Gender is a vast and expanding subject; in this book we have tried to guide our readers through what seem to us to be some of the most important debates and issues, especially as they impact on culture and representation. Although it is impossible to give a comprehensive treatment of all the cultural and historical aspects of gender in a book of this size, we hope that our discussion will help readers in pursuing further research on those topics which interest them. Genders is very much a joint production, conceived together, but the responsibility for the Introduction and chapters 2 through 5 belongs to David Glover, while Cora Kaplan is the primary author of Chapter 1.

We are grateful to the staffs of the British Library and the London Library for their help with our research for the book. A study leave from Southampton University has allowed David Glover the space to complete his part of the project. Our thanks to John Drakakis for inviting us to write for the series and for his constructive criticism and support, and to Talia Rodgers, Liz Thompson and Polly Dodson who have been enthusiastic and patient editors throughout.