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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 Elizabethan Marketplace

The Elizabethan Marketplace

(p.214) 13 The Elizabethan Marketplace
'Ungainefull Arte'

Richard A. McCabe

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the literary implications of the incorporation of the Stationers’ Company in 1557. The central argument here is that while incorporation conferred respectability on guild members, it lent urgency to the need for ‘professional’ writers—those hoping to gain financially from the press—to distinguish themselves from the Stationers at the very point when their commercial interests were converging. Letters of dedication were increasingly written with the ‘reader’ in view, authorial ‘gentility’ was insisted upon, and courtly patronage set the paradigm even for civic panegyric where genealogy of office frequently supplanted that of blood. Authorial copyright had not yet developed, but traffic with the printers promoted the insistence on creative agency that would eventually lead to Milton’s contract with Samuel Simmons and ultimately to the legislation of 1709.

Keywords:   Stationers’ Company, book-market, Inns of Court, civic pageantry, Googe, Turbervile, Heywood, Dekker Weever, Whetstone

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