Pederasty. Espionage. Rebellion... The CV of Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593) is one of the most dramatic in English literature. Join us on the afternoon of Saturday February 18th for a walk led by Irish poet-psychogeographer Niall McDevitt in Marlowe's stomping ground of Shoreditch, where The Jew of Malta was produced, he roomed with playwright Thomas Kyd, and was arrested for the murder of a local barman.
A precocious genius born in the same year as Shakespeare, Marlowe remains by far and away the most obvious candidate for the 'rival poet' of Shakespeare's sonnets. He created colossal dramatic poems centred around equally colossal individuals drawn from history and mythology; though none embodied his philosophy of Machiavellian humanism more boldly than Marlowe himself. Recruited by the Privy Council as a spy whilst still at Cambridge, Marlowe had friends in the highest of places, but turned against his masters. A hellraiser and atheist, his "monstrous opinions" outraged the authorities, from his 'all protestants are hypocritical asses" to "all they that love not tobacco and boys are fools".
We will meet at 3pm in the Shoreditch shop, raise a toast to Kit, and then walk his streets for an hour before returning to debate the thousand conspiracy theories that cling to Marlowe's ghost.