The Reckoning : The Murder of Christopher Marlowe, Paperback

The Reckoning : The Murder of Christopher Marlowe Paperback

4.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


In 1593, the brilliant and 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' - long regarded as dubious.

For the first time tracing Marlowe's shadowy political and intelligence dealings, Charles Nicholl uncovers critical new evidence about that fatal day.

Also providing an enthralling revelation of the extraordinary underworld of Elizabethan crime and espionage, the 'secret theatre', Nicholl penetrates four centuries of obscurity to expose a complex and chilling story of entrapment and betrayal.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 608 pages, illustrations, facsimiles, map, portraits
  • Publisher: Vintage Publishing
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Biography: general
  • ISBN: 9780099437475



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I'm considering writing on Marlowe for my MA dissertation, I'd previously read the first edition, so knew that this was a must read. Nicholls's investigation into the events surrounding Marlowe's death is both fascinating and informative. Nicholls's prose is very evocative as he explores the paranoia of the period. The fear of the Catholic threat led to the formation of the secret service to both spy on and manipulate suspected Catholic insurgents. Just as it was in the 1930s, during the latter part of the sixteenth century Cambridge was a prime recruiting ground for the secret service and, like so many of his contemporaries, Marlowe was drawn into this dark and shady world. In this revised edition Nicholls incorporates material not available to him at the time of writing the first edition to review and revise his theories. Superb.

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