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xiii Because this book covers three hundred years of history, has taken ten years to research and write, moves between China and Europe, and uses sources in five languages, I have needed a lot of help in writing it. I am deeply indebted to many people though I fear that, for the same reasons, there are probably still many mistakes. For help with the research I would especially like to thank Augustine Lee for his support over the years and especially for making available to me the early twentieth-century archives of Taiyuan diocese. Liu Anrong not only accompanied me during interviews but also gave me her own interview notes tracing the origins of every family in Cave Gully. Liza Wang was an enthusiastic companion and assistant during other interviews . Roger Thompson, Alessandro dell’Orto, Richard Madsen, David Faure, and Feng Xiaocai all kindly gave me copies of documents I would not otherwise have found. Professor Xing Long and the staff of the Shanxi University Social History Institute gave me access to their extraordinary collection of local history materials from the post-1949 period. I am also grateful to staff of the archives of the Propaganda Fide, the Franciscan General Curia, the Franciscan Province of Bologna, the Propagation de la Foi in Lyon, the Roman Jesuit Archives, and especially to Leonello Malvezzi of the Pontificia Opera dell’Infanzia Missionaria in Rome for his hospitality and kindness. Acknowledgments 9780520273115_PRINT.indd xiii 9780520273115_PRINT.indd xiii 27/04/13 3:46 PM 27/04/13 3:46 PM xiv | Acknowledgments Early versions of chapters were presented as papers at the Fairbank Center at Harvard University, at Princeton University, and at the Columbia University Seminar on Modern China; I received many useful comments at all these events. I am grateful to Alessandro dell’Orto for arranging for me to give a paper at the Pontifical Urbaniana University in Rome where the audience’s enthusiasm was deeply moving—the help I received as a result has made this a far deeper and richer book. I benefited from discussions with many students at Harvard, but especially Melissa Inouye whose ideas about the history of True Jesus church greatly influenced my thinking. Elizabeth McGuire kindly read the whole draft of the book at a very early stage. I am also extremely grateful to all those who took part in a workshop on the manuscript at Harvard University in February 2011, especially Michael Szonyi, Nicolas Standaert, Eugenio Menegon, Lily Tsai, James Robson, Robert Weller, Mark Elliott, and Bonaventure Bai. Their comments, suggestions, and friendly discussion have immensely improved the final book. The book has required me to translate from a number of languages in which I am by no means confident. I am grateful to Catherine Keen for help with the Italian (and for listening with interest to such a lot of conversation on Shanxi Catholicism over many years) and to Muriel Hall for help with the Latin. Librarians, especially at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton and the Harvard-Yenching Library, have been wonderfully helpful. Scott Walker of Widener Library created the maps. I also received very helpful research assistance: Luca Cottini transcribed some troublesome Italian texts, and Lucy McCormac and Ruyi Lu created the graphs. Funding for the project has come from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, the British Academy, the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation, and the Universities’ China Committee (whose funds originated in the Boxer Indemnity). I am grateful to all these organizations and especially to the donors and taxpayers who have contributed to support them. I am also grateful to successive parish priests of Cave Gully for welcoming me into the community and to all those whom I interviewed, both in Cave Gully and elsewhere. This book tells a story that is of great importance to the Catholics of central Shanxi and it is dedicated to them. Never before have I written history that mattered so much to anyone. The experience has been exhilarating and inspiring, but actually publishing the results is correspondingly nerve-wracking. I doubt the many Shanxi Catholics who have helped me will always agree with 9780520273115_PRINT.indd xiv 9780520273115_PRINT.indd xiv 27/04/13 3:46 PM 27/04/13 3:46 PM Acknowledgments | xv my conclusions, but they have been astonishingly open-minded so I hope that they will be able to accept this as a possible version of their history. I am more afraid that there are mistakes in the details. I have tried...