Publisher: Oxford University Press
Number of pages: 466
Weight: 697 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 25 mm
first comprehensive biography of the Earl of Surrey in 450 years ... when Sessions deals with the imaginative effects of visual spectacles, art and ceremony alike ... he is in his element. * EMLS, 6.2, Sept 2000 *
'Sessions has taken up the unenviable task of joining two disparate disciplines, literature and history. The thoroughness of his footnotes testifies to his awareness of the difficulty of this responsibility The important thing is that Sessions has managed to reconstruct the mental world of a man whose historical role was almost as significant as was his literary achievement.' * J.F.R. Day, The Sewanee Review, *
Sessions makes a convincing case for Surrey's central role in reshaping English poetry. He is particularly insightful in his analysis of Surrey's Italian sources for blank verse ... Ultimately, Sessions' masterly narrative of the poet Earl cannot unravel the contradictions inherent in Surrey's own life. But it is a tale well told, finely conceived and skillfully enacted. * John Mulryan, Ben Jonson Journal *
'the reward of Sessions' method is enormous. Its complexity does justice to the complexity of its subject: "the most avant-garde figure" of early Tudor EnglandSessions' analyses of Surrey's poems are characteristically exact, but they are now all the more insightful because they at once inform and are informed by a fully articulated cultural and biographical context. copious documentation and discerning interpretations the major achievement in historical biography and literary history that Sessions' book represents. Both for its thorough study of Surrey's life and legacy, and for the bold enterprise of its aims and methods, Henry Howard, the Poet Earl of Surrey is necessary reading for scholars of the Tudor period.' * J. Christopher Warren, Moreana Vol. 36 *
Marked by erudition, enthusiasm, and an elegant style, Sessions' new biography is eminently readable and refreshingly innovative in its approach. * John Mulryan, Ben Jonson Journal *
this richly detailed and deeply engaged and engaging new biography. * Elizabeth Heale, Renaissance Studies, Vol.14, No.3, 2000. *
'In this carefully documented "cultural biography" W.A. Sessions reveals a Surrey far more complex than previously depicted.' * Robert C. Braddock, Renaissance Quarterly *
Sessions is a brilliant analyst of ... visual representations and their significance, attempting to peer through the careful arrangements of surface and emblem to the always tantalizingly absent self beyond. In this sumptuously detailed and illustrated biography, Sessions succeeds in evoking a passionate, visionary, and tragically flawed figure whose literary achievement and significance have been unforgivably neglected in recent decades. * Elizabeth Heale, Renaissance Studies, Vol.14, No.3, 2000. *
Sessions has put his finger on a vital node in early modern culture generally ... this dialetic sets Surrey and his writing on a wide stage, just where early Tudor lives and literature belong. * Thomas F. Mayer, Sixteenth Century Journal, XXXI/2. 00. *
This book should go a long way to putting paid to C.S. Lewis's dismissal of the 'drab age' as it will help to make it more difficult for Sessions's fellow literary critics to ignore the work being done by their colleagues in history ... it is difficult to catalogue the riches he presents. * Thomas F. Mayer, Sixteenth Century Journal, XXXI/2. 00. *
The Earl of Surrey evoked by Sessions in this richly detailed and deeply engaged and engaging new biography is a figure of almost mythical proportions.
Sessions is a brilliant analyst of these visual representations and their significance.
In this sumptuously detailed and illustrated biography, Sessions succeeds in envoking a passionate, visionary, and tragically flawed figure whose literary achievement and significance have been unforgivably neglected in recent decades.
Sessions's biography assails many of the myths surrounding Surrey. * Colin Burrow, LRB 11/11/99 *