Della Hilton was born in Australia. Her English father gave her dual nationality. She graduated from Melbourne University with a BA in English Literature and History before working for the BBC and the ABC in Melbourne and London.

Della Hliton worked in London for 6 years (1973-78 inc.) with the eminent historian AJP Taylor. She was also honorary director of The London Folk Festival from 1976 to 1978.

She is the author of two books on Marlowe: Who Was Kit Marlowe? and Second Unto None.


Read Who Was Kit Marlowe?

From the cover jacket of Who Was Kit Marlowe?

Sixteenth-century playwright and poet Christopher Marlowe has been the subject of much speculation and analysis, some of which has overemphasized aspects of his career and inhibited appreciation of his works.

Because it has been discovered that he, like many patriotic youths in the year before the Spanish Armada attacked England, did service for Sir Francis Walsingham's spy organization, he has been elevated into a fully fledged spy. His three appearances in law courts are taken to suggest "lawlessness," while many similar experiences of contemporaries like Shakespeare and Jonson are not considered as comparisons. And because he twice wrote about homosexuality, though other playwrights like Drayton also chose this subject, he has been dubbed homosexual. But while the image of a lawless homosexual spy may have a certain appeal, it ignores much that is now known about Marlowe.

Of his genius as a playwright there has never been any question: together with the actor Edward Alleyn, who starred in his plays, he was the catalyst for the explosion of Elizabethan drama, at a time when the acting companies were becoming legal under patronage, and theatres were being built to house their performances. As a disseminator of Renaissance ideas he was paralleled only by Raleigh, Bacon and Shakespeare.

But this reassessment of his character, made in the light of recently discovered information about his private life and the manner of his death, redresses the balance in favor of a man of warmth and moderation, infinitely more interesting than the imaginary character he had thought was the real Christopher Marlowe.


Table of Contents, Introduction

Chapter 1: Canterbury

Chapter 2: Cambridge

Chapter 3: Rheims

Chapter 4: Tamburlaine in London

Chapter 5: 'The king of Spain's huge fleet'

Chapter 6: The School of Night

Chapter 7: Norton Folgate

Chapter 8: Newgate

Chapter 9: Blood Guilt

Chapter 10: 1590

Chapter 11: The Playwrights' Brains Trust

Chapter 12: Piers Gaveston

Chapter 13: Visit to Canterbury

Chapter 14: Doctor Faustus

Chapter 15: The Rival Poets

Chapter 16: Scadbury

Chapter 17: Aftermath

Bibliography and Index