This project was first conceived in early 2015, long before the accusations and the invective of the 2016 American Presidential election. But in the aftermath of that election, and the subsequent questions regarding foreign interference in the electoral process, I felt compelled to change the framing narrative of this volume to reflect the urgency of the moment. I owe a considerable debt to Asa Simon Mittman for his editorial guidance and support during the course of this project. A great deal of work goes into assembling a volume like this, and so my gratitude goes out to all the contributors for their hard work, and to Kelly DeVries, Carolyne Larrington, Mary Leech, Trevor Russell Smith, Fiona Tolhurst, Kevin Whetter, and the board of Explorations in Medieval Culture at Brill (Tina Boyer, Emma Campbell, DeVries, David F. Johnson, Mittman, Thea Tomaini, Wendy Turner, David Wacks, and Renée Ward) for their editorial input over the course of this project. I am grateful to Shannon Ambrose, without whose editorial and proof-reading eye, this volume would not have been possible. My parents, Nina Zerkich and Robert Tracy, are an unwavering source of encouragement in all my endeavors. I would also like to thank Kate Hammond for her support of this project, Marcella Mulder, without whom we would be lost (or at least, very confused), and the anonymous readers of this volume in its various stages for their prescient suggestions and constructive comments.
This project was, in part, supported by a Visiting Scholarship awarded by the governing body of St. John’s College, Oxford for five weeks of resident research at the Bodleian Library, St. John’s Library, and the British Library, London.
This volume was made possible by a funding grant from Longwood University’s Cook-Cole College of Arts and Sciences.