The Heart’s Forest

736pp ILLUS 2014 LIST PRICE: £16.99 (P) B820



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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. At Henry's court, where only silence brought safety, Wyatt played the idealised lover, but also tried to speak truth to power. This new biography is attuned to Wyatt's voice, the paradox within him of inwardness and the will to ‘make plain’ his heart.

Magnificent . . . will be the standard biography for years to come. LONDON REVIEW OF BOOKS