When I first encountered the materials for this story, I thought I would be writing a footnote to another book. Many pages and many years later the footnote has become a book of its own. This transformation was possible because of the aid I received from many scholars and institutions along the way.
Financial support came from a fellowship given to me by the American Philosophical Society, which allowed me to supplement research in the State Archives of Florence and Pisa with an examination of materials at the Vatican Archives. I would like to thank the staff of all these institutions for their courteous help.
Other kinds of scholarly support and encouragement came from many individuals whose advice, criticism, and willingness to share unpublished manuscripts were of immense help. My scholarly debts are too numerous to cite in their entirety, but I would like to give special recognition to Judith Armstrong, Charmarie Blaisdell, Caroline Bynum, Sherrill Cohen, Estelle Freedman, Kent Gerard, Richard Goldthwaite, Stephen Greenblatt, Maryanne Horowitz, Victoria Kirkham, Ruth Liebowitz, Mary R. O'Neill, Elizabeth Perry, Richard Trexler, Guido Ruggiero,