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'Ungainefull Arte'Poetry, Patronage, and Print in the Early Modern Era$
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Richard A. McCabe

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198716525

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198716525.001.0001

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Of Followers and Friends

Of Followers and Friends

Problems of Definition

(p.15) 1 Of Followers and Friends
'Ungainefull Arte'

Richard A. McCabe

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the struggle to define patronage in ways designed to circumvent the potentially demeaning implications of clientage or paid service. The influence of Classical authorities was immensely influential here, especially Cicero’s Pro Archia and Seneca’s De Beneficiis, and their influence is considered on a range of Early Modern authors, most notably Petrarch, Alberti, Shakespeare, and Churchyard. What emerges is the crucial importance of presenting patronage as something other than it was—friendship, altruism, or public service, for example—in the hope of reifying that alternative in practice. Since no official ‘system’ of patronage existed, all the participants were involved in creating the myth of an inherently symbiotic relationship between prince and poet, creativity and power—a myth that was virtually impossible to sustain over the course of any given career.

Keywords:   patronage, clientage, network, friendship, Petrarch, Alberti, Shakespeare, Churchyard, print economy

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