A Dead Man in Deptford

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A Dead Man in Deptford
First edition
Author Anthony Burgess
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre Historical fiction
Published 1993 (Hutchinson)
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 272 p. (hardcover and paperback)
ISBN 0-09-177977-4
OCLC 32241420
823/.914 20
LC Class PR6052.U638 D42 1995

A Dead Man in Deptford (1993) was written late in Anthony Burgess's life, and is the last of his novels to be published during his lifetime.

It depicts the life and character of Christopher Marlowe, one of the greatest playwrights of the Elizabethan era.


Starting in Marlowe's youth, Burgess paints a detailed picture of Elizabethan England. Marlowe's life as a homosexual may have had difficult consequences, but these were perhaps not as great as those of being a classical playwright and spy for Queen Elizabeth. Early in his spying career, Marlowe is instrumental in the discovery of the Babington Plot, but is sickened by the execution of the conspirators.

Marlowe is portrayed as a secretive, solitary and eventually isolated person. Burgess explores his sexual addiction and passion for the theatre.