If there is one thing that this thesis has clearly demonstrated to me, it is the impossibility of recognising the various gifts that have gone into this thesis (not to mention the questionable ethics of attempting to do so). Nonetheless, there are some whose generosity has so altered me that I know without them, this thesis could not have been:

My supervisor, Nikki Sullivan, for her warm support, generous intellect and her unwavering belief that this thesis was worth writing.

My friends, who put up with me when I could think of nothing but the thesis, and who sustained me with cups of coffee and tea, red wine at Madame Fling Flong’s, ludicrous numbers of hours spent cheering Buffy and other superheroes on, chatting, laughing, frowning and furious at the world, and of course eating good, good food; and with their demonstration of the belief that there was, all evidence to the contrary, more to me than the thesis! And so especially: Sophie, David, Obelia, Beth, Kirstin, Matthew, Marita, Nicole, Elaine, Sam, Holly, Craig, Patrick, Hilary, and the little Holly; much loving gratitude.

My online interlocutors, for their ideas, patience and willingness to interact, but most of all for their difference; especially to Nate, Az, Fido and, again, the ever-astonishing Nicole (especially her knees).

My family: my siblings, Myf, Dan and Demelza; our gorgeous-in-every-way-possible and dearly missed dog, Megan; and especially my parents, Alan and Robyn; who gave me a curiosity about the tapestry of the world, the desire to tug on threads, weave, unravel, knot and splice, and a sense of wonder at the possibilities of patterns new, old and other.

Special extra thanks go to those who read bits and pieces for me, offered feedback and spotted flaws: to Elaine, to Nikki, to Nicole, whose generosity in this matter still makes my jaw drop; and to my parents, whose readings were warm and incisive, and opened my work back out in ways I’d forgotten it could.

And always, and still, Greg, whose gifts continue to resonate and alter, even after he is gone.