This chapter illustrates how three very differently positioned poets—Gascoigne, Spenser, and Daniel—negotiated the conflicting claims of patronage and print, ‘professional’ careerism, and ‘laureate’ status. The section on Gascoigne relates the uncertainty of his authorial persona to the unresolved struggle to find or construct an appropriate social context for a career in writing; that on Spenser considers the problems of writing about courtly or national matters in a colonial context with severely limited access to the levers of patronage; that on Daniel examines the paradoxical problems of attaining the sort of court patronage to which the others aspired, and the artistic limitations imposed by proximity to power.
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