1In loving memory of my mother, Michele A. Sherlock



2I would like to thank, first of all, the American Historical Association and Columbia University Press for awarding my dissertation, "Sovereign Princesses: Mary and Elizabeth Tudor as Heads of Princely Households and the Accomplishment of the Female Succession in Tudor England, 1516–1558," the Gutenberg-e prize as one of the six best dissertations on Women and Gender for 2000–2003.

3I completed the dissertation at Johns Hopkins University under the guidance of Richard Kagan. I am grateful to him for agreeing to supervise a student working in an area outside of his own field. I benefited greatly from the opportunity to submit my work to a nonspecialist whose breadth of knowledge about European history in the sixteenth century enabled him to offer pertinent comments and forced me to recognize the possible implications of this study beyond the confines of England. Indeed, I was most fortunate to complete my graduate studies at Johns Hopkins in the mid-1990s and to work with historians such as J. G. A. Pocock, Gabrielle Spiegel, Orest Ranum, and John Marshall. I am particularly grateful for the interest and encouragement of J. G. A. Pocock. All of these scholars were then in residence at JHU and ensured that those of us fortunate to study with them understood the useful and necessary interplay between methodology and archival work within a premodern European historical context.

4It has been my privilege to know and receive advice from many scholars whose insights have helped me to crystallize my thinking. Unfortunately, space does not permit me to name all of them, but I feel I must at least make some attempt to give credit to a few here on the understanding that many who have helped me remain unlisted. I would like to thank, in particular, the members of the Early Modern Spain seminar at Johns Hopkins University from 1993 to 1996 and also the members of three seminars at the Folger Shakespeare Library from 1993 to 1995. I am grateful to all of my colleagues at the University of Tennessee, but I mention here those who were kind enough to listen to my ideas about this and to offer suggestions—Chad Black, Lorri Glover, Bob Morrissey, and Lynn Sacco. Whatever shortcomings remain in this work are entirely mine and, no doubt, are the result of not following or understanding their advice. I also must mention Eric Carlson, Helen Hackett, Barbara Harris, Felicity Heal, Ralph Houlbrooke, Christine Johnson, Carol Percy, Paul Seaver, Penry Williams, and Natalie Zacek.

5Most of these individuals have become my friends, but they have not put up with me nearly as long as Mary Anne, Carol, Pam, and Kay Stafford have, and I am in awe of their forbearance as well as grateful for their insights and encouragement. My family has always supported and encouraged my scholastic efforts. I also express my gratitude to Michele Sherlock, Alvin and Adeline Parker, Steven Parker, and Geraldine Eichelman. I am indebted to the Stammtischers and to the Hackett family for many dinners, drinks, and endless diversions. Most of all, I blame my husband, Paul Cobb, for all of this.