Book review: Christopher Marlowe
Book Reviews / June 26, 2017

Christopher Marlowe Poet & Spy Publisher: Oxford University Press Reviewer: Discerning Reader Team Available on Amazon Recommended: No Why review a biography about a historical figure that most Evangelical Christians would rather forget, assuming they knew of him in the first place? Those who know Christopher Marlowe by name or reputation might also wonder what lessons we have to learn from a shadowy theatrical figure that lived in the same era as the great William Shakespeare. I count at least three types of lessons in the pages of Christopher Marlowe: Poet & Spy by Honan Park, but even so I would not recommend this book to anybody but diehard Elizabethan period theatre buffs. Before identifying the lessons, a word on the style and content. While I have not yet read Park’s works on Robert Browning, Matthew Arnold, Jane Austen, and the matchless William Shakespeare, based on his Marlowe work Park appears to be a meticulous biographer. To say “meticulous” is not to say all of Park’s conclusions are swimming in firewalled evidence. As one might expect in a 400-page biography of a somewhat mysterious figure, Park makes good use of conjecture and speculation. But even Park’s considerable biographical skills cannot…