Sir Thomas Wyatt

Wyatt, Sir Thomas, 1503–42, English poet and statesman, father of Sir Thomas Wyatt. He served in various capacities under Henry VIII and was knighted in 1536. It is generally agreed he had been the lover of Anne Boleyn before her marriage to the king. Greatly influenced by the works of the Italian love poets, Wyatt produced the first group of sonnets in English, modeled chiefly after Petrarch. Besides sonnets, he wrote lyrics, rondeaus, satires, and a paraphrase of the penitential psalms. None of his poems appeared in his lifetime. Ninety-six, however, were published in Tottel's Miscellany (1557), an important early anthology.

See his collected poems edited by K. Muir (1949).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: English Literature, 1500 to 1799: Biographies