This chapter argues for the location of literary patronage within the wider networks of social and political clientage identified by historians such as Wallace MacCaffrey, anthropologists such as S. N. Eisenstadt, L. Roniger, and Mary Douglas, and art historians such as Dale Kent. It considers the impact of print, and the sociology of the print-house, on authorial self-perception, and the role of the patron in promoting canonicity. Consideration is also given to the complex nature of the patronal relationship, the divergent expectations of the parties involved, the potential conflict between artistic liberty and political obligation, and the difficulties of assessing the extant evidence.
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