Staff Pick: Christopher Shakespeare is a really interesting book that asks the very valid question: was William the man behind infamous plays, or was it indeed Marlowe? A fascinating insight, particularly relevant during the year of Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary [Group Marketing Manager, Sarah Taylor]
This book brings together a mounting body of evidence that Marlowe did not in fact die at Deptford in 1593, but that he lived out his remaining years under cover, many of them in Italy. The book outlines his possible later life and, in particular, evidence for many of the sonnets and plays having been written in exile abroad. William Shakespeare was, in effect, merely a frontman who put his name to the plays to facilitate their publication. Henry James wrote in 1903: ‘I am ‘sort of’ haunted by the conviction that the divine William is the biggest and most successful fraud ever practised on a patient world’. Those who examine the case presented here may well sympathise.