The Marlowe Papers by Ros Barber
A Novel

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It is much harder to discover something about Marlowe — even something small and particular — than it is to invent it, and the more the line gets blurred between the two, the less we will know of him.
-NY Times

Synopsis

*WINNER OF THE DESMOND ELLIOTT PRIZE 2013*

On May 30th, 1593, a celebrated young playwright was killed in a tavern brawl in London. That, at least, was the official version. Now Christopher Marlowe reveals the truth: that his 'death' was an elaborate ruse to avoid being convicted of heresy; that he was spirited across the Channel to live on in lonely exile; that he continued to write plays and poetry, hiding behind the name of a colourless man from Stratford - one William Shakespeare.

With the grip of a thriller and the emotional force of a sonnet, this remarkable novel in verse gives voice to a man who was brilliant, passionate and mercurial. A cobbler's son who counted nobles among his friends, a spy in the Queen's service, a fickle lover and a declared religious sceptic, he was always courting trouble.

Memoir, love letter, confession, settling of accounts and a cry for recognition as the creator of some of the most sublime works in the English language, The Marlowe Papers brings Christopher Marlowe and his era to vivid life. Written by a poet and scholar, it is a work of exceptional art, erudition and imagination.

 

About Ros Barber

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ROS BARBER was born in Washington, DC and raised in England. She is the author of three poetry collections and her poetry has appeared in Poetry Review, London Magazine, The Guardian among many other publications. Ros has a PhD in Marlowe studies and has taught writing at The University of Sussex for more than a decade. In 2011, she was awarded the prestigious Hoffman Prize for The Marlowe Papers. She lives in Brighton, England.
 
Published May 24, 2012 by Sceptre. 465 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference, Action & Adventure. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Marlowe Papers
All: 2 | Positive: 0 | Negative: 2

NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by Charles Nicholl on Jan 25 2013

It is much harder to discover something about Marlowe — even something small and particular — than it is to invent it, and the more the line gets blurred between the two, the less we will know of him.

Read Full Review of The Marlowe Papers: A Novel | See more reviews from NY Times

Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Andrew Motion on Jun 15 2012

...in choosing to write it as a verse novel, Barber has produced something in which the constituent parts work against one another more often than they work together...it's difficult not to feel that...they threaten to cancel one another out.

Read Full Review of The Marlowe Papers: A Novel | See more reviews from Guardian

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