Over 200 literary terms, Shmooped to perfection.
A patron is a person with lots of dough who gives money to an author to write—a benevolent benefactor of sorts. This model of authorship (writing for a patron) was pretty popular before the 18th century, when aristocrats and royalty would support artists they liked, and when it was actually possible to survive in the real world by writing alone. Nowadays? Not so much.