaine Showalter, Roy Porter, and Francis Spufford: to all three I would like to extend thanks and appreciation. I am indebted also to Lucinda Montefiore, who initially backed the book behind the idea, and to Ornella Moscucci, Catherine Crawford, Mary Ann Hushlak, and Jenni Calder, whose advice I sought at various stages of its development.