John Penry There’s a name I’d never heard before : John Penry.  Executed in 1593, the “greatest protestant martyr of his land” is interesting to us for this little cross-reference:

The day after Penry’s execution, star English playwright Christopher Marlowe was killed in a fray whose timing some find a bit suspicious. Some enthusiasts think Marlowe faked his death and went on to write Shakespeare under a pen name. And if he did that, his confederates would have needed a body to pass off as Marlowe’s … the body, perhaps, of a man of Marlowe’s age and class who’d just been hanged a couple of miles up the road.

Indeed! 🙂

6 thoughts on “John Penry

  1. Thanks for the link! (And the great blog — welcome to my feed reader.)

    It may be an awfully thin reed, but when it’s just executions all day, every day … any angle will do.

    Still, there’s apparently no record of what became of Penry’s body. So there you have it.

  2. You know, Marlowe was so very good, and died so young…I sometimes wonder what I’d do if a genie came to me and said I could have either (a) the original version of Macbeth, the full text of Pericles, the manuscript of Cardenio, and a complete copy of Love’s Labour’s Won, or (b) a folio of the 36 plays Marlowe would have written if he’d lived until 1616. Tough call. Regrettably, that sort of thing rarely happens to me.

  3. Re Marlowe and the ‘unusual’ death:

    (Events in the UK of the past week through some light on the issue. Also, anyone who has ever had to deliver Marlowe on stage knows Shakspeare ain’t Marlowe)

  4. But Historia, how about this series of links:

    where the blog author spent months dissecting the book, even going back and forth with the authors over it?

    I love the very great irony that the authorship folks scream “no evidence!” in support of Shakespeare, but then, as so called evidence of their own, offer up things like “Look! Neville sounds like New Ville, which could mean New Town, and Falstaff was going to be called Old Castle!” or “Neville encoded his name in the sonnets!” Yeah, and apparently he also was brilliant enough to encode Shakespeare’s wife’s name, too?

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