The moment the subject of scandal arises, the question of how to
avoid it comes up as well. Since the surest means of keeping oneself from
becoming scandal's victim is to be dutiful, a book that focuses on scandal
might be expected to worry over the routine of meeting its own obliga-
tions. Such worry might be warranted were there not so much pleasure
to be had in this particular diligence. It is to the readers for whose eyes
these pages were initially written, in the form of a doctoral dissertation,
that I owe my foremost intellectual debts. D. A. Miller, Catherine Gal-
lagher, and Thomas W. Laqueur made immeasurable contributions to my
thinking and writing, providing valuable guidance through both their
comments on my work and the model of their own scholarship. With-
out the steadfast dedication of Laura M. Green and Elizabeth Young at
every phase of its composition, this project would have been inconceiv-
able. Members of the Victorian dissertation group at Berkeley supplied
thoughtful comments on the work as it emerged, and continue to pro-
vide intellectual community. I am grateful to Laura
Berry, Catherine
Robson, Daniel Hack, Christopher Craft, and Kerry Walk for their con-
tributions. Susan S. Lanser, Kathryn Bond Stockton, Hilary Schor, Jeff
Nunokawa, and Joseph Litvak generously read and commented upon
later versions of the manuscript, and Henry Abelove's advice has been
important in bringing it to fruition.
I am always mindful of the emotional and intellectual support I derive
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