I enjoyed "Marlowe's Ghost" on two levels: it was my first introduction to the controversy over who really wrote Shakespeare's sonnets and plays; and it is filled with amazing background detail on the Elizabethan period in English history. For instance, I never realized that Giordano Bruno, "the mad priest of the sun" actually spent time in England before he was imprisoned and burnt as a heretic in Rome.
Bruno even turns up, thinly disguised as `Saxon Bruno,' one of the central characters in Marlowe's "Doctor Faustus."
English dramatist, Christopher Marlowe is a fascinating historical character in his own right. Did he really die in a tavern brawl at age 29, or was he smuggled out of England by powerful friends to avoid charges of atheism (and a death similar to Bruno's), and continued to publish works that were `fronted' by one William Shake-Speare, "a businessman with no evidence of education, raised by illiterate parents, who fostered an illiterate household..."
This author isn't the first to present the theory that Marlowe was the real author behind the plays and sonnets attributed Shakespeare. Starting with It Was Marlowe (1895) by Wilber Gleason Zeigler (who also believed Marlowe was eventually murdered by Ben Jonson in 1598!) and continuing through Marlowe-Shakespeare Connection: A New Study of the Authorship Question(2008) by Samuel Blumenfeld , there are many historians with a "reluctance to believe that works of genius can be produced by a person of relatively humble birth or by one who did not enjoy a university education."
It was hard to shake the image of a balding, goateed playwright from my mind, but this author finally convinced me to do so in his chapter "Sonnets of Exile." If the Sonnets are as autobiographical as scholars purport them to be, they must have been written by Marlowe, not the businessman from Stratford. You need to read "Marlowe's Ghost" and decide for yourself who was the real author of the greatest dramas in the English language.
Review copy supplied by author