The Reckoning: The Murder of Christopher Marlowe

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University of Chicago Press, 1992 - History - 413 pages
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In 1593 the brilliant but controversial young playwright Christopher Marlowe was stabbed to death in a Deptford lodging house. The circumstances were shady, the official account—a violent quarrel over the bill, or "recknynge"—has been long regarded as dubious.

Here, in a tour de force of scholarship and ingenuity, Charles Nicholl penetrates four centuries of obscurity to reveal not only a complex and unsettling story of entrapment and betrayal, chimerical plot and sordid felonies, but also a fascinating vision of the underside of the Elizabethan world.

"Provides the sheer enjoyment of fiction, and might just be true."—Michael Kenney, Boston Globe

"Mr. Nicholl's glittering reconstruction of Marlowe's murder is only one of the many fascinating aspects of this book. Indeed, The Reckoning is equally compelling for its masterly evocation of a vanished world, a world of Elizabethan scholars, poets, con men, alchemists and spies, a world of Machiavellian malice, intrigue and dissent."—Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

"The rich substance of the book is his detail, the thick texture of betrayal and evasion which was Marlowe's life."—Thomas Flanagan, Washington Post Book World

Winner of the Crime Writer's Gold Dagger Award for Nonfiction Thriller


 

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User Review  - BlinkingSam - LibraryThing

The winner of the Crime Writers’ Association Non-fiction Gold Dagger Award in 1992 Charles Nicoll has written a fascinating literary detective story. What did happen to Kit Marlowe? Why was he killed ... Read full review

The reckoning: the murder of Christopher Marlowe

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Controversy has surrounded Marlowe in death as well as in life. A contemporary of Shakespeare, Marlowe is remembered primarily as an English poet and author of Dr. Faustus and The Jew of Malta , plays ... Read full review

Contents

THE KILLING
11
Deptford 1593
13
The Official Story
17
The Witnesses
22
Widow Bull
35
Libels and Heresies
38
REACTIONS
49
The First Epitaphs
51
Fictions and Knaveries
185
The Wizard Earl
191
The Priest of the Sun
202
New Masters
219
Lord Strange
225
The Dutch Shilling
234
Marlowe and Poole
240
Poleys Network
250

The Goggleeyed Sonnet
60
Independent Accounts
65
Touchstones Riddle
72
Vaughan and the Perrots
77
The Questions
82
THE INTELLIGENCE CONNECTION
89
Faithful Dealing
91
The Elizabethan Secret Service
102
Thomas Walsingham
115
Shaking the Foundation
121
Robert Poley
133
The Babington Plot
147
POETS AND SPIES
167
Our Best for Plotting
169
Thomas Watson
177
Roydon and the King of Scots
257
THE FRAME
263
This Cursed Cholmeley
265
The Damnable Crew
277
The Dutch Church Libeller
284
Ralegh and Essex
290
The Drury Letter
302
Marlowes Liberty
314
The Reckoning
324
EPILOGUE
331
False Trails
339
Notes
345
Sources
393
Index
401
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About the author (1992)

Charles Nicholl has won numerous awards, including the Hawthornden Prize and the James Tait Black Prize for Biography. The author of "Somebody Else: Arthur Rimbaud in Africa" and "The Reckoning: The Murder of Christopher Marlowe," among other books. Nicholls articles have appeared in "Granta, Rolling Stone," and the "London Review of Books,

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