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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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The Courts of King James and Prince Henry

The Courts of King James and Prince Henry

(p.288) 16 The Courts of King James and Prince Henry
'Ungainefull Arte'

Richard A. McCabe

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the implications for literary patronage of the accession of a monarch with an already well-established print persona, contrasting the authorial careers of the poet-king, James VI and I, and the ‘King’s poet’, Ben Jonson—who achieved courtly status while remaining involved in the commercial economy of the public theatre. To the difficulties always inherent in the production of courtly literature, the Stuart accession added those of a rival court, that of the heir apparent, Prince Henry, projecting a divergent political outlook and cultivating a different literary aesthetic. By looking at the efforts of various authors, including Jonson, who attempted to bridge the divide, the discussion reveals the artistic challenges and limitations imposed by disunity and faction.

Keywords:   court, masque, public theatre, James VI and I, Jonson, Prince Henry, Drayton, Chapman, Ralegh Gorges

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