The writing of sonnets was a craze among poets of the 1590s. The sonnet, an Italian form, was introduced into England by Thomas Wyatt (1503-1542), who modelled himself on Petrarch, and by Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey (1517-1547).
It was Surrey who invented what is now known as the Shakespearean sonnet - three differently rhyming quatrains and a clinching couplet.
This collection of Elizabethan sonnets and lyrics were recorded by Anthony Quayle. Download and start listening now!