A book is never exclusively a product of solitary work, and the creation of this book in particular was the fruit of many discussions and deliberations, both in person and online. The idea to write an interdisciplinary volume dedicated to aspects of solitude in late medieval and early modern Europe emerged in a conversation between the two editors—a historian of Latin literature with an expertise in Petrarch, and an art historian with an interest in the early modern imagery of interiority—in January 2015. From its very beginnings, our project was energised by the social and collaborative contexts in which it evolved. Particularly stimulating was a three-day interdisciplinary conference jointly organised by the two editors at the University of Bern in December 2015. We are indebted to the Institute of Art History of the University of Bern for hosting that conference, which was made possible by substantial support from the Swiss National Science Foundation, the Burgergemeinde Bern, and the Ellen J. Beer Stiftung Bern. Most especially, we would like to thank Michèle Seehafer, a doctoral candidate in art history, for her excellent administration of the 2015 conference that made the three days in Bern not only an intellectually and socially rewarding experience, but also an extremely pleasant one. It is a pleasure to express our sincere gratitude to those colleagues who have so generously volunteered their time and expertise with us over the past few years: Stefan Abel, Isabella Augart, James Clifton, Barbara Baert, Gerlinde Huber-Rebenich, David R. Marshall, Eelco Nagelsmit, Richard Nemec, and Lars Cyril Nørgaard. Christine Göttler also would like to extend her thanks to the colleagues who collaborated with her in the large multi-group research project “The Interior: Art, Space, and Performance (Early Modern to Postmodern)”, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation from 2012 to 2016: Birgitt Borkopp-Restle, Norberto Gramaccini, Peter W. Marx, Bernd Nicolai, and Peter J. Schneemann. This collaborative project on “interiors” and their complex relationships with exterior spaces in many ways laid the foundation for her contributions to the present volume.
Once more we would like to express our gratitude to our colleagues from the editorial board of Intersections for their enthusiastic support and helpful suggestions for improving this volume. Special debts of thanks are also owed to our copy-editor, proofreader, and indexer, Jonathan Hoare, for his consistency, thoughtfulness, and attention to detail; and to Julia Slater, who edited and commented on two of the chapters, for her critical eye and stellar literary skills. Finally, the swift and timely production of the book would not have been possible without the exceptional assistance of two post-doctoral lecturers and researchers at the University of Bern: Ivo Raband and Steffen Zierholz who checked all of the captions and illustrations and prepared the manuscript for copy-editing. At Brill we were once again fortunate to be able to rely on the expertise and high level of attention to detail provided by Gera van Bedaf and Ivo Romein. Our deepest gratitude goes to the contributors to this book who not only spent numerous solitary hours researching and writing their chapters but whose creative and intellectual pursuits have so greatly enriched it and made it unique.
Bern, Leiden, and Münster