Few works of literary criticism can have exerted a greater influence on their own discipline than Stephen Greenblatt’s Renaissance SelfFashioning. Published in 1980, the book was immediately admired, taken up, imitated, and explained, to the point where, within a very short time, it seemed that every American English department needed its resident early modern new historicist, and every Renaissance studies doctoral candidate’s research paper began with a historical anecdote. Although other names were associated with this approach, new historicism was in effect Greenblatt’s creation, and it swept the board, first in the United States, and then, rather more tentatively, in much of the rest of the world.