The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.2020 Monday, 7 October 2002
Date: Friday, 04 Oct 2002 12:05:37 -0400
Subject: Marlowe and Notoriety
Slightly off-topic, but, perhaps if Shakespeare didn't wri . . . .
I know that Marlowe was notorious in his own time for being an impious
atheist and social degenerate (Dodsley _Old Plays_, quoting, more or
less, Thomas Beard, _Theatre of God's Judgement_), and know that his
notoriety was resurrected in the 19th century and lives into our times.
I also know that the period 1660-1800 were, for Marlowe's reputation,
the fallow years. But I was wondering if anyone can help me more
precisely date his recovery of status and notoriety. Thomas Dabbs, in
_Reforming Marlowe_ claims that "a covert interest in Marlowe and his
assumed works did begin to emerge in the latter part of the eighteenth
century within certain literary clubs and circles" (29) but can anyone
provide anything more concrete than this?
I am particularly interested in discovering whether William Beckford
(1760-1844) would, in his salad days, have been aware of Marlowe's work,
albeit with a candle under the bedcovers . . . .
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