Preface

In: Cultures of Care
Author:
Chris R. Langley
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Cultures of Care addresses the hidden networks that proved so important to the lives of contemporaries in early modern Scotland and the ways that these actions interacted with the disciplinary structures of the Church of Scotland. These were small gestures that the giver thought little about but could prove so important to the recipient. In a similar manner, while one name sits on the cover of this book, a great many more helped nurture it. I should like to take this opportunity to expose some of the forces that have gently guided me through the research and writing for this project and to thank them for their kindness.

The research for this book was supported by grants from the Wellcome Trust in 2014, the Strathmartine Trust in 2015 and the Scouloudi Foundation in 2016. A semester-long sabbatical funded by the Research Committee at Newman University, Birmingham, allowed me to complete the first draft of the book manuscript. Fellowships at the Martyr Kirk Special Collections centre at St Andrews University and the Institute of Advanced Study in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh provided bookends at the start and end of the project. Both provided wonderful environments where I could consider the wider consequences of my project. I must thank the organisers and audiences at conferences and seminars in Colchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leicester, Sheffield, St Andrews and Warwick for listening so patiently to aspects of this work and for suggesting many improvements along the way.

In addition to the institutions and organisations that have helped make this book possible, I owe a great deal to the communities of scholars that have sustained and improved my work. The Department of History at University of York, in which I devised and began this project, and colleagues in the Arts and Humanities Department at Newman University, Birmingham, provided amiable contexts in which to work. Scholars dotted across the world have contributed in ways that have helped me greatly. Bill Naphy and Sandra Hynes continue to support my work with a blend of encouragement and enthusiasm and ensure that I remain wedded to my alma mater in the north-east of Scotland. John McCallum’s support, expertise and perseverance have been greatly appreciated in me completing this project. It is always nice to know that there is another historian of Scotland on the other side of the English Midlands. I have tested the patience of Michelle Brock, Catherine McMillan and Russell Newton far too many times during the writing of this book. I hope they realise the great encouragement they have provided. My trips to Edinburgh have been made all the more enjoyable thanks to the friendship, kindness and generosity of Jamie Reid Baxter. I must also thank Laura Crombie, Simon Ditchfield, Julian Goodare, Michael Graham, Mark Jenner, Graeme Murdock, Alasdair Raffe, Alex Shepard, Andrew Spicer and Louise Yeoman for reading various drafts and being so supportive of this project. Bridget Heal, Andrew Pettegree and Alec Ryrie encouraged me to develop my ideas into the book you are now reading. The various anonymous reviewers also improved the book with their helpful suggestions and queries.

All historical projects depend on the help and expertise of the staff of various libraries and archives. I would like to give special thanks to Robin Urquhart at the National Records of Scotland for his continuing support. Staff at the National Records of Scotland and Edinburgh City Archives were all terrifically helpful, while I am indebted to the hard work of staff at the National Library of Scotland, the Duncan Rice Library at University of Aberdeen, the library at University of Edinburgh and the J. B. Morrell library at University of York. I should like to give particular thanks to the library at Newman University, Birmingham, for dealing with my inter-library loan requests with great patience and efficiency.

My family continues to persevere with my manuscript addiction. Rebecca Ward has seen the highs and lows of the book with her usual firm attachment to reality, while Fran has provided canine companionship through much of the writing. I am sorry that I could not shoehorn more dogs into the book. This book is dedicated to my parents. Like so many of the parents and guardians who litter the pages of this volume, mine are a source of constant encouragement, care and unconditional support.

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Cultures of Care

Domestic Welfare, Discipline and the Church of Scotland, c. 1600–1689

Series:  St Andrews Studies in Reformation History

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