Christopher ‘Kit’ Marlowe, a noted Elizabethan playwright, was christened this day in 1564, Canterbury, England. A contemporary of Shakespeare, he won fame for his plays, poesy, and dissolute (?) life. Let us a take a moment and remember a talent of the age – reprobate, spy, poet, dramatist, rakehell – whose life ended as mysteriously as it was lived.
‘The Reckoning’ – Nicholl, CharlesFor those fans of mystery and intrigue, Nicholls takes the reader to darkest Deptford. Was Marlowe slain in a pub quarrel or were the reasons for his demise more nefarious? A fine work on a brilliant man.
‘The Tragedy of Doctor Faustus’ - Marlowe, Christopher
The author takes the legend of Faustus and creates a drama of fire and brimstone fame. The Devil will indeed have his due. A personal favorite.
‘The Portable Elizabethan Reader’ – ed. Haydn, Hiram
Hadyn collects excerpts from many notable works of the period. Included is a selection from ‘Tamburlaine the Great(The Sacking of Babylon)’, a drama of a shepherd turned conquerer with all the vicissitudes therein. The play was famed in its day for stylistic elements lacking in other dramas of the day.
‘A Book of English Pastoral Verse’ – ed. Barrell, John & Bull, John
‘Come live with mee and by my love…’ Yes, who recalls memorizing the ‘The Passionate Shepherd to His Love’ in school? The poem is a famed tribute to pastoral bliss and idyll. For the nymph’s reply, read Sir Walter Ralegh’s equally famous, ‘The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd’
‘A Dead Man in Deptford’ – Burgess, Anthony
A fictional account of Christopher Marlowe, secret agent in the Elizabethan government, who infiltrates the Catholic underground though he is more interested in atheism and the new pleasure of smoking tobacco.
‘Tamburlaine Must Die’ – Welsh, Louise
Another fictional account in which the author imagines the eve of Marlowe’s death. Beware nightly messengers from the Queen’s Privy Council…