Christopher Marlowe: Dedicatory Epistle to Mary Sidney Herbert

(847 words)

Christopher Marlowe is often regarded as a daring and rebellious dramatist, producing ground-breaking plays featuring transgressive protagonists. Conversely, scholars have largely ignored Marlowe’s dedicatory preface to Mary Sidney Herbert, the Countess of Pembroke, in Thomas Watson’s Latin Pastoral Amintae Gaudia, as it does not fit comfortably alongside the audacious dramas and popular image. The epistle reveals instead a less familiar aspect of the Marlowe corpus: a poet seeking patronage. Watson died shortly before the publication of his epic poem, in late 1592, leaving Marlowe the task of rendering the dedicatory epistle, or verse letter, for his posthumous publication. The closure of the London theatres …

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O'Halloran, Meadhbh . "Dedicatory Epistle to Mary Sidney Herbert". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 April 2014; last revised .
[, accessed 30 June 2015.]