Thursday, May 3, 2012

Elizabethan Murder Mystery

I've been doing a lot of reading about what we call the Elizabethan era.  Seems to be a very smelly time, and that includes the judicial and the political system.  I've also, much to my delight, found out that there were a lot of colourful characters: Dr. Dee, the queen's astrologer, Thomas Harriot (who was mapping the moon before Galileo), Christopher Marlowe (Anthony Burgess believes he was gay), I'm not so convinced.  A couple lines in a poem, or play doesn't mean a person is homosexual. Then, there's the 'School of Night,' or the 'School of Atheism,' ran by Walter Raleigh. Both terms are inaccurate, and were coined by his enemies, set at bringing him down.  It was more like a group of men who wanted to talk about anything interesting and new and intelligent. No doubt Raleigh and Lord Strange and the gang listen to Marlowe discussing atheism, but that didn't mean they were all atheists. Anything I've read about Raleigh seems to indicate the man had a love of knowledge. He once said "He'd rather kill a man than a good book."  And that charge of Atheism that the Privy Council had hit Marlowe with...The Baine's report hangs on a lot of hear say, and some document they managed to take from Thomas Kyd. Listen, if a bunch of scary dudes break into my place, find a piece of paper that could get me drawn and quartered, I might be tempted to say Marlowe wrote it.  Even after that they still tortured Kyd, and they weren't kidding. So, fertile ground to write a murder mystery, very fertile.

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