IHS is pleased to announce that we will be sponsoring a session in partnership with the Lydgate Society at the 2018 ICMS in Kalamazoo.
Hoccleve, Lydgate, and their Patrons
There’s much to tie Thomas Hoccleve and John Lydgate together: a shared language, political life under both Ricardian and Lancastrian rule, a purported love for “father” Chaucer, and—perhaps most important—a single network of patrons and benefactors. Their poetic accounts regarding the lived experience of this common ground, however, could not be more different. As Robert Meyer-Lee has observed, Lydgate is, in social and economic terms, “the kind of poet” that Hoccleve failed to become. Where Hoccleve repeatedly describes seeking and not finding steady patronage, Lydgate managed to do so with apparent ease; where Hoccleve’s works apart from the Regiment of Princes appear to have circulated only in modest numbers, Lydgate’s verse found great favor among a variety of audiences, including merchants, craftsmen, scholars, and the nobility. This panel reassesses Hoccleve and Lydgate’s shared literary moment by focusing, in particular, on their varied relationship to patronage. Sample questions that might be explored include the following: Does Lydgate view Prince Hal in the same way that Hoccleve does? How do Lydgate and Hoccleve select or manage their patrons, particularly in light of the dangerous currents of the Lancastrian court? Why, for example, is the Fall of Princes dedicated to Duke Humphrey (in the case of Lydgate) or the Series dedicated to a shifting set of patrons (in the case of Hoccleve)? And to what extent may Lydgate and Hoccleve be said to deploy what John Burrow has termed “petitionary poetics?”
We are thrilled that Robert Meyer-Lee has agreed to serve as a respondent to the panel of papers. Abstracts addressing either or both of these poets and the question of patronage should be emailed to Taylor Cowdery (email@example.com) by no later than September 15. Inquiries also welcome.