- In Appreciation
With this issue, Robert M. Markley marks his twenty-fifth year as editor of The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation, a milestone of accomplishment and service to the world of eighteenth-century studies. In 1982, Bob—then a junior faculty member at Texas Tech University—began working on the journal with Joel Weinsheimer and Jeff Smitten, who had recently overhauled what had been Studies in Burke and His Time into a scholarly venue for theoretically informed analyses of eighteenth-century culture, The Eighteenth Century of today. Bob has reminisced with me about those days, recalling that he would cradle his infant son while preparing issues for the press. This is a son now grown, graduated from college, and off onto his own successful career as a writer.
As readers of the journal know, Bob has edited a number of special issues on a range of topics that parallel the development of his own interests: Restoration drama (1983), literary theory and eighteenth-century studies (1987), eighteenth-century millennialism (2000), and eighteenth-century Europe and Asia (2004). He has also coauthored two editorial manifestoes for the journal (1993, 2004), which reflect his continued commitment to extend, rethink, and refine the best work in our field. Bob's academic work apart from The Eighteenth Century has been even more impressive. He is the author of four scholarly books—most recently, The Far East and the English Imagination, 1600–1730 (Cambridge, 2006) and Dying Planet: Mars in Science and the Imagination (Durham, 2005)—and has edited several collections and multimedia projects. Perhaps most remarkable of all, Bob has been and continues to be a graduate advisor of incomparable generosity and talent. Bob's students thrive in academia and are already making significant contributions to the field, in large part because of his tireless dedication to their professional and scholarly development.
What readers of the journal might not know is how valuable a colleague and friend he has been to me from the time I started working on the journal seven years ago, myself a junior faculty member at Texas Tech University. The [End Page 1] behind-the-scenes work on the journal is constant and challenging, and Bob is always there to help me with great humor, insight, and kindness. To celebrate his unflagging enthusiasm, remarkable intelligence, and profound dedication to The Eighteenth Century, I, along with our editorial colleagues, Jennifer Frangos and Cristobal Silva, want to wish him a Happy Silver Anniversary.