This book has been a long time in gestation. Its birth has been midwifed by numerous people, whom I need to thank.
Paula Hooper Mayhew was particularly supportive of this book during its long and protracted gestation, when so many other necessary tasks and responsibilities took me away from nurturing it. In recent years, as I have been able to devote more time to it, Steve Smith of Claremont McKenna College and my loving colleagues and supportive administrators at Neumann College have encouraged me in many ways, intellectually, emotionally, and practically.
I am particularly grateful to the Faculty Development Grant Fund of Neumann College and to the Chace and Western Quarter Education Funds of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting for their help in meeting the high costs of permissions to reprint literary works these days and to Ellen Kuhl for her assistance in locating the owners of some of the rights to these works.
I am also grateful to Professors Michael Heller of Roanoke College, Langdon Elsbree of Claremont McKenna College, and William Lynch of Neumann College for their careful readings of and reactions to an earlier draft of my commentary. I wish to also thank Professors Susan Day Dean and Anne Dalke of Bryn Mawr College for serving as sounding boards to some of my ideas concerning the congruences between Quaker and feminist ideals and Professor Leon Forrest of Northwestern University for his help in identifying works of African-American women writers on this theme.
Many people have generously helped in the production of this manuscript. In particular, I wish to thank Mary Ann Tini, Karen Babiak, and Juliana Smith. Without their devoted, meticulous typing, this book would never have come to be. I am especially grateful to Juliana Smith, who patiently, scrupulously produced the final, camera-ready copy. I also owe a debt of gratitude to Mary Hopkins for help with the index and to the librarians at Neumann College, especially Craig Conrad, who helped me locate much of this research.