Read The Marlowe Papers by Ros Barber Free Online
Book Title: The Marlowe Papers|
The author of the book: Ros Barber
Date of issue: May 24th 2012
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 24.89 MB
City - Country: No data
ISBN 13: 9781444737387
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Reader ratings: 4.1
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To begin with, I was very gung-ho about reading a novel in verse. I also thought that I should raise the book's rating for that purpose. But, it's a new experience for me, sure, but it isn't for Barber. And in any case I'm no good at rating poetry. I mean, I also think that the verse form did this tale a disservice. I'll explain.
But first, the Shakespeare authorship question. I've read and enjoyed several plays by Shakespeare without ever wondering who it's author was. It is enough for me that they're available. But I also love conspiracy theories, so I started this book with the view to be fully converted to a Marlovian. (After already being a Baconian and Oxfordian, before converting back to Stratford. Marlowe would have been a new position for me.) Sad to say, that did not happen. Some parts of this fiction are believable, such as Marlowe's death being very convenient. But that he commissioned Shakespeare to pretend to be him and then set about with all the passion of a jealous mistress to undo him (and by extension Marlowe himself and everyone who supported his plot), is stretching my credulity. It's the same reason why I'm not an Oxfordian or a Baconian or any other thing, it's too hard for a non scholar like me. As I see it, there's much shoehorning of convenient facts and dropping unceremoniously of inconvenient ones required to support anything. Why, going by the book, is Marlowe connected to William Hall at all other than pure speculation? If anything, he's connected to Shakespeare, the man from Stratford. I'm a bad conspiracy theorist, am I not?
But, in my defense, I have nothing against the real, historical Christopher Marlowe being the author of the works of William Shakespeare. It's this book's Kit Marlowe I detest. In a 400 pages long book, 380 were given over to some quality self pity. So much so that I wanted to punch him in the face and take away his pen and paper. This is why I think verse did not work for this story - that much self pitying would not have floated in a prose book. There is no way in hell would I believe this cry baby was capable of anything - not a badass intelligencer who spent 8 (?) years in the service of the Queen, not a man who could write the comedies of Shakespeare, not anyone I would want to bother hiding and risking my own neck for (if I were Walsingham). He's ungrateful and careless and has the gall to whine and doubt the sincerity of his friends when he's the one who is doing everything but shouting from the rooftops that he's Marlowe. He also whines about how he was grievously slandered, etc. when the so called slander is all true - he blasphemed when he should have known better, against the judgment of his friends. Yep. Him I detest.
I had to laugh whenever someone called him discreet in the book, which was every so often. Just about everyone he meets recognizes him, everyone is in on this plot, and the two people who aren't he informs. Some plot. A couple of things also bothered me, why would he say in a chapter that Kit Marlowe would have never died in a tavern brawl like it was a new thing for him (Venus and Adonis and Thomas Thorpe), when he was in on the entire plot to rescue him and thus knew that that would be the reason given? And why would he go by both Louis Le Doux *and* William Hall when he's in Burley? In the book, Walsingham is confused as to which name he went by when he was in Burley for a few months at least. I also did not like the little conceit in the book that while no one would know while they were living, the Mermaid Club would leave so many clues that "intelligent" people would be able to sift through the clues when they were all dead. Yaay for the pat on the back, but considering the number of contenders there are for the Shakespeare authorship question, I think it's safe to say that that intention didn't work as well as supposed.
I probably would have been more willing support this theory if Barber's Kit Marlowe didn't keep harping on about being a cobbler's son and then go on to speak hideously of the Stratfordian's Cuntry ways and blunted wit. Book Marlowe treats Shakespeare as an usurper to the imaginary throne, not as a paid man doing as he was bid by Marlowe himself. I wish the Book Shakespeare had written Book Marlowe to back off or he would have him exposed. It's not as if anyone believed Shakespeare was the author of his works if we were to go by the book, what then had he to lose? Instead, he's strangely quiet, despite all the humiliations supposedly heaped on him in his own plays.
I'm not convinced of the Marlovian position, and I'm not convinced of the verse form although I acknowledge its effort. I found Kit Marlowe to be dour and unlikable, and since he's the only one I had to listen to for 400 long pages, I didn't like this book.
P.S. Marlin, Merlin, Marley, Morley, Marlowe all go uncommented, but a hyphenated Shake-speare is a MAJOR CLUE!
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