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A Dead Man in Deptford (Burgess, Anthony)…
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A Dead Man in Deptford (Burgess, Anthony) (original 1993; edição 1996)

por Anthony Burgess (Autor)

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
8051820,567 (3.76)62
'One of the most productive, imaginative and risk-taking of writers... It is a clever, sexually explicit, fast-moving, full blooded yarn' Irish Times A Dead Man in Deptford re-imagines the riotous life and suspicious death of Christopher Marlowe. Poet, lover and spy, Marlowe must negotiate the pressures placed upon him by theatre, Queen and country. Burgess brings this dazzling figure to life and pungently evokes Elizabethan England.… (mais)
Membro:Grey_Coopre
Título:A Dead Man in Deptford (Burgess, Anthony)
Autores:Anthony Burgess (Autor)
Informação:Da Capo Press (1996), Edition: 1st, 282 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:Nenhum(a)

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A Dead Man in Deptford por Anthony Burgess (1993)

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Burgess’s final novel is a lovingly crafted account of Kit Marlowe’s life and death. Written in a period style, he had trouble getting this novel published. But his love for his subject is ever apparent, bringing tears to this reader and an appreciation for the man ever in Shakespeare’s shadow for over four hundred years. ( )
  Seafox | Jul 24, 2019 |
A rather sad, and at times difficult book to finish. It seems to be the latest theory around the death/murder/assassination of Christopher Marlowe. Many of the conversations in this novel were rather boring and I found myself really wanting to skip over them. Except that every once in a while there was a piece of information necessary for understanding the plot. Also, a lot of Latin, way beyond what I am familiar with.
Reading this will require some patience, but that is not completely in vain. ( )
  a1stitcher | Jun 22, 2019 |
In his author’s note at the end of this novel about the final few years of Christopher Marlowe life Burgess says: “The virtue of a historical novel is its vice - the flat footed affirmation of possibility as fact.” There are few facts known about the late sixteenth century playwright and poet Christopher Marlowe and so Burgess has great fun making up a story that fits with the facts that we do know. It is a rumbustious, roisterous, sacrilegious look at the life of a writer making his living around the playhouses of Elizabethan England and one asks oneself “was it ever thus” - well it just may have been.

Anthony Burgess was no stranger to Elizabethan England having written a thesis on Marlowe’s Dr Faustus at university and published in 1964 his “historical” novel: Nothing like the sun: A story of Shakespeares love life. A Dead Man in Deptford tells the story of the last six years of Malowe’s life. He died on 30 May 1593 at the age of 29 years; killed in an upstairs room of a tavern after an altercation with some known violent characters. There is much conjecture that Marlowe was employed by Francis Walsingham the Elizabethan spymaster, there is no doubt that his outspoken views on religion (he was named as an atheist) caused him to be marked as a suspicious character and he was arrested in 1593 after being named by fellow playwright Thomas Kyd as a writer of heretical letters. It was at a time when the Elizabethan government were nervous about a foreign invasion, nervous about threats from both the Puritans and the Catholics and concerned about unruly and riotous behaviour around the London theatres and so Marlowe with his reputation may well have been in the wrong place at the wrong time. However Burgess spins a much more exciting tale of espionage, plots against the government and murder. He surmises that Marlowe was an agent for Walsingham, spying on the catholics in Rheims, and those around the court of James VI in Scotland. He also describes a meeting with John Penry who was hung drawn and quartered for setting up a printing press for the scurrilous Martin mar-prelate puritan pamphlets. Like many agents at the time Marlowe would have been blackmailed into serving the state. He also imagines Marlowe as being part of the coterie that met at Sir Walter Raleigh’s house addicted to the “nymph” (tobacco smoking). Much of this is conjecture, but as Burgess says it is all grist to the mill in the “flat footed affirmation of possibility as fact”.

The story is told by a young actor and sometime lover of Kit Marlowe who says he knows a little of the story, but proceeds to tell a whole lot more. The story then starts in the first person, but there are passages of imagined conversations involving Marlowe that change the point of view. Burgess has fun from the first sentence when the boy actor addresses the “fair or foul reader, but whats the difference” and then plays around with the syntax of his sentences and phrases to give an impression of how the Elizabethans may have spoken to each other. It would seem to me that Hilary Mantel may have gained much from reading this novel in developing her own style for her Wolf Hall novel.

Burgess describes Marlowe as a violent man, quick to take offence and an easy maker of enemies. His education and reasonably humble beginnings equip him to slip in and out of all levels of society and as a successful and notorious writer and poet more doors are open to him than would have normally been the case. His careless talk, religious views and homosexuality made him both a dangerous character to know as well as an exciting companion for the more adventurous. He was certain of his own talents and disparaging of others, when it would have been advisable to hold his tongue, he could not bring himself to do it. He was a man who easily got himself into trouble. Burgess imagines him having an affair with Thomas Walsingham cousin of Sir Francis, of working with Thomas Watson the poet and translator and having to collaborate with Thomas Kyd the playwright and then there is young Tom the actor - all these Toms Burgess says “a world of Toms like a night roof top” It is a typical aside because Burgess’ writing appears as undisciplined as the character he is describing, not being able to resist a quip, perhaps letting his pen run away with him, but always showing his love and knowledge of the period. The use of alliteration was a favourite ploy of many Elizabethan poets and playwrights and Burgess has fun imitating this style as well as dredging up some arcane words. Here is Marlowe holed up in Newgate jail with his friend Tom Watson and reflecting about the rats in their cell:

“ We could catch one, Tom said and eat it raw. Though rats are as they say inesculent. The learned word bounced hollowly.
A man should not play with these things. jails and privation and death. I sit comfortably with my pen penning men into pens of this kind. I did not think I could be so short of breath.”


It is always advisable to have access to a dictionary when reading Anthony Burgess and I realised that I have led a sheltered life, having to look up irrumatio and torchcul.

There are quotes from Marlowe’s plays and poems, sometimes quoted inaccurately back to him by other characters and there is a mock pastoral singing contest that takes place in an ale house in Rheims. Burgess portrays Elizabethan England as a dangerous and dirty place, especially for those people like Marlowe living on the edge of the criminal world, however this is not the main thrust of the novel because Burgess is more interested in the conversations, the word play and the invention of a good story. In my opinion it is a book that would be appreciated more fully by a reader already familiar with Marlowe for example there is a running joke about Marlowe’s name: is he Marley, or Merlin, perhaps Morely or Marlin: this all stems from there being only one document in existence signed by Marlowe and this looks like he has signed himself Morely. This is an historical novel and so there are no helpful notes and readers not familiar with this fact might wonder why Burgess continues with this idea. It is all part of the fun, in-jokes a-plenty as Burgess flexes his muscles as writer and entertainer. I was entertained even if:

“Elation made his member swell visibly in his codpiece, and he was thus led to the composing of a poem of love”

A four star read. ( )
7 vote baswood | Apr 10, 2019 |
I found this book accidentally in a used book shop. I was in a phase where I was completely in love with Burgess. I was also completely in love with Marlowe. So you can imagine when I find a book by Burgess about Marlowe...

It was an excellent story, and I liked it was hardly all flattery. Marlowe's life does make for an interesting book. A wonderful read in Burgess' style, capturing Elizabethan England, and a world of spies, barfights, and some of the world's most beautiful poetry. ( )
  likecymbeline | Apr 1, 2017 |
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Anthony Burgessautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculated
Kidd,ChipDesigner da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Lundgren, CajTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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To Sam Wanamaker (and family) as a
tribute to his courage in bringing back
from the dead a playhouse that
Marlowe never knew.
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You must and will suppose (fair or foul reader, but where's the difference?) that I suppose a heap of happenings that I had no eye to eye knowledge of or concerning.
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'One of the most productive, imaginative and risk-taking of writers... It is a clever, sexually explicit, fast-moving, full blooded yarn' Irish Times A Dead Man in Deptford re-imagines the riotous life and suspicious death of Christopher Marlowe. Poet, lover and spy, Marlowe must negotiate the pressures placed upon him by theatre, Queen and country. Burgess brings this dazzling figure to life and pungently evokes Elizabethan England.

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