Paper $35.00 ISBN: 9780226580241 Published July 1995 Not for sale in the British Commonwealth

The Reckoning

The Murder of Christopher Marlowe

Charles Nicholl

The Reckoning
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Charles Nicholl

424 pages | 23 halftones, frontispiece | 6 x 9 | © 1992
Paper $35.00 ISBN: 9780226580241 Published July 1995 Not for sale in the British Commonwealth
In 1593 the brilliant but controversial young playwright Christopher Marlowe was stabbed to death in a Deptford lodging house. The circumstances were shady, the official account—a violent quarrel over the bill, or "recknynge"—has been long regarded as dubious.

Here, in a tour de force of scholarship and ingenuity, Charles Nicholl penetrates four centuries of obscurity to reveal not only a complex and unsettling story of entrapment and betrayal, chimerical plot and sordid felonies, but also a fascinating vision of the underside of the Elizabethan world.

"Provides the sheer enjoyment of fiction, and might just be true."—Michael Kenney, Boston Globe

"Mr. Nicholl's glittering reconstruction of Marlowe's murder is only one of the many fascinating aspects of this book. Indeed, The Reckoning is equally compelling for its masterly evocation of a vanished world, a world of Elizabethan scholars, poets, con men, alchemists and spies, a world of Machiavellian malice, intrigue and dissent."—Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

"The rich substance of the book is his detail, the thick texture of betrayal and evasion which was Marlowe's life."—Thomas Flanagan, Washington Post Book World

Winner of the Crime Writer's Gold Dagger Award for Nonfiction Thriller

Introduction: A Torch Turning Downward
Pt. 1: The Killing
1: Deptford, 1593
2: The Official Story
3: The Witnesses
4: Widow Bull
5: Libels and Heresies
Pt. 2: Reactions
6: The First Epitaphs
7: The 'Goggle-eyed Sonnet'
8: Independent Accounts
9: Touchstone's Riddle
10: Vaughan and the Perrots
11: The Questions
Pt. 3: The Intelligence Connection
12: Faithful Dealing
13: The Elizabethan Secret Service
14: Thomas Walsingham
15: Shaking the Foundation
16: Robert Poley
17: The Babington Plot
Pt. 4: Poets and Spies
18: 'Our Best for Plotting'
19: Thomas Watson
20: Fictions and Knaveries
21: The Wizard Earl
22: The 'Priest of the Sun'
Pt. 5: The Low Countries
23: New Masters
24: Lord Strange
25: The Dutch Shilling
26: Marlowe and Poole
27: Poley's Network
28: Roydon and the King of Scots
Pt. 6: The Frame
29: 'This Cursed Cholmeley'
30: The Damnable Crew
31: The Dutch Church Libeller
32: Ralegh and Essex
33: The Drury Letter
34: Marlowe's Liberty
35: The Reckoning
Appendix: 'False Trails'
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