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Journal > Volumes > 36 (2005) / 2 (Summer)
“For Caesar’s I am”: Henrician Diplomacy and Representations of King and Country in Thomas Wyatt’s Poetry
Jason Powell
Wake Forest University

This article reexamines the long-established connection between Thomas Wyatt’s poetry and his experience as a diplomat in France and Italy in 1526 and 1527 and at the court of Emperor Charles V between 1537 and 1540. Two diplomatic incidents— one from Wyatt’s experience and another from the period of Henry VIII’s divorce— are discussed in relation to the use of reported and ventriloquized speech in the performance and correspondence of Henrician diplomacy. Texts associated with these incidents are considered along with three poems that date from the periods of Wyatt’s embassies: “Tagus, farewell,” “Of Carthage he,” and “Whoso list to hunt.” These poems represent king, country, and policy in voices consistent with the circumstances of Henrician diplomacy and the conventions of diplomatic correspondence.

Pages: 415 - 431