Christopher marlowe

Shakespeare sceptics are the new literary heroes

Let’s start with the basics. Despite widespread disinformation, including in Shakespeare was a Woman and Other Heresies, there is in fact ample historical evidence from the period that a) attributes the plays and poems to William Shakespeare, b) registers the same William Shakespeare as an actor and shareholder in Lord Chamberlain’s, later King’s Men, and c) connects this William Shakespeare with the William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon. Only if you believe that all this evidence is fabricated does the authorship question become a question. And once the question is admissible, all that mass of documentation is no longer sufficient to answer it. Anti-Stratfordians operate almost entirely outside the academy of professional

The first Cambridge spy: A Fine Madness, by Alan Judd, reviewed

For his 15th novel, the espionage writer Alan Judd turns his hand to the mystery of Christopher Marlowe’s death. The result is never less than engrossing, with Judd putting the scanty known facts about the great playwright to ingenious use. The story is narrated from the King’s Bench prison by Thomas Phelipps 30 years after Marlowe’s fatal stabbing in a Deptford rooming-house brawl. Phelipps is good company, a master cryptographer and key employee of the spy-master Francis Walsingham, yet a self-proclaimed ‘simple man’ who yearns to marry and settle down. These contradictions help make him as fascinating as the mercurial Marlowe, who he’s sent to recruit at Cambridge. Phelipps immediately