07 February 2006

Lurid lessons?

This year, I've gotten into the habit of posting pictures of each day's birthdays on the bulletin board in class (today we had Charles Dickens, Sir Thomas More, and Laura Ingalls Wilder). I try to say a word or two about who these people were and what they did. However, I've noticed a little trend: Marlowe's birthday was yesterday. Burroughs' on Sunday. Joyce's was the 2nd. Yes, I say what amazing writers they were, but also tend to mention other, uh, interesting facts as well. So yesterday, they heard about this:
Possibly while still at university, he became an agent of Sir Francis Walsingham (c. 1530-90), a statesman and a Puritan sympathizer, in the secret service of Elisabeth I and a favorite of Walsingham's brother, Thomas.

Research suggests he was murdered by an agent of Francis Walsingham, for reasons unknown. According to Charles Nicholl (The Reckoning The Murder of Christopher Marlowe, 1994), supporters of the Earl of Essex could have been behind the death. Scholars are still attempting to reconstruct the events. In the common version it is concluded, that after eating and drinking together in a tavern in Deptford, on Wednesday, May 30, 1593, According to the coroner's inquest, Marlowe and his friend Ingram Frizer began to wrangle over payment of the bill. Marlowe wrenched Frizer's dagger from its sheath, and struck him twice about the head with it. In the struggle Frizer got the dagger. "And so it befell, in that affray, that the said Ingram, in the defence of his life, with the dagger aforesaid of the value of twelve pence, gave the said Christopher a mortal wound above his right eye." The dagger went in just above the right eye-ball.
Great literature, banned books, pot farms, and unsolved murders: who says these things are mutually exclusive? (Or maybe I've just been reading too much Lemony Snicket...)

2 comments:

Jeff said...

I believe Neal Cassady's birthday is the 8th. That should fit in nicely with your theme.

amcorrea said...

My thoughts exactly!