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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.
Christopher Marlowe
Life Span: Born 6th February 1564, Canterbury, Kent; died 30th May 1593, Deptford, London.
Star Sign: Aquarius
Famous As: English dramatist

Background: His father was a shoemaker and his mother was the daughter of a clergy man.

Education: Marlowe was educated at King's School, Canterbury until he was 15, and then he took a scholarship at Benet (Corpus Christi) College, Cambridge.

Work: 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 Britain.)

Friends & 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 unmarked grave.

Greatest Achievement: The use of blank verse and Edward II.

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