Christopher Marlowe: poet, playwright, lover, brawler, spy.
Protestant England is threatened by Catholic powers on the continent. Catholic conspirators plot to assassinate Queen Elizabeth, and a planned invasion of England has the backing of Rome. Absolved of allegiance to the Queen, whom the Pope has excommunicated, papists in England are persecuted and priests who minister to them are publicly tortured and executed. Sir Francis Walsingham, chief of the Queen's secret service, maintains a spy network to monitor the activities of Catholics in England and on the continent. Many of his spies are students recruited at Cambridge, and Christopher Marlowe, known as Kit, is one of them.
Kit Marlowe's first assignment is to infiltrate a conspiracy to assassinate the Queen. He wins the trust of the conspirators and is instrumental in exposing them, then witnesses their ghastly execution at Tyburn. Determined to give up the dirty business of spying, Kit returns to Cambridge. He acquires a patron, Tom Walsingham, cousin of Sir Francis, and begins his meteoric rise as a dramatist. Through his rising reputation as a dramatist and his connections, Kit becomes a member of circles that include such prominent figures as Sir Walter Raleigh and the so-called School of Night. One evening he meets William Shakespeare and his dark mistress .But while he enjoys the friendship of some powerful figures, his quick temper, barbed tongue and fearlessly open mind earn him the enmity of others, including someone who plots his assassination.
"To become, almost unawares, a present contemporary of the Elizabethan glory and terror, is an experience unparalleled in my reading life. With Horses of the Night, Geoff Aggeler brings us to know the actual sensation of breathing, perilously, such rich air. The intensity of his portrait of Kit Marlowe lifts that peril to a dizzying pitch." -Donald Revell
Geoff Aggeler has also published a number of non-fiction works on Renaissance drama. His book Nobler in the Mind was runner up in the 1998 competition for Best Book in Shakespearean Studies sponsored by the University of Delaware Press.
At Utah he taught both fiction workshops and literature courses. After retiring from Utah, he was a visiting professor of drama and in the writing program at UC Santa Barbara. He’s on the faculty of the Santa Barbara Writers Conference and is a freelance editor.
You can purchase Horses of the Night on Amazon here.