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The World of Christopher Marlowe (2005)
by David Riggs
Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0805077553, Hardcover)
The definitive biography: a masterly account of Marlowe's work and life and the world in which he lived
Shakespeare's contemporary, Christopher Marlowe revolutionized English drama and poetry, transforming the Elizabethan stage into a place of astonishing creativity. The outline of Marlowe's life, work, and violent death are known, but few of the details that explain why his writing and ideas made him such a provocateur in the Elizabethan era have been available until now. In this absorbing consideration of Marlowe and his times, David Riggs presents Marlowe as the language's first poetic dramatist whose desires proved his undoing.
In an age of tremendous cultural change in Europe when Cervantes wrote the first novel and Copernicus demonstrated a world subservient to other nonreligious forces, Catholics and Protestants battled for control of England and Elizabeth's crown was anything but secure. Into this whirlwind of change stepped Marlowe espousing sexual freedom and atheism. His beliefs proved too dangerous to those in power and he was condemned as a spy and later murdered. Riggs's exhaustive research digs deeply into the mystery of how and why Marlowe was killed.
(retrieved from Amazon Sun, 06 Jan 2013 01:32:06 -0500)
"This is about the man who revolutionised English drama and English poetry - and was murdered in his prime." "David Riggs evokes the atmosphere and texture of Marlowe's life, from the stench and poverty of a childhood spent near Canterbury's abattoirs to the fanatical pursuit of classical learning at school. Marlowe won a place at Cambridge University, where he entered its world of eighteen-hour working days, religious intrigue and twilight homosexuality. The gifted student was not immune to the passions and fears of the wider society, and Riggs describes the mood of England in those years when Elizabeth's crown was anything but secure, and Spain and the Papacy were determined to overthrow her regime." "Marlowe brought a wonderful new lightness and musicality to English verse, but was held in little esteem during his lifetime and his works were scrutinised for heresy. As a writer of plays, he was literally on the margins of London life, working on the edge of the city where prostitutes and thieves scratched a living. The combination of espionage, dangerous knowledge, homosexuality and suspected treason proved deadly to him."--BOOK JACKET.
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