David Starkey, Chris Stamatakis and Diarmaid MacCulloch discuss ‘Thomas Wyatt - The Heart’s Forest’ by Susan Brigden as part of the TORCH Book Series
Winner of the 2012 Wolfson History Prize, 'The Heart’s Forest' is a biography of renaissance poet Thomas Wyatt, which reveals the fascinating history of his life in Henry VIII's court. His poetry held a mirror to this secret, capricious world, and alluded darkly to events which it was dangerous for him to mention. 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.
But this original biography is much more than a conventional life. It is an evocation of Wyatt among his friends and his enemies, at princely courts in England, Italy, France and Spain, or alone in contemplative retreat. Using new research, Susan Brigden aims to show Wyatt in all his diversity, exploring his love, faith and politics and the beginnings of Reformation England. Above all, this new biography is attuned to Wyatt's dissonant voice and broken lyre, his paradoxical inwardness and will to 'make plain' his heart, revealing a complex, elusive, endlessly fascinating figure.