I gratefully acknowledge the mentors, colleagues, friends, and institutions that have encouraged and supported me in undertaking the several years' work that this study entailed, work that ultimately helped me understand how the desire for voice inspires and informs women's desiring voices--including my own.
I thank Marshall University's Graduate School and its College of Liberal Arts for funding several one-course releases and a summer research grant, which helped me research, write, and revise chapters in this book, and the University of California-Davis, which funded a one-year fellowship during which I began work on this project. Sandra Gilbert and her University of California-Davis Sexual Poetics seminar helped engender this topic, and for the continued support and interest of this pioneering feminist scholar I can only express my greatest gratitude. Ray Waddington and Louise Schleiner have read manuscripts and provided guidance, cautionary words, and invaluable comments over the course of several years. Prof. Waddington's learning and unerring judgment made him an invaluable resource to me, while Prof. Schleiner's knowledge of early modern women and her own work on Renaissance texts by women guided and inspired me at every turn. Juliana Schiesari, an unofficial member of my dissertation committee, and Dennis Dutschke, a truly generous and learned man, also read portions of this book in its early stages and provided much needed guidance in understanding and explicating Petrarch's Italian, as well as insight into his cultural and literary milieu. Winfried Schleiner, Richard Levin, Mary Ellen Lamb, and Susanne Woods all commented on article drafts and conference papers that eventually came to frui-