Christopher Marlowe

Lisa Hopkins (Sheffield Hallam University)
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Christopher Marlowe was born in Canterbury in 1564, the same year as Shakespeare. Elizabethan Canterbury was a cosmopolitan town with many immigrants, particularly Huguenots fleeing the French wars of religion. It had also been hit particularly hard by the Reformation and the subsequent desecration of the shrine of St Thomas Becket, and it is hard not to believe that Marlowe’s considerable interest in ritual and iconography derives partly from his childhood in the vicinity of the great cathedral. Indeed he was educated virtually under its shadow, for although he was only the son of a shoemaker, he seems to have showed early promise and was awarded a scholarship to the prestigious King’s School, Canterbury. His days there are reflected in the reference to “a dark entry” - still to…

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Citation: Hopkins, Lisa. "Christopher Marlowe". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 October 2000; last revised 01 March 2021. [, accessed 22 February 2024.]

2941 Christopher Marlowe 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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