Th is book has taken a long time. In fact, I began reading the archival material
that this monograph is grounded in before I had ever contemplated becom-
ing a professional historian. My fi rst exposure to the encounters between
missionaries and Māori in northern New Zealand came in a second- year
honors history class taught at the University of Otago by Michael Reilly, who
required his students to immerse themselves in missionary letters and jour-
nals. Th e excitement of that initial research experience, deciphering copies of
missionary journals and, in some cases, handling their original letters, was
profound, and it encouraged me to begin thinking diff erently about my own
career path. In the fourth and fi nal year of my honors degree I completed
a dissertation on missionaries and sexuality in the Bay of Islands under the
supervision of John Sten house. Th at year I worked through a range of early
missionary sources and read widely in Māori anthropology and British re-
ligious history, an experience that convinced me to pursue a doctorate. To
Michael and John I owe a great debt: as teachers they encouraged me and
opened up new ways of thinking and writing.
I returned to those archives only aft er I had completed my doctorate in
En gland and revised my dissertation for publication. A Millennium Fund re-
search grant from the National University of Ireland, Galway, enabled me to
extend my research on evangelicalism and empire, and aft er I took up a po-
sition at the University of Illinois, Urbana- Champaign, an Arthur Beckman
Ac know ledg ments
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