George Cronyn wrote a fictional biography of Marlowe in Mermaid Tavern, a dull and inexcusably bawdy book. Now comes this excellent biography, a definitive work and fascinating reading. Scholarly, dispassionate appraisal of the man and his work, through source material and his plays and verse. The type of thing that Neilson and Wilson have done for Shakespeare. Starts with a brilliant analysis of the man; then with meticulous scholarship, traces his ancestry through records, his years of schooling, then on to London. Detailed anecdotal material on his contemporaries -- good background material on the period. Study of his four big plays. Then his death in a tavern duel. Discussion of his lesser work, his translations, and so on. In spite of the scholarly approach, it is smooth reading and interesting. Limited by the limitations of interest in his subject -- not by his handling.