A Patron’s ‘Canon’
Focusing on the well-documented career of Sir Thomas Egerton, this chapter examines the extent to which patrons informed or influenced the nature of the works dedicated to them, and the measure of consistency or contradiction to be found in the public personae such dedications constructed. Drawing largely upon the extensive holdings of the Huntington Library, San Marino, where many of the authorially personalized copies presented to Egerton are preserved, the discussion locates his exercise of literary patronage within the wider context of the political, religious, regional, educational, and professional networks he cultivated. This throws light on his relationships with such writers as Francis Bacon, Sir John Davies, Davies of Hereford, and John Donne. Perhaps most significantly of all, the Egerton papers provide one of the elements so often missing from the record: evidence of attitude and intent from the hand of the patron himself.
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