The World of Christopher Marlowe

Michael Dobson writes: Even without the bloodshed and intrigue that the fatal stab wound in Deptford supplies, the biographers’ Marlowe is always liable to be defined by his death, if only because a sizeable proportion of the detailed evidence we have about him dates from May and June 1593. Although the working title of David Rigg’s study – ‘Nasty, Brutish and Brilliant’ – suggested that his work, too, was going to be overshadowed by Marlowe’s premature end, he has produced instead a book advertising itself as an account of the playwright’s ‘world’ rather than his life or works. In fact, the last third of the book is as preoccupied as ever with the events of May 1593. But Riggs also describes more fully and helpfully than any previous writer the intellectual milieu that formed Marlowe, first at the King’s School in Canterbury and then at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.