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Graven With Diamonds: The Many Lives of Thomas Wyatt: Poet, Lover, Statesman, and Spy in the Court of Henry VIII
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Graven With Diamonds: The Many Lives of Thomas Wyatt: Poet, Lover, Statesman, and Spy in the Court of Henry VIII

3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  59 ratings  ·  18 reviews
In this thrillingly entertaining book, Nicola Shulman interweaves the bloody events of Henry VIII's reign with the story ofEnglish love poetry and the life of its first master, Henry VIII's most glamorous and enigmatic subject: Sir Thomas Wyatt.

Poet, statesman, spy, lover of Anne Boleyn and favorite both of Henry VIII and his sinister minister Thomas Cromwell, thebrilliant
Published February 5th 2013 by Steerforth
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I wasn’t really aware of Thomas Wyatt before I read this, and all I really know about him now is that he was a courtier and a poet, sometimes a diplomat. Overall, though, this book is less a biography of Thomas Wyatt and more an examination of the role poetry (including, and chiefly, his) had in the court of Henry VIII. I felt like I learned more about Anne Boleyn (whom the author frankly admires for her skill in dealing with her paramours and navigating the court) and Henry VIII than I did abou ...more
I guess for most people today Thomas Wyatt is that guy in Showtime’s the Tudors who wanted to get with Anne Boleyn so much that he dreamed of her in his bed. He had an affair with a lady of Katherine of A’s household who hanged herself. He attended Anne’s beheading and was never heard from again. He might have written some poetry, but that is really secondary, so who cares?

That is not Thomas Wyatt at all. He was a poet, true, but perhaps, as Nicola Shulman makes a compelling case for, the first
Liam Guilar
1) The title is misleading. This is not about "The many lives of Thomas Wyatt". he had one, it's not well documented. Katherine Duncan-Jones claim that Sir Philip Sidney is the first English poet who can be treated to a full length modern Biography probably stands.
A courtier, yes, which meant poet as well. He was a diplomat, which i suppose qualifies him as a spy but who wasn't a spy in Tudor England? And assassin? Where does he assassinate anyone? These are not lives, they were el
People have talked about this book with good reason. I am also happy to see that my library has not listed it as a biography - and that it won the Writers Guild Award for Best Non Fiction Book and not Best Biography.

While it is an excellent book that cleverly ties Thomas Wyatt's poetry with Henry VIII court - it is definitely not a biography of Thomas Wyatt which is what the cover would lead to you to believe.

While Nicola Shulman does seem to take the same three poems and apply them to almost ev
Having read much about the Tudors, I thought a book from Wyatt's perspective would be an interesting change. I found the book to be mostly about Tudors with afterthoughts of Wyatt thrown in. I made it through Chapter 7. Even though I am very interested in these subjects, I didn't feel the book does any of them justice.
Courtney Johnston
Over the past two years, I have become a (largely) unrepentant dog-earer. My husband has taken to glancing over at me in bed as the paper makes its tell-tale squeak under my fingers as I firmly fold the top corner over, and murmuring 'Vandalising public property again?' (I make no distinction between my own books and those from the library; I hasten to add that I would never desecrate a friend's book, unless I knew they shared my habit).

I use these dog-ears when I write these reviews. I've notic
AudioBook Review
Stars: Overall 4 Narration 5 Story 4

I had the opportunity to review this title before it was released in print last year. I jumped at the chance to review the book in AudioBook form, while the 389 pages of text are layered with references, poetry and fact, I wanted the chance to see if hearing the words would be easier or more difficult to affix references and information than the easy flip-back a page or two which can be done with the book in written form.

As with my first revi
Poetry and Fascism, Tudor Style

O.K., the title might seem a bit of a stretch, but if you stop and think about what life must have been like in Henry VIII's England, fascist isn't inappropriate. Loyalty to the nation meant unquestioning loyalty to the crown. This was "Christian" state in which the meaning of Christian changed regularly and was determined by the crown. Dissent was a capital offense.

This is the setting for Nicola Shulman's highly engaging Graven with Diamonds, The Many Lives of Tho
I may be (read: am) biased because I am a Wyatt, but I found this fascinating. Although I skilled around the parts that focused mostly on poetry, I found it fascinating to learn about Thomas Wyatt and his relations. I had never heard of him until recently, unfortunately. This was great!
Lauren Albert
I found the book a little irritating, especially towards the end. I think that Shulman makes too much of the poetry (what it is saying, what it is doing). Keep in mind that this is not at all a biography though most of his bio is in there--it is a history of the time as it related to him and to his poetry.
Excellent biography made even better by the author's asides. Of Henry the Eighth, for example, she remarks that if he was alive today, he'd be Canadian. My only quibble is that the subtitle is a bit misleading. It calls Wyatt poet, lover, statesman and spy but the closest he comes to being a spy is sending back reports during his tenures as ambassador on the Continent. Then again, the subtitle tacked onto my forthcoming novel, Murder in the Queen's Wardrobe, is "an Elizabethan spy thriller" when ...more
Newtown Review of Books
What happened to English verse between Chaucer and Donne? The answer is in this book – courtly love and lyric poetry. The best practitioner in this mode was Sir Thomas Wyatt and his best known (and best?) poem, ‘They Flee From Me’, is familiar to anyone who ‘did’ English at university when recognisable courses in literature were still being studied.

Read full review here:
M Haeg
Having read much about the Tudors, I thought a book from Wyatt's perspective would be interesting. I found the book to be mostly about Tudors and afterthoughts of Wyatt thrown in. I made it through Chapter 7. Even though I am very interested in these subjects, I didn't feel the book does any of them justice.
I had some trepidation about tackling this book as I haven't read English poetry since university days 40 years ago. I'm so glad I decided to read Craven with Diamonds. It's a wonderful, witty read and such a pleasure to examine Wyatt's poems within a historical context. A definite "must read".
This book manages to be both highly informative and incredibly interesting throughout. It covers the subject matter in great depth, and provides a wonderful insight into the poetry, and life of Sir Thomas Wyatt. As well as giving a strong overview of the Tudor Court. Wonderful.
Greg Wolfson
Awesome! Loved it. Great mix of story and real poetry from the time period. Great new take on Tudor court. Thank you Ms. Shulman!
Apr 02, 2013 CLM marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
This book was written with me in mind - how many people have been obsessed by Wyatt since childhood?
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