Q: Sam, in your many years of research for your latest book, what one thing about Marlowe surprised or fascinated you?
Sam: The one thing that fascinated me about Marlowe was his genius. And that is why I have spent seven years gathering the evidence that he wrote the 36 plays in the First Folio, plus the works under his own name, and everything else under Shakespeare's name.
All the world acknowledges that the plays in the First Folio represent the very highest achievement in literary power, and thus it seemed to me absolutely necessary to know who that genius was and to give credit where credit was due.
No other Elizabethan writer but Marlowe had that genius which was very well exhibited by what he wrote before he was compelled to change his identity. And the fact that he had to suffer in exile for the rest of his life after Deptford made it imperative for me to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that it was he who was the author of these great works. I never thought I would rise to the occasion of being the one person to set history straight. But I accepted the challenge and believe I succeeded in the task. And now we shall see what the rest of the world has to say about it.
As for surprise, what amazed me was how Marlowe dropped so many clues in the plays which were noticed by many scholars who simply could not put two and two together. It took Calvin Hoffman to state the impossible, that Marlowe was not killed at Deptford. Once you overcome the impossible scenario, the plays open up like flowers. That's the great delight in reading Shakespeare with that whole new perspective. When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
© The Marlowe-Shakespeare Connection, June 2008
Samuel Blumenfeld, a World War II veteran of the Italian campaign, has authored more than ten books. His latest, The Marlowe-Shakespeare Connection: A New Study of the Authorship Question, was published by McFarland. He is a former editor in the New York book publishing industry and has lectured widely. His writings have appeared in such diverse publications as Esquire, Reason, Education Digest, Vital Speeches of the Day, Boston, and many others. He is a regular contributor to MSC.
See Sam on YouTube addressing the authorship controversy.
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