January 04, 2003

And cursed be he that moves my bones

Christopher Marlowe is the 16th century dramatist best remembered for being played by Rupert Everett in Shakespeare in Love. But more than that, he was also an Elizabethan secret agent who worked to uncover Catholic plots against the crown. This is apparently true.

What's less certain is whether he ran afoul of the notorious Star Chamber for being an atheist and decided to fake his own death to escape torture. Assuming that he did, there are those who further believe that he fled for Italy where he continued writing. These pseudoposthumous plays, some set in Italian towns, others about exiles, were sent back to England and published by the man we know as William Shakespeare.

Now, I heard about this by watching Michael Rubbo's documentary on Frontline. When this documentary first came out last year, Rubbo himself posted about it to Metafilter ... but only identified himself as the filmmaker in comments.

So, this is the guy we're meant to believe in an authenticity of authorship debate?

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