Horses of the Night seemed like a good choice for me, because it’s about Christopher Marlowe, and I do enjoy novels about literary figures. I just never developed much interest in this novel, however, and gave it up after 100 pages or so.
The novel concentrates on Marlowe’s spying career, involving him right away in the Babington Plot. Although Marlowe is alleged to have been a spy, nothing is known of his activities. At least as Aggeler depicts it, Marlowe seems to have little role in the case, sent in at the end of the plot with only a few lessons in how to be a Catholic. He is involved long enough, however, to become sympathetic with one of the alleged plotters, Margaret Copley.
Aggeler appears to be previously an academic writer. For this novel, he has adopted a pseudo-Elizabethan writing style throughout, even for descriptive passages. This is an interesting approach, and it is not inherently irritating, but I found the writing overblown at times.
I also felt as if I was seeing a Marlowe who was not the actual person I would expect from my admittedly limited reading, a man more conventionally likable than Marlowe probably was.
The Secret Life of William Shakespeare
4 thoughts on “Day 931: Horses of the Night”
I always find it hard to give up on a novel and admire those who can do it. Really, life’s too short to plod on with a book that doesn’t hit the spot!
(As a recent follower, I’m enjoying your blog very much 🙂 )
It took me years before I would. Now, unless it’s absolutely dreadful, I try to give them about 100 pages before deciding to stop. I’m glad you are enjoying the blog.
I do love Marlowe’s plays but the tone of this book does sound strange.
It wasn’t at all what I was expecting, which isn’t necessarily bad.