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Constance Kuriyama: Constance Brown Kuriyama

Constance Kuriyama: Constance Brown Kuriyama

USA 2010, 255 pp., pb.,  39.95
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It may not have been easy to write a temperate biography of a young man reputed to be »intemperate & of cruel heart«, but the author does just that. With cool reason and fresh research, she throws water onto the conspiratorial fire that today surrounds Marlowe's life and death, and in the process she makes a splash of her own. Christopher Marlowe (1564 – 1593) is portrayed in most accounts of his life by biographers and critics as a mysterious and sensational action figure, a hapless pawn of circumstance, or a pseudonymous cipher. At the center of Kuriyama's narrative is the shift that occurred late in Marlowe's short life, a shift reflected in the diminution of his tragic heroes: recognizing that it was impossible to be the superman he had put on the stage, he became resentful, angry, and finally explosive.
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