This Mar­lowe

Michelle But­ler Hal­lett Goose Lane, 438 pages, $32.95

Toronto Star - - BOOKS -

The age-old mys­tery sur­round­ing the mur­der of play­wright Christo­pher Mar­lowe, who could have been Shake­speare but wasn’t, in­spired Michelle But­ler Hal­lett to write This Mar­lowe, set in1593 as the reign of Queen El­iz­a­beth was com­ing to a close and spy­mas­ters Sir Robert Ce­cil and the Earl of Es­sex were con­spir­ing to con­trol who suc­ceeded her. En­ter Christo­pher Mar­lowe, a tal­ented poet and play­wright who must find other work once the plague closes down the­atres. He has no choice but to re­turn to his pre­vi­ous life, one of es­pi­onage and in­tel­li­gence. And, soon, he is los­ing con­trol, los­ing hope, at risk of los­ing ev­ery­thing and ev­ery­one he loves. But­ler Hal­lett’s prose is at once canny and ten­der. This is a novel set deep in his­tory, but the themes, par­tic­u­larly about the abil­ity of power to cor­rupt, res­onate today. This is also a story about art and free­dom and all the sides of love: the dark and the light, the re­demp­tive and the ru­inous. Per­fectly paced and grace­fully wrought,

This Mar­lowe is su­pe­rior his­tor­i­cal fare.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.