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History Play: The Lives and Afterlife of Christopher Marlowe
by Rodney Bolt
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"Mark Twain likened writing the biography of Shakespeare to reconstructing the skeleton of a brontosaurus - using "nine bones and six hundred barrels of plaster of Paris." All biographies of Shakespeare use the same few dozen facts, kneaded together with legend and leavened with a large dollop of the author's imagination." "Rodney Bolt has built a different brontosaurus. Without trying to prove it, his book assumes that, rather than dying at twenty-nine in a tavern brawl, Christopher Marlowe staged his own death, fled to Europe, and went on to write the work attributed to Shakespeare. This is the starting point for a mischievous and brilliantly written biography of Marlowe, which turns out to be a life of the Bard as well." "Using real historical sources 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."--BOOK JACKET.
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