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date: 21 October 2019

(p. v) Acknowledgements

(p. v) Acknowledgements

I owe an enormous amount to Bradin Cormack, without whom this project could not have been conceived or brought to life. Most of the chapters in this Handbook first took shape as papers presented at one or the other of twinned conferences, ‘The English Legal Imaginary, 1500–1700 I’ and ‘The English Legal Imaginary, 1500-1700 II’ at the Universities of Princeton and St Andrews in April and May 2015. Bradin organized the first of these and co-hosted the second. At both he exhibited the fastidious creativity of thought well known to readers of his published work, thereby stimulating and enabling the interdisciplinary conversations that would come to fruition in this book.

I would also like to thank Jacqueline Norton, of Oxford University Press, for adventurously commissioning this Handbook, and for her support and the interest she has taken throughout. I am pleased, too, to have a chance to thank the Departments of English and History at Princeton University and the Department of English and the Centre for Mediaeval and Early Modern Law and Literature (CMEMLL) at the University of St Andrews for supporting the conferences. Debates, conversations, collaborations, and friendships there begun have continued as conferences papers developed into the chapters of this book. They will, I am confident, continue beyond the book’s emergence into print. I am grateful to Rachel Holmes for her impeccable organization of the St Andrews conference, and for setting up and maintaining the blog through which work was shared at an early stage. Above all, however, I am grateful to all the contributors to this Handbook. Their engagement, creativity, and generosity during the conferences and their subsequent patience and helpfulness during the editing process have made the whole project a pleasure.

Among more particular debts, I owe thanks to Sharyn Brooks and to Michael Lobban. The historian Christopher Brooks (1948–2014) did more than anyone to enable us to see how crucial to the social and political history of early modern England were England’s distinctive legal institutions and procedures. Chris’s sudden death in 2014 bereaved the scholarly community at large, not least that part of it represented by this book. I am therefore very grateful to Sharyn, Chris’s widow, and to Michael, his former colleague and friend, for locating the script of a lecture Chris gave in 2013 to the Centre for Mediaeval and Early Modern Law and Literature, which had been intended as a chapter for this book. Thanks are due also to my colleagues Jaqueline Rose and Rab Houston for helping reconstruct Chris’s footnotes, as well as to Ian Williams and Tim Stretton for answering queries.

In all that I have said, the Centre for Mediaeval and Early Modern Law and Literature at St Andrews has featured prominently. This leads me to the thanks due to my colleague (p. vi) and co-director of CMEMLL, John Hudson, whose expertise in English legal history goes hand in hand with an inspiring openness to what literary texts have to say about the law. From John and from other CMEMLL historians of mediaeval Europe and late antiquity—notably Gadi Algazi, Caroline Humfress, William Miller, and Steve White—I have learned a great deal. I owe most, however, to John, who has been a support throughout the Handbook’s gestation and who kindly read the introduction. I am also very grateful to Mary Nyquist, who likewise advised on the introduction. To all my postgraduate students at St Andrews, and to the Honours students in the years from 2006–2014 who took the course ‘Law and Literature in Early Modern Europe’ I would like to acknowledge thanks for their enthusiasm and pleasure.

I have other personal debts to record as well: to Stephen Orgel, for a kind and timely intervention, to my friend, Vicky Kahn, for her sage advice, and to my partner, Linda Hardy, who, in the time-honoured tradition of these kinds of acknowledgements, has to suffer being thanked for patience and long-suffering while I worked on the book. But Linda knows that my thanks go deeper than that.