Sir Thomas Wyatt

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss ‘the greatest poet of his age’, Thomas Wyatt (1503 -1542), who brought the poetry of the Italian Renaissance into the English Tudor world, especially the sonnet, so preparing the way for Shakespeare and Donne. As an ambassador to Henry VIII and, allegedly, too close to Anne Boleyn, he experienced great privilege under intense scrutiny. Some of Wyatt’s poems, such as They Flee From Me That Sometime Did Me Seek, are astonishingly fresh and conversational and yet he wrote them under the tightest constraints, when a syllable out of place could have condemned him to the Tower.

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  • Brian Cummings No other episodes
    50th Anniversary Professor of English at the University of York
  • Susan Brigden No other episodes
    Retired Fellow at Lincoln College, University of Oxford
  • Laura Ashe 11 episodes
    Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford

Reading list

  • Henry VIII and the Court: Art, Politics and Performance
    Thomas Betteridge and Suzannah Lipscomb (eds.) (Routledge, 2016) Google Books →
  • Thomas Wyatt: The Heart's Forest
    Susan Brigden (Faber, 2012) Google Books →
  • Graven with Diamonds: The Many Lives of Thomas Wyatt: Courtier, Poet, Assassin, Spy
    Nicola Shulman (Short Books, 2011) Google Books →
  • Sir Thomas Wyatt and the Rhetoric of Rewriting
    Chris Stamatakis (Oxford University Press, 2012) Google Books →
  • Thomas Wyatt: The Critical Heritage
    Patricia Thomson (ed.) (Routledge, 1995) Google Books →
  • Writing Under Tyranny: English Literature and the Henrician Reformation
    Greg Walker (Oxford University Press, 2005) Google Books →
  • The Complete Poems
    Thomas Wyatt (ed. R. A. Rebholz) (Penguin, 1978) Google Books →

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Auto-category: 821.3 (English poetry)