The Australian Research Council greatly helped me with funding when I commenced work on this edition of both parts of The Honest Whore. I acknowledge, with great gratitude, my debt to the many people without whose generous and able help the edition – work on which has been extended over many years – would not have come into being, especially: Antony Telford Moore (the ‘A.T. Moore’ who later edited John Ford’s Love’s Sacrifice for the Revels Plays), Ronnie Mulryne, Andrew Gurr, Philip Ayres, Des O’Connor, Maartje Rondeboom, Karlyne Véronique; those skilled people at Flinders University who attended a lengthy seminar on bawdy passages from the text, including experts on the history of the English language; and, in a more personal sphere, my wife, Truus Daalder, not only as a thorough and highly skilled reader of drafts of this edition, but also for all other invaluable support she has for many years provided. I have also been helped by a small army of librarians in many countries, including not least those at my ‘home’ university, Flinders. And my confidence has at various times been boosted by editors and readers of journals who published articles I wrote or co-wrote on the Honest Whore plays, as well as those people, such as Andrew Hiscock, who have supported other research of mine while work on this edition was in progress.

All people mentioned above have helped me significantly while I was preparing this edition in a conventional manner, for publication in book form. It became desirable, however, to change course, and to have it published in Digital Renaissance Editions. From that moment on, it is no exaggeration to say that Brett D. Hirsch, the co-ordinating editor of the series, became, so to speak, my ‘guardian angel’. My debt to him is incalculable, but I shall try to give an indication of the enormous scope and quality of his contribution.

I thank Brett from the bottom of my heart for taking control of the publishing process, for improving my presentation where that was in need of ‘streamlining’ and clarity, for sagacious advice and moral support generally, and for involving a large number of other people to judge my work and help it to make it the best it could be. Among those to whom I am in that regard especially indebted I should like to mention Eleanor Lowe and Mark Houlahan.

What I have just described is something that a ‘normal’ very good co-ordinating editor might do. But I owe Brett much more than any previous editor for whom I have worked. In the event, he took on a truly enormous task, doing far more work for this edition than anyone could reasonably have expected. I had no idea of what is involved in the process of digitising, and thus Brett with remarkable generosity proceeded to transform my many and extensive original Word documents into XML, displaying great skill and precision. Additionally, he contributed facsimile images of the early printed editions and careful, highly time-consuming transcriptions of them. As a result this edition is textually far more valuable than it would have been if it had included only my modernised text. As well, and adding further valuable material, Brett provided illustrations, images, and additional notes for the annotations, and he edited a selection of supplementary materials. No editor of my previous editions of Renaissance texts, however helpful, has contributed anything at all comparable to what Brett has done. If this edition will, as I hope, be favourably received, much of the credit will be due to Brett. Working on this edition with him has been a great experience in my life, and I see it as an honour that my edition of the two Honest Whore plays is the first to appear in what I am convinced will be a remarkable, high quality series under Brett’s leadership.

Last but not least, I wish to record here a huge and enduring debt to two scholars who have, by crucial support at a time when I was much younger, to an extraordinary extent influenced my progress as an academic over the years: F.W. Bateson and Brian Morris. I dedicate this volume to their memory.

Joost Daalder (Joost.Daalder@flinders.edu.au)
Flinders University, Adelaide