Sir John Harington (1560-1612) has long been recognized as one of the most colourful and engaging figures at the English Renaissance court. Godson of Queen Elizabeth, translator of Ariosto, and inventor of the water-closet, he was also a lively writer in a wide variety of modes, and an acutecommentator on his times. This study opens a new perspective on Harington's literary production by attending to the fact that almost all of his writings were designed as gifts. Combining detailed readings and first-hand historical research, Jason Scott-Warren reconstructs the complex, often deviousagenda which Harington wrote into his books as he customized them for specific individuals and occasions. Offering a wealth of insights into self-fashioning and the pursuit of patronage, this study makes a persuasive case for the significance of material culture to textual interpretation. It will beof interest to all who work on the early modern period, and in particular to historians of the book.