Hodder|May 7, 2013|Trade Paperback|ISBN: 9781444737394
You’re the author of the greatest plays of all time. But nobody knows.
And if it gets out, you’re dead. On May 30, 1593, a celebrated young playwright was killed in a tavern brawl in London. That, at least, was the official version. Now Christopher Marlowe reveals the truth: that his “death” was an elaborate ruse to avoid a conviction of heresy, that he was spirited across the English Channel to live on in lonely exile; that he continue to write plays and poetry, hiding behind the name of a colorless man from Stratford – on William Shakespeare.
With the grip of a thriller and the emotional force of a sonnet, this remarkable novel in verse gives voice to a man who was brilliant, passionate, and mercurial. A cobbler’s son who counted nobles among his friends, a spy in the Queen’s service, a fickle lover and a declared religious skeptic, Christopher Marlowe always courted trouble. Memoir, love letter, confession, and settling of accounts, “The Marlowe Papers” brings Christopher Marlowe and his era to vivid life.
As we know, on May 30, 1593, a celebrated young playwright was killed in a tavern brawl in London. That was the “official” version of the story, however. The “real truth” is that Christopher Marlowe’s death was an elaborate ruse to avoid his being hanged for heresy. He was then taken across the channel to live a long, lonely exile, all the while longing for his true love and pining for the damp streets of London. He continued to write plays and poetry hiding behind the name of a colorless man from Stratford named William Shakespeare.
Although I loved the entire story, I was a bit put out by it being written in verse. I understand the reasons for penning the book in this way but think I would have found it more enjoyable had it not been written in verse. I’m not at all saying the book was unreadable, I just felt very uncomfortable with this style of writing. I am going to give it a second read to see if I can come to accept it more the second time around.
Thank you to Hachette UK Canada for sending me the book which I won in their contest.