MY GRATITUDE to the team at W. W. Norton for all they’ve done to support not only this volume but the two that came before it. I can’t name you all, but thanks in particular to Eleen Cheung, Melody Conroy, Julia Druskin, Ryan Harrington, Bill Rusin, and Nomi Victor.
Most of all, thanks to my longtime editor, Starling Lawrence, who has provided not only editorial guidance but also moral support, a listening ear, and the occasional robust admonition to quit whining and get on with the job. And I am greatly indebted to both Star and Jenny for the hospitality, good food, and much-needed strong drink.
A massive project like this is never a one-person job. Thanks also to the team at Peace Hill: Justin Moore, who knows more historical details (and random interesting factoids) than Google; Sarah Park, mapmaker extraordinaire and poet even-more-extraordinaire; Kim Norton, the most unflappable office manager in the known universe; Jackie Violet, whose job description keeps expanding but never outsizes her good humor; and Mark Hicks, who kept the farm from falling to pieces while I was wandering around in the fourteenth century.
Special thanks to Patricia Worth, an executive assistant who can arrange a flight to Prague, book a school speaking event, pick out linens for a bed-and-breakfast, and help castrate a goat, all in the same eight-hour workday. And no, she’s not looking for a new job.
Thanks to Mel Moore, Liz Barnes, and Achsa Fisher-Nuckols for still answering my emails and phone calls, even when those are long, long overdue; to Boris Fishman, for sharing my professional universe; to Greg Smith, for asking me how it’s going; and to Diane Wheeler, for living in this world.
My family hasn’t disowned me yet, despite my frequent lapses into history-induced catatonia. To Christopher, Ben, Dan, and Emily: I make really good cookies. Hope they make up for the number of times you have to say, “Mom?” before I emerge from the past and say, “What?” To Jay and Jessie Wise: You taught me to read. See what happened? And to Peter: Sumus exules, vivendi quam auditores. Still, but not always.