FREE Delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books.
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
Graven With Diamonds has been added to your Basket
FREE Delivery on orders over £10.
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by the book house
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: This item will be picked, packed and shipped by Amazon and is eligible for free delivery within the UK
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Graven With Diamonds Paperback – 5 Apr 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
£7.99
£3.88 £0.01
Note: This item is eligible for click and collect. Details
Pick up your parcel at a time and place that suits you.
  • Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
  • Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
How to order to an Amazon Pickup Location?
  1. Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
  2. Dispatch to this address when you check out
Learn more
£7.99 FREE Delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books. Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions


Frequently Bought Together

  • Graven With Diamonds
  • +
  • Thomas Wyatt: Poems Selected by Alice Oswald (Poet to Poet)
Total price: £14.98
Buy the selected items together

Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.




Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Short Books Ltd (5 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780720882
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780720883
  • Product Dimensions: 19.9 x 2.8 x 12.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 39,686 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Masterly... the best work of history this year. --AN Wilson, Book of the Year - Evening Standard

One of the most persuasive and pleasurable accounts of English Renaissance poetry to appear... in years. --Boyd Tonkin The Independent

Beautifully intelligent and lucid... Shulman does a wonderful job of showing how Wyatt is one of those poets (one of the best types of poet) whose work conceals enormous complexity and strong countercurrents of thought and feeling underneath an apparently plain and transparent surface. --John Lanchester, Book of the Year - New Statesman

Sharp, dangerous and exhilarating... bursting with drama as well as being scholarly and full of surprises. --Geordie Greif, Book of the Year - Evening Standard

Wyatt was not only a poet... he may have been the lover of Anne Boleyn, and also had a reputation as both an assassin and a spy. All of these disparate threads, with a lavish helping of his verse, are woven through Graven With Diamonds by Nicola Shulman, whose lyrical prose creatively matches that of her extraordinary subject. ..The Times

The court comes alive in Shulman s account; a place full of blusterers and sycophants, of brilliant wits and gallants and of fulsome fools... Shulman has a gift for detail and for vivid phraseology; The complexities of Henrician intrigue are laid out by Shulman in easily comprehensible fashion so that even a novice such as I can grasp them; and through it all stalks Wyatt, a man of deeper wit whose poems express such turbulence, though so carefully composed... Shulman argues convincingly in this erudite yet elegant study that Wyatt s poems are codes, supremely artistic ways of expressing grievance, reproach, disappointment and unrequited desire. The people who received the physical object of the poem would know the keys to unlocking the texts; that is why to later generations (she says) the poems seem flat. Her analysis is graceful and intelligent, This finely considered, silver-veined biography is a decorous and wise monument: now, as Shulman provides the right circuitry, his poems will spark up for us all. --Philip Womack, Daily Telegraph

A brilliant example of literary rehabilitation... A narrative full of scheming courtiers, amorous women, slippery foreigners and a cruel but oddly earnest king who worshipped poetry... What is so compelling about Graven with Diamonds is not the just the story Nicola Shulman tells, but the way she tells it... The result is a thrilling book that manages to be both scholarly and wonderfully readable. ***** --Kathryn Hughes, Mail on Sunday

CS Lewis may have found Wyatt drab, but in Shulman's company he is utterly captivating. Graven with Diamonds revives the contexts and conversations that shaped, and were shaped by, the poetry... Inasmuch as is possible after almost half a millennium, Nicola Shulman has done a superb rewiring job. The poems glisten again, illuminating everything and everyone around them. It is a marvellous achievement and a lovely book. --The Literary Review

The great strength of Shulman's book lies in its incisive readings of Wyatt's verse and its likely motivations. She writes precisely, with original, sympathetic perceptions and an infectious relish for her subject... --The Daily Telegraph - Five stars

Shulman tells her tale with agreeable zest... This colourful book gives recognition of Wyatt's greatness a very welcome, vigorous push. --The Times

CS Lewis may have found Wyatt drab, but in Shulman's company he is utterly captivating. Graven with Diamonds revives the contexts and conversations that shaped, and were shaped by, the poetry... Inasmuch as is possible after almost half a millennium, Nicola Shulman has done a superb rewiring job. The poems glisten again, illuminating everything and everyone around them. It is a marvellous achievement and a lovely book. --The Literary Review

The great strength of Shulman's book lies in its incisive readings of Wyatt's verse and its likely motivations. She writes precisely, with original, sympathetic perceptions and an infectious relish for her subject... --The Daily Telegraph - Five stars

Shulman tells her tale with agreeable zest... This colourful book gives recognition of Wyatt's greatness a very welcome, vigorous push. --The Times

About the Author

Nicola Shulman is a writer and reviewer for publications including the Sunday Telegraph, the TLS and Harpers & Queen. She lives with her family in London and in Yorkshire. She published A Rage for Rock Gardening, The story of Reginald Farrer, gardener, writer and plant collector with Short Books in 2002.


Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Like one of the other reviewers, I am bored to tears of the Tudors - a period of history that once gripped me before the soap-style re-writing of the era on TV. However, I have always loved Wyatt's poetry and this fresh focus on his poems and life offer an interesting new perspective on the world around him. Shulman writes clearly and concisely and the book is both easily readable as well as analytically dense enough to satisfy the more academic taste. Thoroughly recommended.
Comment 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
If like me, you were doubled up with unintended mirth at the ludicrous carry-on portrayed in BBC2's The Tudors (possibly the silliest small-screen historical drama ever), can I recommend this sobering yet enthralling corrective, which wears its deep scholarship over a light coat of elegant wit ?

Nicola Shulman's hugely enjoyable and engrossing book examines the life and poetry of that mysterious figure Sir Thomas Wyatt, a functionary of Henry VIII's administration who was probably Anne Boleyn's lover too. Through Wyatt's remarkable story = despite stints in the Tower and treason charges, he had a long diplomatic career = Shulman illuminates the highly charged and dangerous life of Henry's court with a vividness and depth that none of the recent film or television versions come anywhere near matching.
Comment 34 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By Keen Reader TOP 50 REVIEWER on 18 May 2013
Format: Hardcover
"To wish and want and not obtain
To seek and sue ease of my pain
Since all I ever do is vain
What may it avail me?"

I wouldn't say I was a great fan of poetry, and Tudor poetry is no different. But the life of Thomas Wyatt is so wound around and expressed through his own poetry (like that of his contemporary Surrey) that it needs to be considered as part of his own being, and as such serves to explain much that otherwise would have been lost to us, and which would never have been recorded in his own lifetime. Wyatt is always remembered as one of the many admirers of Anne Boleyn, but there is a lot more to this Tudor man than that.

To understand Thomas Wyatt, it is necessary to understand Henry VIII. And to understand Henry VIII, it is necessary to understand the world that Henry VII and the turning of the ages from Plantagenet to Tudor created. Thomas Wyatt was a product of the times; his father, Henry Wyatt had been faithful to Henry Tudor and was rewarded under the new King Henry VII; when Henry VIII came to the throne in 1509, it seemed to all that a new era of youth, learning, humanism and culture, as well as martial valour and vigour had been bestowed upon a willing and ready England. Thomas Wyatt, born in 1503 was a part of this new world of youth and vigour, new learning, new ways, as chivalry mingled rather uneasily with humanism and hard-headed politics.

Wyatt's life, as it was lived in the Court of Henry VIII under the rule of Anne Boleyn, first as a key part in the King's `Great Matter' and then as Queen, is probably the most well known part of Wyatt's life today. However, it is after Anne Boleyn's fall, and Wyatt's narrow escape, that the most intriguing part of Wyatt's life is now laid down before us.
Read more ›
Comment 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
Shulman skilfully explores Wyatt's life and poetry, showing how they are palimpsests of each other; what political expediency and self-survival necessarily rubbed out or obscured at the time, leaps out once again into fine prominence. As a survivor in a dangerous age, Wyatt scintillates and smoulders. His high-wire act through the entanglements of the Henrican court may have been at the expense of some fellow courtiers, but there weren't too many prisoners in the Tower who were let out twice! His allusive use of syntax in his double-speaking verse was doubtless the delicious flavour of the month at court: everyone might know what he meant, but nothing was overtly stated, just in case. What a relief to read so well-written a book by an author whose style is spikily witty, flexible and savvy, but never at the expense of our beautiful language. Thank you, Nicola!
Comment 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
This is neither a straightforward biography nor a critical study of Wyatt's poetry yet contains elements of both. Shulman has an easy writing style but the jaunty nature of her prose and the confidence with which she makes her pronouncements, sometimes with no evidence at all, also irritated me.

On the positive side, she rightly places poetry at the centre of the Henrician court and the political and cultural myth of chivalry - but some of her more outré statements are just bizarre e.g. she imagines poems wrapped in heart-shaped envelopes containing a balloon or a "squeaking thing" (p.74) that lets out the squeal of a mishandled heart; and reads poems as instructions for games of hide and seek... er... possibly, but really this needs some kind of evidence. I also disagree with some of her statements about Henry VIII: e.g. "...he believed everything. He wallowed in credulity" (p.187). And this is not even the young Henry, but the king in 1536, when he is 45 and is about to get rid of his second queen.

My biggest criticism of the book is the way it assumes Wyatt's texts are all completely sincere and authentic, that they function as snippets of a diary or personal document giving us direct access to Wyatt's actual feelings, thoughts and emotions. This is akin to reading contemporary pop songs, love ballads and romance novels as also directly related to the `real life' of the songwriter/author when both sets of artefacts participate in cultural matrices that govern the conventions which they articulate.

That's not to say that Wyatt's poems can't throw important light on the politics and tensions of Henry VIII's court - I just think they do it in a far less linear, more subtle and less personal way than this book assumes.
Read more ›
1 Comment 20 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews


Look for similar items by category


Feedback