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Thomas Wyatt: The Heart's Forest [Paperback]

Susan Brigden
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: 16.99
Price: 11.89 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

3 April 2014

Thomas Wyatt (1503?-1542) was the first modern voice in English poetry. His poetry holds a mirror to the secret, capricious world of Henry VIII's court, and alludes darkly to events which it might be death to describe. In the Tower, twice, Wyatt was betrayed and betrayer.

Thought to be the lover of Anne Boleyn, he was also the devoted 'slave' of Katherine of Aragon. He was driven to secrets and lies, and forced to live with the moral and mortal consequences of his shifting allegiances. As ambassador to Emperor Charles V, he enjoyed favour, but his embassy turned to nightmare when the Pope called for a crusade against the English King and sent the Inquisition against Wyatt. At Henry VIII's court, where only silence brought safety, Wyatt played the idealized lover, but also tried to speak truth to power.

Wyatt's life provides a way to examine the Renaissance and Reformation in England. Above all, this new biography is attuned to Wyatt's voice, the paradox within him of inwardness and the will to 'make plain' his heart, which make him exceptionally difficult to know - and fascinating to explore.



Product details

  • Paperback: 736 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber (3 April 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571235859
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571235858
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 13.4 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 91,933 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'This is a biography full of shadows and mysteries... As she unpicks the tangle of political interests that they reveal, it is like watching someone dismember a spider's web and hold up each separate thread to to the light.' --Sunday Times

'Brigden vividly paints the fascination and horror felt in Europe at England's brutish king and his break with Rome.' --Independent on Sunday

'Showing tremendous sensitivity and learning as a literary scholar, she places Wyatt in the 'heart's forest' - beneath a canopy of translucent signs and emotions.' --Literary Review

'Brigden vividly paints the fascination and horror felt in Europe at England's brutish king and his break with Rome.' --Independent on Sunday

'Showing tremendous sensitivity and learning as a literary scholar, she places Wyatt in the 'heart's forest' - beneath a canopy of translucent signs and emotions.' --Literary Review --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Book Description

The award-winning biography of Thomas Wyatt, revealing the fascinating story of his life in Henry VIII's court.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Original, illuminating research 9 Dec 2013
By R. Gill
Format:Hardcover
A marriage of English and history as disciplines, the author succeeds in unwrapping a man and his period and thus makes explicable the events of Wyatt's time.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a truly excellent book, splendidly researched, which liiuminates the extreme dangers and difficulties faced by Wyatt in his position as an Ambassador acting for a mercurially changeable, dyspeptic and arrogant king.
Wyatt was, in all ways, elusive, but Susam Brigden has tracked him down with a sure touch, and her canvas is huge...
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bits and Pieces; or, The Perils of Positivism 16 Oct 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Bits and Pieces; or, The Perils of Positivism
Susan Brigden is a historian who likes to keep her nose close to the grindstone, very close. The result is a book that is overloaded with detail and lacks both a clear and guiding narrative and a considered judgment of its subject: the life and writing of Sir Thomas Wyatt, the first significant poet of the English Renaissance. One reason for this is her reluctance to form an opinion of her own. Did Wyatt have an affair with Anne Boleyn before Henry VIII showed an interest in her? She doesn't say. (The answer is: yes, almost certainly.) More importantly, amid a surplus of detail elsewhere, she gives very little detail to a fundamental aspect of Wyatt's life: its economics. What were the lands he inherited from his father in 1536? What exactly were the grants of land, especially monastic land, he received from Henry VIII in return for service at court? If he was one of the wealthiest people in England by 1541, what exactly were his sources of income? These and related questions are given only cursory treatment. Most crippling, however, is Brigden's attitude to Wyatt's poetry, the main reason why most people are interested in Wyatt in the first place. She adopts the liberal formalism that prevailed in Anglo-American criticism in the decades immediately following the second world war, the moment when the cold war was at its coldest. Poetry bears no direct relation to the writer's life; it exists in the imagination and is governed by rhetorical convention and literary influence.
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1 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars book 19 May 2013
By pol
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
boring dissapointing I was looking forward to it but found it dull. sorry thats it no more to say bye
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful! Poetry, history, language, and learning 3 Oct 2012
By Tyrus07 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The one star review is about the logistics of receiving (or not receiving) the book. My response to that: Get a life. If you like the poetry and work of Sir Thomas Wyatt, this book is a dream come true. Accompanied by commentary and background, the reader can enjoy his work at a deeper level. Please don't mistake me that this is such a deep dive into his work that it becomes pendantic, for it is beautifully written.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love the historic detail 22 Jan 2014
By Linda Passmark - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I've been studying Sir Thomas for awhile and of all the books and articles I have read, this is my favorite so far. Brigden's research is thorough and well documented. She used numerous primary sources, discussing issues of historical controversy surrounding Thomas Wyatt. I appreciate her presentation of the extreme complexity of the life of a courtier, knight, ambassador and diplomat in Tudor England within the context of Europe's political and religious upheaval during the reformation. Most of all, I enjoyed reading about the man Thomas Wyatt and his family and friends. Sir Thomas is my 12th great grandfather and this book "brought him to life" for me.
1 of 44 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars MAD 24 Sep 2012
By Stacey Wyatt - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I pre-ordered this book, Thomas Wyatt: The Heart's Forest back in July. I expected to get it in the middle of September and then they changed to to tomorrow (Sept 25) and now it has been changed to October 2. I do not get why this book, which is out in some countries, is taking its time to deliever to my Kindle. Please stop changing the date. I love Thomas Wyatt and have been waiting for this book long enough. Thank you.
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