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vii Any book is a collaborative effort, but a book that draws on the intellectual talents of scholars from multiple disciplines suggests that the traditional thank-yous will fall short of the mark. This book is no exception, since from its beginning it has been the product of deep thinking, serious research, disciplined writing and—dare we confess it—much fun. The EighteenthCentury Study Group (ECSG) at the University of Virginia has hosted discussions and lectures on eighteenth-century topics for more than fourteen years. The ECSG is a living organism: members come and go, move in and move on. Yet each meeting generates a host of comments, questions, and challenges that benefit the entire group. The numerous meetings of these scholars became the genesis of this book. A two-day conference organized in 2013 suggested the need for a more permanent record of our considerations of what we call “the eighteenth centuries.” Our sincere thanks go to each and every member of the group; to S. Max Edelson, James Ambuske, and Carol Guarnieri, who created the MapScholar website that accompanies this volume; to Angie Hogan, who was there from the start and who helped shepherd the book through the University of Virginia Press; to the scholars and friends at the Jefferson Library and at Monticello; to the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Virginia; and, of course, to the students in all the disciplines who are discovering how rich, entertaining, and challenging these eighteenth centuries can be. During the production of this book, Mary D. Sheriff passed away. We deeply mourn her loss. We want especially to thank her husband, Professor Keith Luria, who carefully shepherded her essay through the final stages of the press. Acknowledgments The Eighteenth Centuries D ...


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