Today is publication day for the Penguin paperback edition of The Bookman’s Tale. It seems an appropriate time to bring to your attention a page in the book that is near and dear to my heart: the acknowledgements. Without all the people mentioned therein, you wouldn’t be able to rush out today and buy a copy of this beautiful trade paperback. So, I’d like to make those acknowledgements public here—for those who may have skipped that page, or for those who haven’t yet read the book.
I am grateful to scores of people who helped inspire, grow, and hone this book, particularly to my mentors in the world of book collecting, Bob Lovett, Stuart Wright, the late Stan Marx, and Justin Schiller; to those who nurtured my writing life, especially Phyllis Barber, Chris Noël, Walter Wetherell, Diane Lefer, Sandra Adams, and Peggy Elam; to early readers Janice Lovett, Stephanie Lovett, and Nina Weigl for their excellent advice; to David Lovett for introducing me to my agent; to Anna Worrall for her early support; to David Gernert for his faith in the book and his insightful advice on revisions; to Will Roberts, Rebecca Gardner, and all those at the Gernert Agency who have helped bring the book to the world; to my publicists at Penguin Rebecca Lang and Annie Harris; to Kathryn Court and Tara Singh for their kind guidance and brilliant editing; and to Scott Cohen and everyone else at Penguin who had a hand in bringing The Bookman’s Tale to the world.
Thanks to all those librarians around the world who inhabit places like the Devereaux Room and who have assisted me with research and welcomed me into their sanctuaries over the years.
I would like to thank the people of the real Kingham, which is a more lovely, welcoming, and peaceful place than I could ever hope to portray in its fictional counterpart. In particular thanks to the Stockwell family for their love and friendship over many years.
Just as scores of people are responsible for the book you hold, so did scores of sources help create the historical sections of the novel. I am particularly indebted to the following—for details on William Shakespeare and his fellow Elizabethan writers: Judith Cook’s Roaring Boys: Shakespeare’s Rat Pack, Stephen Greenblatt’s Will in the World, and Bill Bryson’s Shakespeare; for her descriptions of book repair, restoration and binding: Annie Tremmel Wilcox’s A Degree of Mastery; for the saga of Mark Hofmann’s forgeries: Linda Sillitoe and Allen Robert’s Salamander. All the books quoted in the text were, needless to say, important sources and those quotes are, with minor editing, taken from the original sources.
Above all I wish to express my gratitude to my children Jordan and Lucy for their love and inspiration, and to my wife, Janice, whose love and faith supports me daily.