Further reading

Jones, William Powell. The Pastourelle. A Study of the Origin and Tradition of a Lyric Type. 1931. Reprint, New York: Octagon Books, 1973. Paden, William D., ed. The Medieval Pastourelle. New York: Garland, 1987.

Alessandra Petrina

PATRONAGE Patronage defines the relationship between an influential and powerful person/institution and an artist. The parties agree to exchange one's protection or money for the other's talent or intellectual work, usually on terms set by the patron. In historical periods such as classical antiquity or the High Middle Ages, in which there was little or no recognition of intellectual labor and no direct contact between the artist and potential buyers of the work of art, such exchanges monetarily supported artists, while secondarily enhancing a community's cultural development. Art of this time was typically shaped by the desires, spoken or unspoken, of patrons rather than the desires of the artists. Literary patronage was even more directed, where patrons would commission works to further their political views or enhance their status in society and the court.

There are obvious limitations and constrictions created when patronage becomes involved with the act of writing. The writer, by accepting the patronage, becomes a part of the patron's "family," which provides the support the artist seeks but also demands the allegiance of the artist to the patron. The patron's dominance over the writer, created by the underlying economic dependence of the writer to the patron, creates the ideal climate for the furthering of the patron's own politics. These views thus influence the subject matter, forms, and genres of the works created. In the case of English literature, this becomes patently clear in observing the vying between Protestant and Catholic sympathies expressed in Tudor writing.

The arrival of the printing press (1474) reduced the demand for literary patronage and altered the basic nature of commissioned literature. The production of literature now had the potential to be profitable for the author and to reach a wider audience. This facilitated the creation of two separate literatures, popular literature for the common people and commissioned literature for the elite. There was now opportunity for opinions and ideas of dissent, not only those of the wealthy patrons. one of the paradoxes of literary production within Tudor court culture was that many writers, particularly those in the court circle, such as Sir Thomas Wyatt and Henry Howard, earl of Surrey, did not want to have their works published and preferred a restricted manuscript circulation.

See also SCoP.

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