Thomas Wyatt (1504?-42) may have written the first sonnet in English. His translation from Plutarch's Moralia was the first publication of a classical moral essay in English. He introduced continental forms such as ottava rima to the language, and his paraphrase of the Penitential Psalms sparked a century of popular psalm translations. Yet while decades of criticism have centered on a handful of his best-kwn poems, many others are poorly understood, in part because we lack an authoritative edition. This volume-the first in a planned two-volume collection of Wyatt's complete works-comprises scholarly editions of 35 letters or memoranda, Wyatt's Declaration from the Tower and his Defence speech against treason charges. It also includes the first scholarly edition of The Quyete of Mynde. Each text is extensively antated, each letter has a prefacing headte, and each grouping of texts is separately introduced. The recipient of one letter is identified here for the first time from new archival discoveries. Two letters of instruction from Henry VIII are included along with four appendices containing related documents. Biographical entries (totalling 17,000 words) identify and introduce 64 persons related to Wyatt's diplomatic service, including every kwn member of Wyatt's diplomatic household.
Jason Powell is Associate Professor of English at Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia. He co-edited Authority and Diplomacy from Dante to Shakespeare (Ashgate, 2013) with William T. Rossiter and has published widely on sixteenth century authors, including Wyatt, Sidney and Shakespeare. His essays have appeared in Huntington Library Quarterly, Sixteenth Century Journal, and Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, among other venues.