History Play: The Lives and Afterlife of Christopher Marlowe (Google eBook)

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Bloomsbury Publishing USA, Dec 10, 2008 - History - 416 pages
2 Reviews

Rodney Bolt's delightful life of Marlowe plays out a surprising solution to an enduring literary mystery, bringing the spirit of Shakespeare alive as we've never seen it before.

Rodney Bolt's book is not an attempt to prove that, rather than dying at 29 in a tavern brawl, Christopher Marlowe staged his own death, fled to Europe, and went on to write the work attributed to Shakespeare. Instead, it takes that as the starting point for a playful and brilliantly written "fake biography" of Marlowe, which turns out to be a life of the Bard as well. Using real historical sources (as well as the occasional red herring) plus a generous dose of speculation, Bolt paints a rich and rollicking picture of Elizabethan life. As we accompany Marlowe into the halls of academia, the society of the popular English players traveling Europe, and the dangerous underworld of Elizabethan espionage, a fascinating and almost plausible life story emerges, along with a startlingly fresh look at the plays and poetry we know as Shakespeare's. Tapping into centuries of speculation about the man behind the work, about whom so few facts are known for sure, Rodney Bolt slyly winds the lives of two beloved playwrights into one.


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History Play: The Lives and Afterlife of Christopher Marlowe

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

History has it all wrong. Christopher Marlowe never died in a bar fight at the tender age of 29. Here's what really happened: Finding himself caught in a web of Elizabethan political intrigue, the ... Read full review

Review: History Play: The Lives and Afterlife of Christopher Marlowe

User Review  - Alwin - Goodreads

I am now convinced Shakespeare was a laying common-kissing flap-dragon. A rollicking, slightly wacky, confidently ridiculous ride of a conspiracy theory. With copious footnotes. Love. Read full review


chapter one Prefaces to Shakespeare
chapter two Une Histoire Inventee
chapter three Catch My Soul
chapter four Gentlemen of a Company
chapter five West Side Story
chapter six Gypsy Soul
chapter seven Men of Respect
chapter eight Shakespeare in Love
chapter twelve His Exits and His Entrances
chapter seventeen Prosperos Books
Notes and References

chapter eleven The Reckoning

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About the author (2008)

Rodney Bolt was born in South Africa and read English at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge-Marlowe’s alma mater. After working in the 1980s as a writer and director in theater in London, he moved to Amsterdam, where he now lives. He is also a travel writer, and has won national travel-writing prizes from Germany and the United States.

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