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Search RN. Under threat from plague and war, it's a desperate place where strangers are unwelcome and severed heads grin from spikes on Tower Bridge. Playwright, poet and spy, Christopher Marlowe has three days to live. Three days in which he confronts dangerous government factions, double agents, necromancy, betrayal and revenge in his search for the murderous Tamburlaine, a killer who has escaped from the pages of his most violent play.

Playwright and poet, Christopher Marlowe has been arrested and brought to London to face the Privy Council. Marlowe has found his best friend, actor, Thomas Blaise, who has received an anonymous message address to Marlowe. Marlowe has been abducted and brought before a member of the Privy Council, and has been given an ultimatum. The Book Reading is an archived program that is no longer broadcast. I loved this book dearly at the time. And it still is one of my favourite books. Sep 27, Maya rated it liked it. Good den, fair gentles. The first line of my account reads: "I have four candles and one evening in which to write this account.

My writing throughout the narrative is good.


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Actually, it's fantastic. My descriptions are visceral, cold, dramatic, and done with great style. But watch out for the first few pages. I use a lot of sentences like "So it proved and when it seemed Good den, fair gentles. I use a lot of sentences like "So it proved and when it seemed my degree might not be granted, due to various absences and rumours which placed me where I shouldn't be, the Queen's own Privy Council gave guarantees I had been on Her and must not suffer for doing Her good service. I shall enjoy watching you try to scarf down sentences like that without asphyxiating. The narrative details a race against time to find out who is framing me for libelous poetry.

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My life and the lives of my fellows hang dangerously in the balance. Walter Raleigh is a critical player in this, my story. Too bad he never appears in the flesh and I tack him on haphazardly at the end because I need some way to come up with a secret government plot. I am spurred on to exact my revenge on the mysterious "Tamburlaine" by the ghost of the dog he killed. The dog had literally been given perhaps one sentence before that. I suppose I must have been close to the dog, although I never mentioned it. I ward off the theatre apprentices with gripping maledictions.

Dec 28, Simeonberesford rated it liked it Shelves: book , club , novella. Well that's another book read. An odd sort of mix, I have read I think better attempts at elizabethan english. I found myself wondering, use the archaic spelling skry, but say that Walshingham slept with Marlow rather than lay with him. There are always inconsistancies in these things though, and the flouridity of the style seemed most suitable. Though occasional paraphrases would bring quotes to mind "And this is Hell nor am I out of it" for exam Well that's another book read. Though occasional paraphrases would bring quotes to mind "And this is Hell nor am I out of it" for example, before reading this all I really remembered of him apart from a few titles was a quote that his plays consisted of, "puppets spouting golden verse" Which seemed to sum up more or less my attitude to the cast of this piece.

Blaize's seemed the most puppet like. His motivation seemed bizzare, How Marlow guessed the identity of this Tamburlaine is beyond me it seemed nothing but the plots demand for some closure.

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I found them unlikely if I had the shadow of the gallows hanging over me I doubt very much that I would seek out such distractions let alone that they would succeed. That they did suceed is evident by Marlows foolish blasphemies. And presumably is meant to suggest that Marlow would prefer his works immortality to his souls" It follows then that a refusal to implicate Raleigh would not be for any ethical reason but for intellectual pride, historical immortality, Something that seems unlikely to me in anyone. This short novel was written as a fictional account by Marlowe of what is to prove his final three days of life.

Welsh has attempted to capture the essence of Elizabethan English rather than reproduce it and I felt that she had done an excellent job of this as well as conveying a sense of Marlowe's intellectual pride and poetic nature. She has speculated on the events that led to his death in Deptford drawing on primary and secondary sources, though given that it is a first person account she av This short novel was written as a fictional account by Marlowe of what is to prove his final three days of life. She has speculated on the events that led to his death in Deptford drawing on primary and secondary sources, though given that it is a first person account she avoids describing the incident itself, only conveying in her final Author's Note the facts as known and the coroner's verdict that has often been contested through the centuries.

I found it a very satisfying read and while a departure from her contemporary work in terms of time period each of her novels have been beautifully written and conveyed a sense of drama and willingness to explore the darker nature of human nature. An enjoyable novella imagining the last days of Kit Marlow. The style is flowery, poetic and pleasantly imaginative, aiming to give a flavour of 16th century English while remaining quite understandable.

I felt at times that some elements of the plot were a little rushed and could have been expanded more. Disappointingly straight sex is described in more details than homosex. I don't particularly care how much sex there is or isn't in a book as long as it's well written but both types should r An enjoyable novella imagining the last days of Kit Marlow. I don't particularly care how much sex there is or isn't in a book as long as it's well written but both types should receive an equal amount of attention. Feb 01, Denise rated it it was amazing Shelves: read , own. The murder of Elizabethan playwright and spy Christopher Marlowe is one of those true historical mysteries about which we'll most likely never know the full truth.

In this atmospheric and gripping novella, Welsh reimagines Marlowe's final days as recorded in his own hand, the night before his death.

The rich, densely woven narrative, skillfull writing and expertly realized setting easily kept me glued to the page all the way through. I see this one gets given quite a large amount of stars by most people.

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Maybe the Dutch translation just sucks, but I doubt that's it. I didn't think there was anything wrong with the wording or sentences. I just really did not enjoy the story at all. Glad it was so short and cheap I think I paid 30 cents. Jul 05, Davida Chazan rated it it was amazing Shelves: fiction , murder , mystery , historical , favorites , memoire , novella. One of my all-time favorite books, with a fascinating subject and concise, atmospheric prose that is almost unparalleled. Read my revised review here.

Aug 06, Holly rated it it was ok. The book's redeeming feature is it's great characterisation of Elizabethan London, especially it's shadier spots, presenting a bustling city where the dynamic underworld is matched in immorality by the xenophobia of the bustling overworld. The city is populated with all the famous Elizabethan figures from Raleigh to Dee, and I enjoyed Welsh's imagining of the backstory between Richard Baynes and Marlowe.

Other than that, I was not a fan of this book. The prose swerves inconsistently from faux-Elizabethan to modern English which is distracting, and often veers towards the crude it's a shame that Marlowe, author of such passionate erotic poetry, ends up manipulated by Welsh into spitting rough language during sex. The characterisation also often boils down to stock figures - the 'grizzled' old man, the shadow-dwelling dungeoner - which makes the book quite predictable; Marlowe himself loses out from this process, being reduced to a 'sadistic deviant' type figure who, bizarrely, gets turned on by watching executions and fantasises making out with rotting corpses.

The occasional nods towards Marlowe's plays were sometimes well done, but it is a shame that Welsh only references his most well-known works, and plays a cheap trick in crediting Raleigh for preserving Marlowe's works for posterity, as opposed to presenting this as due to her hero's literary talent and ability to please audiences. As a result, in spite of it's sensational subject matter, Welsh's book fails to give justice to Marlowe himself. Jun 22, Claire rated it it was amazing.

This novel packs a powerful punch. It follows renowned Elizabethan dramatist Christopher Marlow through his final days, unravelling a mystery that has lived on in popular imagination as surely as any of his plays. His own creation, Tamburlaine, has been used against Marlow in an attempt to publicly destroy a blasphemer and suspected atheist. At no point does Christopher Marlow shy from his fate - in fact, his joie de vivre leads him to extraordinary carelessness with regard to his own life in a This novel packs a powerful punch.

At no point does Christopher Marlow shy from his fate - in fact, his joie de vivre leads him to extraordinary carelessness with regard to his own life in a manner that makes it impossible to look away from his story despite the clear thread of fatalism running through it. But a combination of curiosity and artistic vanity lead the mystery to consume him: who is Tamburlaine? It's a fascinating window into the seedier side of life during England's golden age. The vice and license that are so often airbrushed from most dramas set in this period are given front and centre stage in Welsh's rendering of the era.

The reader does not meet Elizabeth I or set foot in her court - instead, Marlow guides us through the alehouses and alleys of London as he pursues the architect of his undoing. In so many ways, this is an exquisite novel. The characterisation is perfectly executed, and there are some very striking reflections on the balance between life and death in these pages.

The pace of the story, Welsh's style of writing, and the layers of plotting driven by power play make the book totally engaging - I read it in one sitting. This is a book for anyone who enjoys a mystery, especially people who don't think historical fiction is for them. Nov 21, Sarah rated it liked it Shelves: britian , historic , own-read , fiction , female-authors. This is so beyond my type of book, that I've ignored it on my shelves for years. But I bought it because I have never been disappointed by Louise Welsh, and am glad to say that this book didn't let me down either.

Because if you look past the jerkins, archaic verse and macho posturing of which there is thankfully little, considering the premise , this is a dark and witty tale of backstabbing and mystery involving the man that some speculate was the real Shakespeare. Welsh is so good at creating This is so beyond my type of book, that I've ignored it on my shelves for years. Welsh is so good at creating an atmosphere that I could almost smell the dirty air and hear the stomp of boots on wooden tavern floors. Thankfully it's a short read, as I don't think even Welsh could persuade me to stay in that world for long, but it builds to a satisfying end.

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Jun 30, Kirsty rated it liked it Shelves: borrowed , june I borrowed this short historical novel from my University library, which is incidentally the same institution at which Louise Welsh works as a lecturer. I very much enjoyed my first foray into her crime novels in the shape of The Girl on the Stairs , but wasn't as enamoured with her well-received debut, The Cutting Room.

Told from the perspective of playwright Christopher Marlowe, Tamburlaine Must Die is well written, and certainly has a good grasp upon antiquated language and dialogue. It did fee I borrowed this short historical novel from my University library, which is incidentally the same institution at which Louise Welsh works as a lecturer.

It did feel a little brief however, and was a touch unsatisfying in the wake of this. Jan 04, Devi R. Black rated it it was amazing. I really enjoyed tgia book. It was brillant for the start to the ens. The way that era is portrayed is in some way dofferent for the usual. This dangerous feeling you go5 while the character commit blasphemy is exhilarating but at the same time entrancing and confusing It's a must to read.

For real. Feb 28, nina rated it it was ok Shelves: fiction , written-by-women , historical , london , christopher-marlowe , literary-fiction , reimagined-universes , shakespera , 2. Certainly readable. But something about it irked me the whole way through, which I couldn't quite put my finger on. I was a little disappointed really, I had hoped it was going to be much better. I do wish it had been longer, allowing the plot to simmer a bit, and the characters to fill out. I think would have made for a great read if it was lengthier. Mar 26, Katrina rated it really liked it. An enjoyable and well written book with no anachronistic clunkiness at all.

The 'f' word is very far from being a modern word as one previous reviewer seems to think. Oct 12, Amira Zaidat rated it liked it. A well writen crime fiction story. I like the details of the surrounding on how each event takes place. The plot flows so well eventhough I did get a little confuse at the begining but it all fall in place as the story goes further.

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Jul 16, Jo rated it really liked it Shelves: historical-fiction , crime-fiction-and-thrillers , tudors , spooks. This novel is the story of Christopher Marlowe's final three days, told as if it was his journal. It's a story to easily get lost in, even if it's less than pages long. May 05, Bialey rated it liked it. I didn't enjoy it as much as I did 'Naming the bones' but nevertheless a good read and historically informative. Good writing but strangely underwhelming. Apr 02, Rachel rated it did not like it. Irredeemably crap, don't bother.

I only finished it out of a misplaced sense of duty. Nov 06, Maylin rated it really liked it Shelves: audiobooks , crime , historical , book-club. Short and fascinating. I love books that take historical facts and imagine the story that makes them to such a persuasive degree that you start to take it as truth. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Readers also enjoyed. About Louise Welsh. Louise Welsh. After studying history at Glasgow University, Louise Welsh established a second-hand bookshop, where she worked for many years.

Louise was granted a Robert Louis Stevenson Memorial After studying history at Glasgow University, Louise Welsh established a second-hand bookshop, where she worked for many years. She is a regular radio broadcaster, has published many short stories, and has contributed articles and reviews to most of the British broadsheets.

She has also written for the stage.