Two Gentleman Poets at the Court of Henry VIII

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An ALL NEW translation of the only biography of George Boleyn and Henry Howard. George Boleyn, Lord Rochford, is known as the brother of the ill-fated Queen Anne Boleyn. Charged with high treason and incest, he was executed in May 1536. History has forgotten that Rochford was a talented diplomat and gifted poet. History has also been unkind to Rochford’s cousin, Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, whose alleged pride led to his downfall and subsequent execution in 1547. Yet, Surrey is considered to be one of the founders of the English Renaissance, and served Henry VIII loyally as Lieutenant General in the French campaigns. Published in Paris in 1891, Edmond Bapst’s Deux Gentilshommes-Poètes de la Cour de Henry VIII is the earliest biography of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, and the only one to date on George Boleyn, Lord Rochford. Although Thomas Wyatt’s name is the one that springs to mind when considering poets of Henry VIII’s reign, Bapst considered Rochford and Surrey to be “the two who shone with the brightest light” and so set about writing detailed accounts of their lives, careers, poetry, and dramatic downfalls. Bapst made full use of primary sources, including sixteenth century French documents. Tudor history author Claire Ridgway found Bapst’s book such a useful resource in her own research that she commissioned this English translation. Two Gentleman Poets at the Court of Henry VIII is true to Bapst’s style and contains all of Bapst’s notes and references.

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