1600s: The patronage of a wealthy aristocrat or noble is an important source of income as well as inspiration for artists of all kinds. In his dedication of The Way of the World to "The Right Honourable Ralph Earl of Mountague,’’ Congreve acknowledges his gratitude and respect to the earl for his "protection" of the play. Congreve started work on it soon after summering with the Earl and taking inspiration from the company he met at his home.
Today: The work of artists is often supported by public grants and residencies, and young writers are often...
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