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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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Courts and Coteries

Courts and Coteries

(p.199) 12 Courts and Coteries
'Ungainefull Arte'

Richard A. McCabe

Oxford University Press

Concentrating on dedications to such patrons as the Earl of Oxford and the Countesses of Pembroke and Bedford, this chapter examines the extent to which ‘coteries’ operated in Elizabethan and Jacobean England and to what literary effect, if any. Noting that alleged membership of elite groups was perceived to confer considerable status on emerging authors, it argues that the notion of coterie might, for commercial as well as creative reasons, be more important than the reality. Viewed primarily as imagined communities, coteries may be seen to promote highly productive forms of authorial self-presentation. Their value to literature was primarily as literature.

Keywords:   coterie, network, Spenser, Watson, Drayton, Donne, Lanyer, Earl of Oxford, Countess of Pembroke, Countess of Bedford

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