So recently I’ve been spending a lot of time with Christopher ‘Kit’ Marlowe – first off he’s a major character in DARK LINES OF LONDON, a graphic novel I wrote with Stephen Saleh last year, currently being drawn by Mariela Malova and being announced at this years’s London Film and Comic Con – but also because Marlowe and the School of Night are historical characters that have a very large role in my next novel, THE PLANTAGENET CURSE, which I’m currently deep in the middle of writing right now.
Today, while researching something connected to Marlowe’s time in Flushing, I realised that today is the 425th anniversary of Marlowe’s death, murdered in a tavern brawl in Deptford on 30th May, 1593.
Now as much as it amuses me to annoy my wife, a definite Shakespeare Scholar, I don’t really believe that Marlowe faked his death to become Shakespeare – although I do believe that he was possibly behind some of the work that Shakespeare is accredited to.
I do however believe that Marlowe’s tavern brawl was more than it seemed, thanks mainly to Leslie Hotson’s 1925 book ‘The Death of Christopher Marlowe’, read many, many years ago – the three men Marlowe was with at the time of his death were all ex-spies for Francis Walsingham (as was Marlowe), and to me this meant that Marlowe either
a) was murdered for political reasons or
b) was ‘murdered’ so that he could change his identity – one now about to be lost anyway with accusations of Heresy – and spy elsewhere.
I like to believe the second one, but we’ll never know. Either way, this was the day, 425 years ago that ‘Christoper ‘Kit’ Marlowe’ died.
I’ll be raising a glass tonight.