Chapter: English Literature in the Sixteenth Century
I'm not sure if this strip works or not.
Anyway, here's Christopher "Always The Bardsmaid, Never The Bard" Marlowe. Though Shakespeare gained the distinction of being the greatest English author, y'know, ever, Marlowe gained an entirely different reputation: he was totally badass. A secret agent (or rather, an "agent provocateur") for Her Royal Majesty, Queen Elizabeth I, Kit spied against the Catholics that were planning to overthrow the throne. His sneaking about actually raised suspicion at Cambridge, where he was prepared to graduate with a Masters degree after six years of study. The degree was almost denied to Marlowe until representatives of the Queen came to the school and... persuaded... the leadership to let Kit graduate. Apparently, dissing Kit Marlowe wasn't "Her Majesty's pleasure." I've gotta believe the guys at Cambridge nearly shit their pants when that message showed up.
A lot of Marlowe's adventures are still cloaked in secrecy, either because the records are hidden or because they were simply lost to time. Still, he died young, meeting the wrong end of a dagger during what was officially recorded as a bar fight. No one at the time seemed to have cared that everyone else in the bar was also a spy, or involved in some other forms of espionage. Yep, Kit Marlowe, one of the greatest writers in English history, got capped at the age of 29 for serving on Her Majesty's Secret Service.