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The Marlowe Papers - Ros Barber

The Marlowe Papers - Ros Barber

Title: The Marlowe Papers

Author:  Ros Barber

ISBN:  9781444737387

Weight:  990 g

Dated signed first edition, first printing



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Our price:  £20.00

The Marlowe Papers by Ros Barbe

An outstanding verse novel, which recreates the dramatic story of Christopher Marlowe’s life and shows how he could have written the works attributed to Shakespeare

On May 30th, 1593, a celebrated young playwright was killed in a tavern brawl in London.  That, at least, was the official version.  Now let Christopher Marlowe tell you the truth: that his ‘death’ was an elaborate ruse to avoid his being hanged for heresy; that he was spirited across the channel to live on in lonely exile, longing for his true love and pining for the damp streets of London; that he continued to write plays and poetry, hiding behind the name of a colourless man from Stratford – one William Shakespeare.

With the grip of a thriller and the emotional force of a sonnet, this extraordinary novel in verse gives voice to a man who was brilliant, passionate, mercurial and not altogether trustworthy.  The son of a cobbler who rose so far in Elizabethan society that he counted nobles among his friends and patrons, a spy in the Queen’s service, a fickle lover and a declared religious sceptic, he was always courting trouble.  When it caught up with him, he was lucky to have connections powerful enough to help him escape.

Memoir, love letter, settling of accounts and a cry for recognition as the creator of some of the most sublime works in the English language, this is Christopher Marlowe’s testament – and a tour de force by an award-winning poet: provocative, persuasive and enthralling.

Peer & Press Reviews

The Marlowe Papers is a bravura performance: a noir thriller in doublet and hose, illuminated by images as startling as lightning.

Simon Worrall, author of The Poet and the Murderer

Barber ingeniously weaves the action of the plays and sonnets into her story… The verse is subtle and varied enough never to disturb the ear, and in fact you forget that you’re reading poetry at all.  This is no bawdy cod-Shakespearean romp.

Suzi Feay, Financial Times

The best book I’ve read for a long time.  Truly innovative, truly original, and a powerful poetic journey to another truth.  Ros Barber has told a great story, in a fascinating way, so fascinating that she had someone like me gripped to the very end.  This really is a joy to read and a true work of art.

Benjamin Zephaniah

Bibliographic Info

Attribute Details
Title: The Marlowe Papers
Book Features
Edition / printing: First edition, first printing
Edition background:

Ros Barber’s website gives the publication date of The Marlowe Papers as 30 May 2012 and this is the date written in this book.  The date is significant in that Christopher Marlowe died on the 30 May 1593.

It would appear the initial idea was to release the book so its publication date matched the day and month of Marlowe’s death.  Unfortunately, something went amiss and the publisher gives the book’s publication day as 24 May!

Overall condition: Fine (see our article on Condition Grades)
Signed: On the title page
Dated: 30 May 2012
Awards and Media
Awards and prizes:

Desmond Elliott Prize 2013 – winner

Authors’ Club First Novel Award 2013 – joint winner

Women’s Prize for Fiction 2013 – longlist

Hoffman Prize 2011 – joint winner

Book Stats
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Imprint: Sceptre
Publication date:
Printed by: Clays Ltd, Bungay
ISBN 13: 9781444737387
ISBN 10: 1444737384
Format: Hardcover [pictorial boards], no dust jacket
Pages: 407
Size (h x w x d): 210 x 162 x 40mm
Image and Design Credits
Cover illustration: Jon Contino
Endpaper map: John Norden

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