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'For the Love of Ink': patronage and performance in the eighteenth century

Clayton, Stephanie 2019. 'For the Love of Ink': patronage and performance in the eighteenth century. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Abstract

In order to demonstrate that patronage was an essential component of the eighteenth-century creative economy, this thesis reassesses the social and material conditions of being a patron in the eighteenth century. There are three case studies in the thesis, featuring patrons from across the century, men and women, and writers and artists. Using original archival sources, this thesis examines the literary, material, social, and cultural products of patronage and reveals how they were influenced by the personal, political, or aesthetic values of their patrons. These chapters seek to understand the various performative mechanisms of patronal solicitation and interaction by examining epistolary correspondences, paratextual dedications, and practices of gift-giving. The chapters analyse how Frances Thynne Seymour, countess of Hertford (1699-1754); George, Lord Lyttelton (1709-1773); and Margaret Cavendish Bentinck, duchess of Portland (1715-1785) utilised the performative nature of the implicit negotiations present within these genres in order to not only establish their own identity but also to determine the identity of others by drafting their social role and relationship through social cues. In doing so, this thesis demonstrates the centrality of patronage to constructions of identity within the eighteenth century. At the same time, this thesis broaches larger issues by demonstrating the intersections of patronage with discourses of eighteenth-century sociability; literary production and print culture; politics; material culture; and the enlightenment. It ties these strands of enquiry together by showing how patronage enriches and challenges our current critical understanding of these concepts. By subjecting patronage to hermeneutic analysis, this thesis contributes to original knowledge by showing how patronage is an essential component of the production and dissemination of knowledge, literature, and culture in the eighteenth century.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Submission
Status: Unpublished
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Funders: AHRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 2 July 2019
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2019 16:19
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/123934

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