Open main menu

Page:EB1911 - Volume 17.djvu/758

This page needs to be proofread.
741
MARLOW—MARLOWE, CHRISTOPHER

of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen, who provided for her training as a singer at the Vienna Conservatoire. After three years study she made a successful stage début, but was compelled in consequence of deafness to abandon this career. She then became reader and travelling companion to her patroness, and her life at the court and on her many travels furnished her with material for her novels. In 1863 she resigned her post, and then lived with her brother at Arnstadt until her death on the 22nd of June 1887.

Her first novel, Die zwolf A pastel, was published in the Gartenlaube in 1865 and this was followed in 1866 by Goldelse (23rd ed., 1890), with which she established her literary reputation. Among others of her novels may be mentioned Blaubart (1866); Das Geheimnis der alien Mamsell (1867; 13th ed., 1888); Reichsgrojin Gisela (1869; 9th ed., 1900), Das Heideprinzesschen (1871; 8th ed., 1888) and Im House des Kommerzienrats (1877; 5th ed., 1891). All these works are directed against social prejudices, but, although attractively written, are deficient in higher literary qualities and appeal mostly to juvenile readers.

E. Marlitt's Gesammelte Romana und Novellen were published in IO volumes (1888-1890; 2nd ed., 1891-1894), to which is appended a biographical memoir.


MARLOW (Great Marlow), a market town in the Wycombe parliamentary division of Buckinghamshire, England, 31% m. W. of London on a branch of the Great Western railway. Pop. of urban district (1901), 4526. It is beautifully situated on the north (left) bank of the Thames, which is here confined closely between low wooded hills. A weir and lock, near which rise the high tower and spire of the modern church of All Saints, separate two fine reaches of the river, and the town is a favourite resort for boating and fishing. The village of Little Marlow, where the foundations of a Benedictine nunnery of the time of Henry III. have been revealed by excavation, lies near the river two miles below. The town is, as a whole, modern in appearance, but a few old houses remain, such as the grammar school, founded as a bluecoat school in 1624, adjoining which is a house occupied by the poet Shelley in 1817. The town has manufactures of chairs, lace and embroidery, paper mills and breweries. Great Marlow (M erloue, M erlawe, M arlowe, M arlow) appears as a manor in Domesday Book, but its “ borough and liberties ” are not mentioned before 1261. It was then held by theearls of Gloucester, and its importance was probably due to the bridge across the Thames, first built, according to tradition, by the Templars at Bisham. No charter of incorporation was ever granted to the town, but there are faint traces of its constitution in the 14th century. In 1342 the mayor and burgesses presented to a chantry and continued to be the patrons till 1394. Later writs addressed to the town only mention two bailiffs as officers of the borough, nor were the pontage rights and dues held by it until the 15th century. Two burgesses sat in parliament from I3OO to I3OQ, but the representation of the borough lapsed until 1621, when the right to return members was re-established. After the Reform Bill of 1832 the boundaries of the parliamentary borough were enlarged, but in 1867 its representation was reduced to one member, and in 1885 was merged in that of the county. No grant of a market in the borough has been found, but a market was held by the Despensers who had succeeded the De Clares as lords of the manor in the 14th century. In the 16th century the market seems to have been given up, but it was revived and held in the 18th century, only to disappear again before 1862. Fairs were mentioned in 1306 on the death of Gilbert de Clare, when they were held on St Luke's Day and on the Wednesday in Whit-week by the earl of Gloucester, and Hugh le Despenser was granted a fair in his manor of Marlow in 1324. In 1792 there were two fairs, one of which, for horses and cattle, is still held on the 29th. of October. Lace and satin-stitch work used to be made to a considerable extent.


MARLOWE, CHRISTOPHER (1564-1593), English dramatist, the father of English tragedy, and inst aura tor of dramatic blank verse, the eldest son of a shoemaker at Canterbury, was born in that city on the 6th of February 1564. He was christened at St George's Church, Canterbury, on the 26th of February, 1563/4, some two months before Shakespeare's baptism at Stratford-on-Avon. His father, John Marlowe, is said to have been the grandson of John Morley or Marlowe, a substantial tanner of Canterbury. The father, who survived by a dozen years or so his illustrious son, married on the 22nd of May 1561 Catherine, daughter of Christopher Arthur, at one time rector of St Peter's, Canterbury, who had been ejected by Queen Mary as a married minister. The dramatist received theirudiments of his education at the King's School, Canterbury, which he entered at Michaelmas 1578, and where he had as his fellow-pupils Richard Boyle, afterwards known as the great earl of Cork, and 'Will Lyly, the brother of the dramatist. Stephen Gosson entered the same school a little before, and William Harvey, the famous physician, a little after Marlowe. He 'went to Cambridge as one of Archbishop Parker's scholars from the King's School, and matriculated at Benet (Corpus Christi) College, on the 17th of March 1571, taking his B.A. degree in 1584, and that of M.A. three or four years later.

Francis Kett, the mystic, burnt in 1589 for heresy, was a fellow and tutor of his college, and may have had some share in developing Mar1owe's opinions in religious matters. Marlowe's classical acquirements were of a kind which was then extremely common, being based for the most part upon a minute acquaintance with Roman mythology, as revealed in Ovid's M elamorphoses. His spirited translation of Ovid's Amore; (printed 1596), which was at any rate commenced at Cambridge, does not seem to point to any very intimate acquaintance with the grammar and syntax of the Latin tongue. Before 1587 he seems to have quitted Cambridge for London, where he attached himself to the Lord Admiral's Company of Players, under the leadership of the famed actor Edward Alleyn, and almost atonce began writing for the stage. Of Marlowe's career in London, apart from his four great theatrical successes, we know hardly anything; but he evidently knew Thomas Kyd, who shared his unorthodox opinions. Nash criticized his verse, Greene affected to shudder at his atheism; Gabriel Harvey maligned his memory. On the other hand Marlowe was intimate with the, Walsinghams of Scadbury, Chiselhurst, kinsmen of Sir Francis Walsingham: he was also the personal friend of Sir Walter Raleigh, and perhaps of the poetical earl of Oxford, with both of whom, and with such men as Walter Warner and Robert Hughes the mathematicians, Thomas Harriott the notable astronomer, and Matthew Royden, the dramatist is said to have met in free converse. Either this free converse or the licentious character of some of the young dramatist's tirades seems to have sown a suspicion among the strait-laced that his morals left everything to be desired. It is probable enough that this attitude of re probation drove a man of so exalted a disposition as Marlowe into a more insurgent attitude than he would have otherwise adopted. He seems at any rate to have been associated with what was denounced as Sir Walter Raleigh's school of atheism, and to have dallied with opinions which were then regarded as putting a man outside the pale of civilized humanity. As the result of some depositions made by Thomas Kyd under the influence of torture, the Privy Council were upon the eve of investigating some serious charges against Marlowe when his career was abruptly and somewhat scandalously terminated. The order had already been issued for his arrest, when he was slain in a quarrel by a man variously named (Archer and Ingram) at Deptford, at the end of May 1 593, and he was buried on the 1st of June in the churchyard of St Nicholas at Deptford. The following September Gabriel Harvey referred to him as “ dead of the plague.” The disgraceful particulars attached to the tragedy of Marlowe in the popular mind would not seem to have appeared until four years later (1597) when Thomas Beard, the Puritan author of The Theatre of God's Judgements, used the death of this play maker and atheist as one of his warning examples of the vengeance of God. Upon the embellishments of this story, such as that of Francis Meres the critic, in 1598, that Marlowe came to be “ stabbed to death by a bawdy serving man, a rival of his in his lewde love, ” or that of William Vaughan in the Golden Grove of 1600, in which the unfortunate poet's dagger is thrust into his own eye in prevention of his felonious assault upon an innocent man, his guest, it is impossible now to pronounce., We really do not know the