Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey

Today I read poems by Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, brother of Ann and Mary Boleyn, and member of the court of Henry VIII. He fathered a son at the age of nineteen, but the poor guy was executed at the age of thirty for treason, though it seems he was innocent of wrongdoing. Those Seymours had it in for him.

According to what I read about Henry Howard, he wrote most of his poetry while imprisoned. At least he made good use of his time. He was friends with Sir Thomas Wyatt the Elder, and both are considered to be the fathers of the English sonnet. They both translated sonnets into English from Italian, as well as longer works from Latin.

Here’s a link to one of the poems on my list, Complaint of a Lover Rebuked, with audio, in which the speaker declares he will continue to love even if he dies from it.

3 thoughts on “Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey

  1. Julie says:

    I especially love these lines:

    “My doubtful hope, and eke my hot desire
    With shamefaced cloak to shadow and restrain,
    Her smiling grace converteth straight to ire.”.

    Awesome! “Eke my hot desire” is just fantastic. I enjoyed your background. I remember these classes! The history really is fascinating. Thanks for sharing, Christine. You’re inspiring me to go look it up again. Those teachers are so lucky to have you!


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