Catalogue


The reckoning : the murder of Christopher Marlowe /
Charles Nicholl.
imprint
Chicago : University of Chicago Press, c1995.
description
413 p., [9] p. of plates : ill. ; 23 cm.
ISBN
0226580245 (pbk.)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Chicago : University of Chicago Press, c1995.
isbn
0226580245 (pbk.)
general note
Originally published: London : J. Cape, 1992.
catalogue key
1197614
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [393]-399) and index.
A Look Inside
Awards
This item was nominated for the following awards:
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 1994-02-07:
Elizabethan playwright-poet Marlowe was stabbed to death in 1593 at the age of 28, supposedly in a dispute over a tavern bill or ``reckoning.'' In a painstaking piece of scholarship that reads like an intricate detective thriller, British author Nicholl argues that Marlowe was murderd by a court cabal orchestrated by Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, who viewed dramatist-spy Marlowe as an obstacle to his political ambitions. One of the three men with Marlowe the day he died, Nicholas Skeres, was a servant of Devereux; another, Robert Poley, was a government agent who earlier had played a major role in a covert operation to entrap and eliminate the imprisoned Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots. The third, a shady entrepreneur named Ingram Frizer, was the hit man. Nicholl, who goes much further than previous biographers in exploring Marlowe's connections to espionage, concludes that he was a government spy, recruited while a Cambridge student, who informed on subversive Catholic loyalists. Winner of both the British James Tait Black Prize for biography and the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger Award, this highly speculative study provides an extraordinary glimpse of the seamy Elizabethan underworld of espionage replete with double agents, disinformation, torture and murder. Illustrated. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Appeared in Library Journal on 1994-03-01:
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 still performed today. This book plunges readers into the 16th-century world of spies, conspiracy, and political intrigue, as Nicholl, a British author of travel books, investigates the conditions and reasons for Marlowe's death by stabbing at age 23, challenging the commonly held ``tavern brawl'' theory over the ``recknynge'' of the bill. Nicholl reveals new evidence that points to a smear campaign and frame-up, resulting in murder sanctioned by those high up in the government. A remarkable piece of scholarship, this work carefully reconstructs the events leading up to the murder with all the excitement and suspense of a modern mystery novel; at the same time it vividly conveys the energy and color of Elizabethan England. Recommended for scholars and informed readers.-- Nancy R. Ives, SUNY at Geneseo (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Summaries
Main Description
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
Main Description
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 accounta 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
Table of Contents
Introduction: A Torch Turning Downward
The Killing
Deptford, 1593
The Official Story
The Witnesses
Widow Bull
Libels and Heresies
Reactions
The First Epitaphs
The 'Goggle-eyed Sonnet'
Independent Accounts
Touchstone's Riddle
Vaughan and the Perrots
The Questions
The Intelligence Connection
Faithful Dealing
The Elizabethan Secret Service
Thomas Walsingham
Shaking the Foundation
Robert Poley
The Babington Plot
Poets and Spies
'Our Best for Plotting'
Thomas Watson
Fictions and Knaveries
The Wizard Earl
The 'Priest of the Sun'
The Low Countries
New Masters
Lord Strange
The Dutch Shilling
Marlowe and Poole
Poley's Network
Roydon and the King of Scots
The Frame
'This Cursed Cholmeley'
The Damnable Crew
The Dutch Church Libeller
Ralegh and Essex
The Drury Letter
Marlowe's Liberty
The Reckoning
Epilogue
Appendix: 'False Trails'
Notes
Sources
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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