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Thomas Hobbes and the Duke of Newcastle: A Study in the Mutuality of Patronage before the Establishment of the Royal Society Public Deposited

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  • This study shows how patronage framed and fashioned the careers of Thomas Hobbes and his patron William Cavendish, the earl of Newcastle. Newcastle's protection allowed Hobbes to articulate heterodox ideas without immediate fear of reprisal. It also enabled him to solidify his status as a gentleman and the intellectual equal of both his mentor and other natural philosophers. When Hobbes offered his ideas on optics, motion, politics, and philosophy as gifts to his patron, he was reaffirming his own honor and status while acknowledging Newcastle's power. Hobbes always acted as if he was operating in the space created by a noble patron, even after this place had been transformed by the Royal Society. For Newcastle, intellectual patronage reaffirmed the status and honor he had lost during the English Civil War. Newcastle tried to establish himself as a philosopher in his own right by applying Hobbesian ideas to studies of politics, horsemanship, and swordsmanship. Thus, the rewards of patronage were mutual
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  • Sarasohn, L. T. (1999, December). Thomas Hobbes and the Duke of Newcastle: A Study in the Mutuality of Patronage before the Establishment of the Royal Society. Isis, 90(4), 715-737.
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