Judd’s coup is to question whether they really were machinations at all, or just coincidences. Or even the fallout from a hidden homosexual relationship between Marlowe and Walsingham’s cousin, the dedicatee of the posthumously published Hero and Leander. The ramifications are endless, the answers few. As Phelipps comments: ‘Most of us are like fishes in the lives of others, a silvery flank glimpsed once and never seen again.’ Fortunately, Judd keeps us guessing until the last pages of this taut, clever, thought-provoking thriller.
he short life and violent death of the playwright Christopher “Kit” Marlowe have long provided material for novelists intrigued by his possible involvement in the shadowy world of 16th-century espionage. The latest is Alan Judd, who has previously written of 20th-century spies and skilfully evokes the atmosphere of suspicion and fear in which their Elizabethan counterparts worked. The story is told by Thomas Phelippes, former right-hand man to the queen’s spymaster, Francis Walsingham, who, imprisoned 30 years later, records what he remembers of his friend Marlowe.
another well-researched splice of fiction and historical fact, focusing on playwright Christopher Marlowe, whose death in 1593 – a fatal stabbing in a Deptford tavern ...
There follows a vivid and credible tale of espionage, dissent and intellectual discourse, with the past brought to teeming, pungent life at a time when religion loomed large and the threat of death, from both human and nature, was ever present.