I wasn’t sure whether I would ever publish this research—I had made my dissertation publicly available and had moved on from graduate school to an alternative academic career in publishing. My timeline was a bit crowded in that last year of graduate school: I finished my dissertation, gave birth to my daughter two weeks later, defended my dissertation two months later, and began a full-time job in publishing three months after that. Life was moving on quickly! But I couldn’t let go of the fact that I had spent years researching an understudied document and that others might find my research helpful if I could only get it published. Finding the time to update my research in the middle of a busy life—and during a global pandemic at that—was not easy, especially since libraries were closed for much of it and I had no institutional access to digital resources.
There is simply no way that I could have written this book without the help of many people. First and foremost, I am deeply indebted to James Darlack, librarian extraordinaire at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, who went above and beyond the call of duty for an alumna to get me access to digital resources during the pandemic. If there is an award for “Librarian of Valor,” James should definitely receive it!
I am grateful to Katelyn Chin at Brill and Alan Avery-Peck, my series editor, for bringing me on board with such warmth (and to Steven Fine for recommending them!), and to Erika Mandarino for shepherding me through the process with such good cheer.
I was touched by the support and generosity of my fellow scholars around the world who graciously sent me pdfs and links to their works that I was unable to access any other way; my heartfelt thanks to Andrei Orlov, Alexander Kulik, Basil Lourié, and Carol Newsom. I am so grateful for your generosity and support. Thank you also to the anonymous peer reviewers who read my work and gave me invaluable feedback.
I cannot forget to thank the professors who have shaped me as a scholar over the years, most particularly Naomi Sokoloff and Jon Levenson; I am incredibly lucky to have had you as mentors in both undergrad and graduate school.
I want to thank my supportive friends for their encouragement, most particularly Laura Rosen, Jonathan and Joanna Greenlee Kline, and Maria Metzler. And last, but definitely not least, my wonderful husband Michael who took on extra duties so I could write and research, and my daughter Lillian, for “giving Mommy space so she can write a book.”