Gay History, Gay Celebrities, Gay Icons
Gay History celebrates the lives of famous gay men, gay celebrities and gay icons from the worlds of Film/TV,
Art, Design, Music, Literature, Business and Politics. 200+ Intimate Profiles - Tchaikovsky to George Michael,
Oscar Wilde to Truman Capote, Salvador Dali to David Hockney, Yves St Laurent to Gianni Versace, Rock Hudson
to Stephen Fry to name but a few - they form a vast and exciting part of gay history.
Life Span: Born
6th February 1564, Canterbury, Kent; died 30th May
1593, Deptford, London.
Famous As: English dramatist
His father was a shoemaker and his mother was
the daughter of a clergy man.
Marlowe was educated at King's School, Canterbury
until he was 15, and then he took a scholarship
at Benet (Corpus Christi) College, Cambridge.
His Tamburlaine the Great was a considerable
improvement on any tragedy that had been produced
in England. Although blank verse had been used
before he gave it strength and variety. Marlowe
prepared the way for William Shakespeare.
Christopher Marlowe moved to London in 1587 and
began to write seriously. His plays became popular
and he became established as a leading dramatist.
His play Edward II was the first English play
to deal openly with homosexuality, and tells the
story of the Edward II's love for the French Knight,
Piers Gaveston, and their deaths at the hands
of enemies. (Edward II, (1991), is a film adaptation
of Christopher Marlowe's play, directed by Derek
Jarman. The film is in modern dress and is an
attack on contemporary anti-gay prejudices in
Relationships: While at Cambridge
Marlowe met Francis Walsingham's nephew, Thomas,
who was then about 17. They became close friends
and they often spent time together at Thomas's
country house, Scadbury, near Chislehurst, Kent.
Thomas Watson introduced Christopher Marlowe to
Sir Francis Walsingham, the Secretary of State,
who operated a network of spies throughout Europe.
Marlowe offered his services and he was sent to
Rheims where he spied on the Roman Catholic seminary
and sent back information on the priests and students
who were secretly planning to return to England.
Christopher Marlowe lived a colourful and perhaps
reckless life. After Marlowe's death Richard Baines
quoted him as saying "all they that love
not tobacco and boys are fools". Baines also
claimed that Marlowe repeated what seems to have
been a common heresy at the time, that Jesus of
Nazareth and St. John the evangelist were lovers.
In 1593 Christopher Marlowe was due to be arrested
for treason and perhaps charged with sodomy. However,
before this could take place Thomas Walsingham's
business manager invited him to dine with him
on 30th. May at Eleanor Bull's tavern in Deptford,
south east London. During the evening Marlowe
was killed by stab wounds to the head. At an inquest
afterwards it was claimed that the stabbing was
the culmination of an argument about the bill.
It has been rumoured that this could have been
an assassination related to spying activities.
There is a brass tablet at St. Nicholas's Church,
Creek Road, Deptford, London, SE8. Marlowe is
said to have been buried
nearby, although in an
The use of blank verse and Edward II.
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