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.