Patrons of Enlightenment


284 pages
Contains Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-8020-9064-8
DDC 190.9'033




Reviewed by Leonard Adams

Leonard Adams is a professor of French Studies at the University of


Writing in the late 18th century, Henri Grégoire made a significant
observation on the living conditions of freelance authors of his time.
Genius, he stated, was to be found in the poor, dilapidated quarters of
the city, where it led a miserable existence. It is therefore no
surprise that Edward Andrew, a specialist of the Enlightenment, makes
his point promptly and unequivocally: that patronage was inevitable
during the Enlightenment for “one living a philosophic life.” He
then proceeds to explore the interaction of opulence and genius in an
age when opportunities for the practice of patronage and the
justification for receiving it found fruitful grounds for debate. Andrew
treats questions such as the productive co-existence of the wealthy and
thinkers who are bent on free expression of “progressive” ideas that
may run counter to the wishes of their patrons. Aspects of the subject
he selects for particular reflection run from patronage in ancient Rome
to its use in the 18th century, but not without meaningful references to
patronage as it has evolved into the 21st century. His treatment is
methodical, painstaking, comprehensive, and enlightening. Intellectuals
and their patrons in England, Scotland, and France are the focus of this
wide-ranging study for which scholars should be grateful.


Andrew, Edward G., “Patrons of Enlightenment,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 24, 2024,