Surrey, Henry Howard, earl of.
Surrey, Henry Howard, earl of
(1517? - 1547) English poet and courtier attached to the court of Henry VIII. Surrey won various distinctions, particularly during the years (1540 - 42) that his cousin, Catherine Howard, was married to the king. After her execution, however, his enmity with the Seymours finally led to his arrest on a trumped - up charge of treason. He was executed early in 1547. With Sir Thomas Wyatt, Surrey helped introduce new Italian and French verse forms into English. His blank verse translations of Books II and IV of Vergil's Aeneid represent the first use of unrhymed iambic pentameter in English, and he is responsible for what is now known as the " Shakespearean " form of the sonnet. Forty of his poems were published in Tottel's Miscellany. His metrical smoothness and elegance led critics, until recent times, to regard him as superior to Wyatt, but many 20th-century critics favor Wyatt 's poetry for its greater intensity of feeling.