Department of English

"Love and Power at the Court of Henry VIII"

An Odyssey Course event with Harrington Fellow Jason Powell

Thu, October 1, 2009 | Thompson Conference Center

6:30 PM - 8:00 PM

In 1527, near the middle of Henry VIII's long reign, the English king sought to divorce his aging wife and marry the clever, exotic sister of his former mistress. Her rumored former lover was an ambitious and married 24 year-old named Thomas Wyatt, who then awkwardly fled the court with an embassy to the Italy. He returned later that year (after taking over the embassy, being captured by imperial troops and ransomed by the English king), with a new edition of Italian poetry by Petrarch. The rough, haunting poems he translated and modeled upon Petrarch, some inspired by Anne and the subsequent experience of watching her execution, remade the English poetic tradition and prepared the way for Spenser, Donne and Shakespeare.

Recommended reading: Thomas Wyatt, sonnets and other lyrics

JASON POWELL is Assistant Professor of English at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, the editor of the Oxford University Press Collected Works of Sir Thomas Wyatt (forthcoming), and currently a Donald D. Harrington Faculty Fellow at the University of Texas for the 2009-10 academic year.

For more information or to register for Odyssey courses, please visit the Odyssey wesbite. 

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