Surrey and the Critics

In his 1985 edition of a selection of Surreyfs poems, Dennis Keene outlined the modern critical misfortune to have befallen Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey: even his modern editor, Emrys Jones (1964, p. xxiv), considered his gachievement small in scale and flawedh, and the primary concern of the editor of his Aeneid, Florence H. Ridley (1963), was to find borrowings from Douglasfs version, which were italicised in the text (1985, pp. 7-18).  Surrey, like Wyatt, whom he admired and followed,[1] has been the victim of biographical speculation: the eGeraldinef myth was read into his love-poetry.[2]  It is impossible, and undesirable, to separate the poetry from the life; for instance, the reader of Surreyfs biblical paraphrases is moved, for he knows that these are the poems of a man awaiting death.[3]  The problem lies in the fact that the relation between his life and his poetry has often been conjectural, even fanciful, rather than based on evidence.  A nineteenth century edition of his works – by Yeowell – contains a lengthy biography but no editorial comment on the poetry, the editor simply quoting earlier critics.[4]  His reputation was that of a noble lover and an elegant versifier[5]; this may represent what we would consider a misreading of his poems, but at least these poems were being read; misinterpretation is always preferable to neglect.  This reputation waned during the 20th century as Wyattfs star rose in the ascendant, because of ill-considered comparisons between the two poets.  Their difference is now generally recognised, as is the fact that comparison does not have to be competitive,[6] Surrey and Wyatt representing gtwo poles of human experienceh (Keene ed. 1985, p. 16); after all, the earliest praise we have of Wyatt comes from Surrey himself (Sessions 1986, p. 43).  Yet critics still feel the need to protest at the tendency to place these two poets in opposition (Sessions 1994, p. 168), and there is still little understanding of the poetry of Henry Howard.  For many, he is simply the man who introduced the forms (English sonnet and blank verse) that Shakespeare was to perfect.[7]  The poetry of Wyatt is more striking to the modern mind, and to the modern ear, than that of Surrey; its rhythms, like Donnefs, convey an impression of immediacy and complexity, and the reader/listener quickly understands that his mind is engaged with a poet of relevance and depth who will repay further reading.  The reader/listener has to adjust his ear to the pitch and modulation of Surreyfs poetry; and this adjustment is as mentally demanding – in a different manner – as the survey of Wyattfs texts.  Surrey belongs to a different world, a world that speaks the language of humanist rhetoric and of heraldry; the reader must enter.[8]


Surrey as Translator

The Renaissance habits of reading texts – or, to be more precise, the medieval habits of digging through a text to find the occasional jewel, of concentrating on passages, which survived through the sixteenth century – inform the practice of its translators, whether Surrey, or Spenser, or Gorges.  The way in which texts are translated, and in which they are composed, depends on the way in which they are read; this may seem self-evident, but it represents a fairly recent discovery.[9]  Intertextuality plays an important role in Renaissance reading habits; therefore, when we make mention of Surreyfs use of his sources, we are referring to a multiplicity of sources for individual poems.  Previous criticism has generally measured him against one standard, especially that of Petrarca – we find this from Koeppel (1889) to Lever (1974, e.g. pp. 42-45)[10] – and consequently produced what we consider to be an unbalanced assessment.  As a translator, and an imitator, he goes beyond his immediate source, giving echoes of Virgil in his versions of Petrarca, and infusing his reshapings of Petrarca with the language and imagery of medieval English tradition; the Italian poet serves as a means of entry to the medieval and classical worlds.  This issue of receptive affinity is of crucial importance in Translation Studies.  The thorny question of translation evaluation (against what standard are we to calibrate?) makes it extremely difficult for those who know the source language to avoid comparison with the original text – and this avoidance would not be desirable.  In the past, translations have suffered misprision not because of the act of comparison itself, but because of the manner in which the comparison was conducted; and this process was controlled by the underlying assumption that the original was a perfect, hermetically sealed entity.  By opening the original text to its sources and influences, and by finding the other influences that may explain some of the changes made by the translator – in short, by creating a network of systems – it was possible to posit the equivalence of source and target text and to regard both as points in circles of separate traditions, relating to other points within their (and perhaps within other) circles.  The key contribution of intertextual studies to the study of translation was this redefinition of the original-translation relationship; the original was removed from its pedestal without being in any way devalued, while more emphasis was placed on what was original in the translation, thus disburdening it of its neo-classical servility and demonstrating that it did not exist merely to prove that the sun was shining by its shade.  To use a particularly felicitous metaphor, we may talk of intertextuality euntwinningf the translation from the original.[11]  The old efather-sonf image, often employed with reference to translation or imitation, suggests an unequal, epigonic relationship, and is therefore unsatisfactory; etwins,f on the other hand, implies equality and, at the same time, independent existence.  It is seldom difficult to mark the difference between even (so-called) identical twins.  In fact, positing equality does not come easily to the mind – perhaps because of the imbalance mentioned earlier.  As a result, it is extremely difficult to find analogies that imply absolute equality.  To give one example: this thesis will stress the metaphorical nature of translation as the identities of the poet and the translator merge.  Although this fusion may include considerable divergence, as with Petrarca and Wyatt or Du Bellay and Spenser, it is still distinctly different from the simile of imitation.  This merging of identities, this metamorphosis, leads us up, and back, to the realm of myth; metaphor – and by extension translation – encourages a deeper probing into origins and causes.  In this light, the image of the compass could be lifted from the back of our minds, with the fixed leg representing the tenor/original, and the free leg the vehicle/translation.  However, this analogy requires qualification: to give a more accurate picture of the process, the fixed leg must be loosened, for it is affected by the movement of its partner as the two describe a circle in time.


John Clerk, in the dedication of his Arnault et Lucinde (A certayn treatye moste wyttely deuysed orygynally wrytten in the spaynysshe, lately traducted in to frenche entytled, Lamant mal traicte de samye) to Surrey (1543), makes reference to, gthe excedying great paynes and trauayles susteyned by your self in traductions as well out of the Laten, Italien as the Spanyshe, and Frenche, wherby your Lordshyp surmounteth many others, not onely in knowledge. but also in laude and commendacyon.h (Aiv).  It is not known which Spanish translations he is referring to.  This statement would seem to contradict William Awenfs claim, in the preface to Aeneid Book IV (1554), that Surrey wrote rapidly and with little time for revision (Sessions 1999, p. 269); Sessions himself remarks that Clerkfs preface is evidence of Surreyfs concern with gdetailed technical labourh (p. 267).


It has been stated that Surreyfs poems must be read together; and the correlation between his translations from Virgil, his other translations and his original poems cannot be stressed too greatly.  Epic and lyric co-exist inseparably; in June 1557, two editions of Tottelfs Miscellany appeared in between the publication of Aeneid Book II and the edited Book IV.  These two books significantly portrayed Aeneas the exile, fleeing the flames of Troy; and Dido deserted[12]; they are also relevant stylistically as well as thematically, Book IV providing, through its speeches, one of the clearest and fullest examples of Virgilfs rhetorical training.[13]  Although Surrey has been praised for his translation of Martial,[14] it is his versions of the Aeneid,[15] translated from Virgil with reference to Gawin Douglasfs Aeneis,[16] that are now generally regarded as his greatest achievement[17] and appreciated in their own right as literary texts.[18]


Notably, Surrey remained silent about his method of translation; Douglas, by contrast, had written at length in the Prologue to his First Book. [19]  Surreyfs reserve is matched by his relative anonymity in the process of narration; Douglas is far more gregarious.  However, Surrey may have written no theory, but his translation practice implies a theory; the act of translation confronts a poet more squarely with the decision-making process; and this process, thus emphasised, leads to the establishment of theory.  To Surrey, translation was an act of ebringing overf, but one that was conservative rather than revolutionary.[20]  Sessions considers Surrey to be a typical Tudor humanist translator, engaging in the communal art of poetry to refine the English language and to make the past relevant, and he refers to the metaphor of Hippolytus used by Giamatta (1986, pp. 20, 25, 21).  In order to demonstrate Surreyfs method as a translator, he studies eWhen ragyng lovef (ibid, pp. 27-39), which may seem to be a slightly strange selection; there is confusion here between imitation and translation, although it is probably a confusion that Surrey, like most other humanists, would have unconsciously experienced.


Several explanations for Surreyfs choice are possible. This may have represented another aspect of his examination of the decasyllabic line – Douglas did provide an admirable model – and perhaps the attempt to establish this line as the unit of English poetry.  It may have constituted an attempt at concision; comparing his translations to Douglas reminds us how rhyme may expand a text.[21]  This expansion is explained in part by the language and the author translated from – even though Surreyfs version is more concise than those of his Italian contemporaries, it is still around a third longer than Virgilfs text – but it is exaggerated by Douglasfs approach.  Surrey may not have been verbally indebted to the Italian intermediaries, any more than he was verbally indebted to Petrarca in the sonnets he translated or imitated; this does not, however, mean that he was not imitating their method of translation.  There is no justification in the claim that he may have considered rhyme to be a medieval barbarism;[22] not only does he employ it in all of his other poems with the exception of the translation of Psalm 55, but he uses it at certain significant moments in the Aeneid translations.  Rhyme – especially medial rhyme – is employed to depict heightened emotion.[23]  In brief: whereas Douglas had held to the matter, Surrey aims at the delivery of Virgil.[24]  Yet the influence of Douglas can also be seen in this manner of delivery; Sessions (1999, pp. 281-84) believes Surreyfs blank verse to be read with native stress-patterns, like the lines of Douglas; this rhythm was posthumously smoothed in the publication of Book IV in 1557, as it was in the poems in Tottelfs Miscellany published around the same time.


Surrey used a natural diction; just as Wyattfs letters speak in the same language as his poems,[25] so does a letter by Surrey come extremely close in phraseology to his poems.[26]  Archaisms, such as geyenh (9:9), rare in the 16th century, are also rare in his corpus of work.[27]  He generally explores the word through syntactical relationships; whereas poets such as Googe and Turberville would employ inversion simply to wrench the line into iambic shape,[28] Surrey used this device from a deep concern with the locational relationship of words to their grammatical agents.  Of course, such carefully chiastic organisation as that in eSo crewell prison,f with adjectives placed before or following the nouns they qualify,[29] represents attention to the line; and Surreyfs use of antithesis functions within separate lines or separate sub-sections of lines.  There is not – yet – any Miltonic overflowing of the line to create sense-paragraphs, although he comes perilously close in eIf the rude agef, a greatly underrated sonnet on the death of Wyatt in which grief and rage continually threaten to burst the fourteen banks of the sonnet.


Surreyfs Elegiac Strain

Surrey used the sonnet form also as a vehicle for elegy and for satire, following Petrarca.[30]  However, he also employed other forms for these two modes.[31]  In 1537, and then in 1542, he composed elegiac poems on closely related topics in two different forms: a sonnet (No. 26: All numbered poems refer to Jones ed. 1964) and 13 quatrains with a concluding couplet (No. 27) on his imprisonment in Windsor; and then nine quatrains followed by a couplet (No. 28)[32] and two sonnets (Nos. 29 and 30) on Wyattfs death.  No. 35, the epitaph on Clere, is a sonnet.  Although it may be used as a celebratory medium (in divine and liminary sonnets), this genre is in general better suited to elegiac meditations – to nympholeptic expression or the attempt to come to terms with loss – than the ode.


Surrey is often admired for his elegies; the implication is that this mode, which voices nostalgia and alienation, is particularly suited to an aristocrat, a member of the old order, surrounded by the new men of Henry VIII.  Furthermore, the elegy requires those very qualities – concision, restraint, ellipsis – that were best suited to Surreyfs abilities.  The subdued and controlled expression of grief, apparent in his poems and in Wyattfs elegy on Cromwell, stands in marked contrast to the rhetorical excess of Skeltonfs early elegies;[33] and it is characterised by the absence of the possessive pronoun.


The 16th century funeral elegy, following conventions written down most notably in Thomas Wilsonfs Arte of Rhetorique (1553) consisted of praise of the life the deceased led, in order to make his fame endure, followed by consolation; there was little lament.  There were two major approaches, both employed by Surrey: the biographical one (No. 35, eNorfolk holds theef), detailing the ages, ancestry, realm, shire, education and inclination of the dead; and a discussion of the virtues of the deceased (No. 28, eWyatt resteth heref).[34]  These two poems have several features in common: both begin with a translation of another manfs epitaph;[35] both contain numerical symbolism, eWyatt resteth heref comprising 38 lines, the number of years of Wyattfs life,[36] while in eNorfolk bred theef Clerefs gfour times seavenh summers finds reflection in the enumeration of four personal names and seven place names.[37]  In addition, Surrey employs exactly half the number of lines of Clerefs life, suggesting that he was cut off in his prime: Earth had, indeed, gso timely lost.h


It is, however, the relation between the form of these elegiac sonnets and that of the other elegies that is of interest here; they are linked by the heroic quatrain.  The closeness of the two forms is especially evident in No. 27, eSo crewell prison,f the final fourteen lines of which could be removed to form a sonnet.[38]  One modern critic believes that Surrey invented the heroic quatrain through the sonnet form.[39]  There is a noticeable shift in density from the 38-line elegy on Wyatt to the two sonnets on his death; in these poems, Surrey is trying to accomplish as much as possible within the confines of a short poem.  To this end, he makes use of such devices as paradigma, the figure of oblique allusion.[40]  Brevity was also necessary for eNorfolk bred theef, as it was to serve as an inscription on Clerefs tomb.[41]  This latter sonnet provides an ironic link with the eGeraldinef sonnet (No. 9); it gcaptures the epitaphfs unique use of place in all its symbolism and possibilityh[42], having previously celebrated the lineage of his elady lovef.  This furnishes further proof of Surreyfs originality: he strains convention at the very beginning by setting the place of birth and the place of entombment in the same line.[43]  He also transcends rhetorical tradition in his infusion of satire[44] into elegy, introduced at the end of No. 28 and developed in the two sonnets Nos. 29 and 30.[45]


The former of these sonnets has been alluded to and now requires discussion.  Examination will afford an example of Surreyfs skill in propositio; it is important to stress the integral role of the first line in many of his sonnets.


Dyvers thy death doo dyverslye bemone.
Some, that in presence of that livelye hedd
Lurked, whose brestes envye with hate had sowne,
Yeld Cesars teres vppon Pompeius hedd.
Some, that watched with the murdrers knyfe,
With egre thurst to drynke thy guyltles blood,
Whose practyse brake by happye end of lyfe,
Weape envyous teares to here thy fame so good.
But I that knewe what harbourd in that hedd,
What vertues rare were temperd in that brest,
Honour the place that such a iewell bredd,
And kysse the ground, where as thy coorse doth rest,
With vaporde eyes; from whence suche streames avayle
As Pyramus did on Thisbes brest bewayle.


This sonnet, like No. 30 (eIn the rude agef) reads like a funerary oration, and combines praise and dispraise, also like eIn the rude agef; the reader is able to visualise himself listening to Surrey in the act of speaking.  The most striking feature of the rhymes is the two repetitions of ghedd.h  The repetition of this word emphasises the nature of the loss: it is Wyattfs wisdom that is to be mourned.  In addition, the very act of repetition – and in so prominent a position as the end of the line – is designed to display the speakerfs emotion: he cannot quite control his speech into a regularly alternating rhyme-scheme, nor come to terms with the loss of such a mind.  In eW. resteth heref the enumeration of his bodily began with, gA hed, where wisdom misteries did frameh (l.5); this sonnet therefore serves as a continuation or a reprise.


In order to demonstrate the effectiveness of the propositio, it is necessary to first consider the use of polyptoton in the first line.  This forms another link with No. 28, which begins gWyatt resteth here, that quick could never resth (my italics).  What makes it particularly effective in this sonnet is the word chosen to take this figure: eDyvers.f  There were several previous examples of this in the Canterbury Tales [46]; however, Chaucerfs usage invariably begins gDiverse folkh or gDiverse men.h  The impersonal plural gDyversh was then employed by Wyatt in eDyvers dothe vse,h and the basic structure of this poem is mirrored in Surreyfs elegy.[47]  Surrey follows the latter usage, thus opening his oration on a note of vagueness, which finds continuance in gSomeh at the beginnings of lines 2 and 5, and which is strongly contrasted to the specification of gBut Ih at the major turn (l.9).  He is making an allusive accusation: the names of these enemies may remain hidden, but their identity is obvious to all concerned.[48]  The omission of gfolkh and gmenh implies both inhumanity on the part of those accused and contempt for them on the part of the accuser.  


What exactly is the relationship between gDyversh and gdyverselyh?  Are we to read this as a commonplace and assign a different reaction to each different person, or at least classify groups of behaviour?  Or does gdyverselyh, instead of concluding gDyvers,h imply a further stage, a complicated sub-division of branching variations among different people?  The uncertainty of this relationship mirrors the deceitful behaviour of Wyattfs enemies.  Furthermore, the alliteration is functional; apart from creating a pattern that is broken by the rhyme-word, thus emphasising the end of the line, it associates the accused with Wyattfs death; the nature of this association is then developed in the following lines.  The first quatrain culminates in the allusion to Caesarfs tears; this serves as a link with the final line of the second quatrain, in which the would-be murderers gWeape envious teares.h  This link is strengthened by the allusions in each line: to Wyattfs translation of Petrarca in l.4, and to Surreyfs elegy on Wyatt (No. 28) in l.8.  This image of hypocrisy suggests that the slanderers have the outcome they desired; also implicit is a suggestion of responsibility for Wyattfs death.  The second group of enemies is more actively virulent, but disappointed in their hopes by Wyattfs ghappye end of lyfe.h  Bearing in mind the accusation in the first quatrain, carrying the implication that the traducers had hastened Wyattfs end, it is difficult to read this phrase at face value; it now appears as if his death was ghappyeh only in that it prevented a worse and more shameful fate.  This responsibility is further implied by the striking image of pouring tears gupon Pompeius heddh; in Petrarca CII, and in Wyattfs translation of this sonnet, Caesar had merely wept.[49]  With Surrey, the tears actually fall on the head; and the reader can visualise Caesar with the head in his hands.  There is also a note of disbelieving indignation in the quick repetition of gheddh; this ends the first quatrain, abruptly concluding a three-line sense-unit.  It is as if the speaker is moved by emotion to pause for a while before he can continue.


Enough has been said to demonstrate Surreyfs skill at poetic construction.  One feels that an Elizabethan sonneteer would have begun the poem with gSomeh to create parallel beginnings for three quatrains.  Surrey, on the other hand, postpones this division by a line, thus creating careful variations on its symmetry; he makes this opening line his theme, and he expounds upon that theme with thought-provoking artistry.  This he is able to do because of the words in which he expresses that theme; and these words have been adapted from a predecessor, thus testifying to his wise choice and considered treatment of material.  As so often with Surrey, the change of wording from his models is slight, but subtle, and extremely effective.  He knows what is worth preserving, and how it may be kept both alive and living.






- Elizabeth HEALE, Wyatt, Surrey, and Early Tudor Poetry (London/New York: Longman, 1998)

- J. William HEBEL and Hoyt H. HUDSON (eds), Poetry of the English Renaissance 1509-1600 (New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts Inc., 1929; repr. 1957),

- C.W. JENTOFT, eSurreyfs Five Elegies: Rhetoric, Structure, and the Poetry of Praise,f PMLA 91 (1976), 23-32

- Emrys JONES (ed.), Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey. Poems (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1964)

- Dennis KEENE (ed.), Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey. Selected Poems (Manchester: Carcanet Press, 1985)

- Kenneth MUIR, Life and Letters of Sir Thomas Wyatt (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 1963)

- Hyder E. ROLLINS (ed.), Tottelfs Miscellany. 2 Vols. (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1928; Rev. Ed., 1965)

- W.A. SESSIONS, Henry Howard, The Poet Earl of Surrey: A Life (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999)

- John THOMPSON, The Founding of English Metre (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1961)







[1] Muir (1963), p. 215.  Muir, however, states the old opinion of religious differences between the two, assuming that Surrey was as Catholic as his family.

[2] For example, Douglas L. Peterson, in The English Lyric, could not take the final line of No. 9 seriously because he believed it to be addressed to a 9-year old girl (p. 60).  The history of this myth is outlined by Rollins (1965), Vol. II. 70-5; his claim that no one now believes it (p. 74) was to prove somewhat premature.  Sessions (1999) discusses eGeraldinef (pp. 187-92) and then portrays Surrey as her protector and matchmaker (pp. 192-99): the famous sonnet is actually an advertisement of her gifts to prospective husbands.

[3] Keene ed. (1985), p. 99.

[4] The Poems of Henry Howard Earl of Surrey, ed. James Howell (London, 1831).  The critics quoted are Puttenham, Warton, Dr. Henry and Nott (pp. lxx-lxxviii).

[5] This was the model image he provided for Sir Philip Sidney: one of chivalric idealism and Renaissance eloquence. -Heale (1998), p. 194, taken from W.A. Sessions, eSurreyfs Wyatt: Autumn 1542 and the new poetf in P.C. Herman (ed.) Rethinking the Henrician Era: Essays on Early Tudor Texts and Contexts (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1994).

[6] Argued cogently by William O. Harris in egLove that Doth Raineh: Surreyfs Creative Imitationf in MP 66:4, 1968-9, pp. 298-305: gComparative readings need not be competitive readingsh (305).

[7] In the most in-depth recent survey of the sonnet in English literature (up to Milton), Michael Spillerfs The Development of the Sonnet: An Introduction, Chapter 6 is entitled, eWyatt, Surrey and Their Legacyf; however, there is extremely little mention of Surrey, and not one of his sonnets comes under discussion.

[8] My article, egThe Soote Seasonh: Surrey and the Amatory Elegyf (English Studies, late 2006), attempts to demonstrate Surreyfs skill as a poet through close reading of one of his finest poems.

[9]  Perhaps the best critical treatment of this point is Ruth Morsefs Truth and Convention in the Middle Ages (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991).

[10] Emil Koeppel, eStudien zur Geschichte des englischen Petrarchismus im 16. Jahrhundert,f Romanische Forschungen 5:1 (1889), 65-97 (78-86).  Koeppel saw Surrey as consciously wrestling with a greater, overpowering genius and striving to equal him, which made the English poet reminiscent – together with his early, violent death – of Körner in the shadow of Schiller (p.86).  His mention of the deaths makes explicit what we suspect from his association of the two poets: his post-Romantic straining for analogy of identities.

[11] This metaphor is taken from, and much of this argument is based on, Leon Burnett, eLanguages (un)twinned: The Dynamic of Differentiation in Mandelstam and Radnóti,f Translation & Literature 12:2 (2003), pp. 205-30, especially pp. 224-26.

[12] Heale (1998), p. 29.

[13] T.E. Page (ed), The Aeneid of Virgil. Books I-VI (1894; Reprinted London: Macmillan & Co., 1926), pp. v-vi.

Such poems highlight the qualities of eThe soote season.f  Edwards is simply and representatively too imitative; his texts contain instantly recognisable Petrarchan motifs – gThus shall I freeze, and yet I frye in payne,h gSweete is the death, that faithfull love doth makeh (eBeing in loue he complainethf) – in all-too-familiar situations.

[14] Hebel and Hudson (1957) remark that this translation has perhaps never been surpassed; Edwin Casady (Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey. New York: The Modern Language Association of America, 1938, p. 243) believed it to be Surreyfs only notable poem.  The common consensus is that Surreyfs translation from Horace Odes ii, 10 (no. 39), the first attempt at Sapphics in English poetry (Sessions 1999, p. 220), is less successful and too convoluted.  It is interesting that, in the year of Surreyfs death, Jacques Peletier du Mans published his Œuvres Poétiques, which included a translation of Horace Odes ii, 16 in a rhythm analogous to the sapphic.

[15] Book IV was published by John Day in 1554: eThe Fourth Boke of Virgill, intreating of the love betwene Aeneas and Dido, and drawne into a strange metre by Henrye, late Earle of Surrey, worthy to be embraced.f  Books II and IV were printed together by Richard Tottel in 1557: eCertain Bokes of Virgiles Aeneis turned into English meter, by Henry Earle of Surrey.f

[16] Completed on 22 July 1513, first printed in 1553.  The extent of Surreyfs borrowings from Douglas has been much debated.  Florence H. Ridley, in eSurreyfs Debt to Gavin Douglasf (PMLA 76, 1961, pp. 25-33) finds a heavy reliance on Douglas for content and on Italian versi sciolti writers for form: she counts 811 lines (465 in Book II; 346 in Book IV: 40% of the total) in which the phrasing is taken from Douglas (p. 29).  Jones (1964) stresses the rhetorical and syntactical influence of Virgil.  A.H. Elliot, in a review of Ridleyfs The Aeneid of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey (University of California Publications, 1963) in RES (New Series) 16 (1965), combined these two opinions to suggest a debt to Douglasfs vocabulary and Virgilfs cadence (Fishman, 1971, p. 189).  Priscilla Bawcutt (eDouglas and Surrey: Translators of Virgilf in Essays and Studies 27 [1974], pp. 52-67) ascribes some of both authorsf departures from the original to a defective Latin manuscript (pp. 54-5).  She later suggests (Gavin Douglas: A Critical Study. Edinburgh University Press, 1976, p. 198) that Surrey used Douglasfs Scots to help him understand Virgilfs Latin.  We may note in passing that the reverse situation – the application to Latin to help to translate Scots – also occurred: William Harrison (1535-1593), who translated John Bellendenfs (fl.1533-87) Scots translation of Hector Boetiusfs (?1465-1530) Scotorum Historiae (1527) for Book V of Holinshedfs Chronicles (1577) made his choice of source text to save time, but required assistance from the Latin. –Quoted on pp.21-22 of Manfred Görlach, Introduction to Early Modern English (Cambridge University Press, 1991; appeared as Einführung ins Frühneuenglische. Heidelberg: Quelle & Meyer, 1978).

[17] In the past, they have been criticised by, among others, Maurice Evans (1967), p. 78, as gstiff and end-stoppedh; Mason (1966), p. 251; and T.R. Barnes, English Verse.  Voice and Movement from Wyatt to Yeats (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1967) as gdull and clumsyh but of historical importance (p. 25).  Modern studies are almost uniformly favourable; this change in perception could be credited to Jones (1964).  Keene (1985, p. 83) believes these two translations to be uneven but to rise to occasional magnificence.

[18] Charles Tomlinson, in eThe Presence of Translation: A View of English Poetryf in Rosanna Warren (ed.), The Art of Translation. voices from the field (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1989), 258-276, observes that, during his time at Cambridge, gSurreyfs partial translation of the Aeneid was evaluated less for its actual quality than for its having brought blank verse into Englishh (261).  One wonders how significant gpartialh is in this context.

[19] They were, of course, writing for different audiences.  We may add, however, that this lack of formal criticism was typical of English humanism; it had little more than Sir Thomas Elyotfs The Boke named the Governour (1531) to show. –O.B. Hardison (ed.), English Literary Criticism. The Renaissance (London: Peter Owen, 1967), p. 6.  This stands in marked contrast to the plethora of poetiche in Italy at this time.

[20] On Surreyfs translation theory: Sessions 1999 (pp. 266-68) and 1986 (pp. 20-39).

[21] Douglas was fully aware of this: he states in his prefatory remarks on translation that he attempts gTo hald hys [Virgilfs] verss and go nane other way,/ Less sum history, subtell word or the ryme/ Causith me mak digressioun sum tyme.h (LION database, ll. 304-306).

[22] Bawcutt (1974), p. 57.

[23] Ants Oras, eSurreyfs Techniques of Phonetic Echoes: A Method and Its Backgroundf in JEGP 50 (1951), pp. 289-308 (293-95), referring to Aeneid II.

[24] Alan Hager, eBritish Virgil: Four Renaissance Disguises of the Laocoön Passage of Book 2 of gThe Aeneidhf, Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, 22:1 (1982), pp. 21-38 (30). eDeliveryf is a more appropriate word than estylef or emanner.f

[25] The concluding couplet gSure I am, Brian, this wounde shall heale agayne,/ But yet, alas, the scarre shall styll remayneh is echoed in the eDefencef he wrote for his trial in 1541: gFor tho he hele the wounde yet the scharre shall remayneh (Muir, 1963, p. 185; p. 193).  Surrey ends his poem 34 with: gYet Salomon sayd, the wronged shall recure;/ But Wiat said true, the skarre doth aye endure.h (Jones, 1964, p. 32).

[26] In particular Nos. 34 and 36, where phrases in the letter he wrote in the Tower and addressed to the Lords of Council (printed in Horace Walpolefs A Catalogue of the Royal and Noble Authors of England, Scotland and Ireland [1758; enlarged and continued by Thomas Park, 1806. London: John Scott], Vol. I, pp. 300ff) reappear.  Surrey asks them to gimpute this error to the furie of rechelesse youtheh and describes himself as a man grashelye aventuryd in the revenge of his owne quarrel c governed by furie.h (34:1, gMy Ratclif, when thy rechlesse youth offendesh; 36:1-2, gWhen recheles youthe in an unquiet brest,/Set on by wrath, revenge and crueltyech).

[27] Charles Barber, Early Modern English (Edinburgh University Press, 1976; new edition 1997), p. 145. 

[28] Thompson (1961), pp. 64-65.

[29] For example, l.5, l.9, l.10, l.30. –Noted by A.C. Spearing (1985), p. 321.

[30] Petrarcafs elegies: XCII on Cino da Pistoia; and CCLXIX on Colonna, a sonnet positioned between two canzoni to heighten its significance.

His satirical sonnets: CXIV, CXXXVI, CXXXVII, and CXXXVIII.

[31] The satirical No. 33 is composed of octosyllabic terza rima.

[32] This was Surreyfs only poem to be published in his lifetime; it appeared in the eight-page booklet, An excellent Epitaffe of syr Thomas Wyat, With two other compendious ditties, wherin are touchyd, and set forth the state of mannes lyfe, which was probably printed soon after Wyattfs death (Jones , 1964, p.123).

[33] Patricia Thomson, eWyatt and Surreyf in Christopher Ricks (ed), History of Literature in the English Language, vol. 2: English poetry and prose 1540-1674 (London: Barrie and Jenkins, 1970), pp. 19-40.

[34] Jentoft (1976), pp. 23-24.

[35] The former translated an epitaph on the tomb of the Italian soldier Jacopo Trivulzio (d.1518) in Milan: gHIC MORTVVS REQVIESCIT SEMEL,/ QVI VIVVS REQVIEVIT NVNQVAM.h –Jones (1964) p. 123.  The latter is an adaptation of the epitaph that the people of Surreyfs age believed Virgil to have composed for himself: gMantua me genuit, Calabri rapuere, tenet nunc/ Parthenope; cecini pascua rura duces.h –Jones (1964), p. 129.

[36] Alastair Fowler (Triumphal Forms. Structural patterns in Elizabethan poetry. London: Cambridge University Press, 1970, who makes this point, mentions other examples of this practice: 64-line elegies on Ben Jonson (1573-1637) by Diggs and Daniel. –p. 102, and n.3. 

[37] Elegies making use of pyramidal numbers such as 28 and 120 were frequent. -Fowler (1970), p. 102 n.3 and p. 188 n.5.

[38] As the poem stands, line 41 – gAnd with this thought the blood forsakes my faceh – presents a rather conventional image.  If this line were moved to begin a sonnet, however, it would become more interesting, by turning the readerfs attention away from the hackneyed motif in the second half of the line towards consideration of what this thought could be.  We have a sonnet that seems to belong in a sequence, and yet stands in suggestive isolation.

[39] W.A. Sessions (1999).

[40] In No. 29 l.4: gCesars teres uppon Pompeius hedd.h –Jentoft (1976), p. 29.

[41] Puttenham (1589; probably written earlier) observes a growing fashion for lengthy elegies hung up in church, which take so long to read that one may find oneself locked in by the Sexton! (Book I, XXVIII; pp. 56-7).

[42] S.P. Zitner, eTruth and Mourning in a Sonnet by Surreyf in ELH 50 (1983), pp. 509-529 (525).

[43] Jentoft (1976), p. 25.

[44] As Ruth Hughey observes in The Arundel Harington MS of Tudor Poetry (Columbus, Ohio: Ohio State University Press, 1960), critics have often overlooked the satiric, arrogant strain in Surreyfs poetry (Vol. II, pp. 83-84).

[45] Jentoft (1976), p. 27.

[46] A. 3857, gDiverse folk diversely they seydeh; E. 1469, gDiverse men diversely him toldeh; F. 202, gDiverse folk diversely they demedh; and B. 211, gDiverse men diverse thinges seyden.h

[47] No. CCXVII.  Lines 1, 5 and 9 begin as follows: gDyvers dothe vsech, gAnd some therbech and gBut as for me.h  Furthermore, the first quatrain represents lamentation (passive), while the second quatrain is more active, changing from mere mention of change and the appeasement of grief to hate, falsity, and supplication.

[48] In particular Edmund Bonner and Simon Heynes, who were responsible for Wyattfs imprisonment in 1541.  This avoidance of naming – also apparent in the antonomasia in 14:1-2, 31:1 and 32:1 – is an obvious manifestation of a writer composing for a specific audience and appealing to a shared fund of knowledge.

[49] When he was presented with Pompeyfs head, gPianse per gli occhi fuorch (l.4).