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. With Brian Cummings
50th Anniversary Professor of English at the University of YorkSusan Brigden
Retired Fellow at Lincoln College, University of OxfordAnd Laura Ashe
Professor of English Literature at the University of OxfordProducer: Simon Tillotson
In Our Time is a BBC Studios Audio ProductionReading list:Thomas Betteridge and Suzannah Lipscomb (eds.), Henry VIII and the Court: Art, Politics and Performance (Routledge, 2016)Susan Brigden, Thomas Wyatt: The Heart’s Forest (Faber, 2012)Nicola Shulman, Graven with Diamonds: The Many Lives of Thomas Wyatt: Courtier, Poet, Assassin, Spy (Short Books, 2011)Chris Stamatakis, Sir Thomas Wyatt and the Rhetoric of Rewriting (Oxford University Press, 2012)Patricia Thomson (ed.), Thomas Wyatt: The Critical Heritage (Routledge, 1995)Greg Walker, Writing Under Tyranny: English Literature and the Henrician Reformation (Oxford University Press, 2005)Thomas Wyatt (ed. R. A. Rebholz), The Complete Poems (Penguin, 1978)
6 Jun English United Kingdom Religion & Spirituality

Other recent episodes

Fielding's Tom Jones

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss "The History of Tom Jones, A Foundling" (1749) by Henry Fielding (1707-1754), one of the most influential of the early English novels and a favourite of Dickens. Coleridge wrote that it had one of the 'three most perfect plots ever planned'. Fielding had made his…
11 Jul 54 min

The Orkneyinga Saga

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the Saga of the Earls of Orkney, as told in the 13th Century by an unknown Icelander. This was the story of arguably the most important, strategically, of all the islands in the British Viking world, when the Earls controlled Shetland, Orkney and Caithness from…
4 Jul 51 min

Marsilius of Padua

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss one of the canonical figures from the history of political thought. Marsilius of Padua (c1275 to c1343) wrote 'Defensor Pacis' (The Defender of the Peace) around 1324 when the Papacy, the Holy Roman Emperor and the French King were fighting over who had supreme power…
27 Jun 56 min

Empress Dowager Cixi

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the woman who, for almost fifty years, was the most powerful figure in the Chinese court. Cixi (1835-1908) started out at court as one of the Emperor's many concubines, yet was the only one who gave him a son to succeed him and who also…
20 Jun 50 min

Philippa Foot

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss one of the most significant philosophers of the twentieth century, Philippa Foot (1920 - 2010). Her central question was, “Why be moral?” Drawing on Aristotle and Aquinas, Foot spent her life working through her instinct that there was something lacking in the prevailing philosophy of…
13 Jun 1 hour