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.
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(198mm x 129mm x 37mm)
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
The most riveting book I have read this year has been The Reckoning by Charles Nicholl, about the circumstances surrounding the death, at the age of 29, of Christopher Marlowe, the colourful controversial Elizabethan dramatist who was second only to Shakespeare. It is as gripping as any detective story. The reckoning of the title is the dispute over a bill for a tavern meal, between Marlowe and his friends, which was officially put out as the cause of his fatal stabbing. Nicholl, however, has an alternative explanation, and a fascinating one it is. He plunges us into a world of Elizabethan intrigue, of crime and espionage, of double-dealing and treble-dealing. The murky underside of the English Renaissance is brilliantly exposed in this unputdownable account of Marlowe's murder. Review by Keith Waterhouse (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Charles Nicholl
Charles Nicholl has written two travel books, The Fruit Palace and Borderlines; a study of Elizabethan alchemy, The Chemical Theatre, and a biography of the pamphleteer Thomas Nashe, A Cup of News. He has also written a reconstruction of Sir Walter Ralegh's search for El Dorado, The Creature in the Map, and Somebody Else, which won the 1998 Hawthornden Prize. His work has appeared in Granta, Rolling Stone and the Independent.