Today is Christopher "Kit" Marlowe's birthday. He would be 448 years old. The son of a shoemaker, he wrote some of the most provocative plays of his day, always challenging authority - which is perhaps why he was forced to act as a spy for Her Majesty the Queen, to keep his neck from being stretched. In the end he was stabbed in the eye in a tavern in Deptford in a dispute over the bill - or so we're told. The witnesses were all spies as well, making the "death" of Kit Marlowe one conspiracy theory I can get behind.
Coincidentally, Kit Marlowe's spying happens to be the core focus of my upcoming spy / buddy / road novel, HER MAJESTY'S WILL, starring Kit Marlowe and Will Shakespeare before either of them became famous. Seriously excited to share it with you. And the cover is hilarious.
In completely non-Shakespearean birthdays, today in is also the anniversary of Fred "Tex" Avery's birth. A very very good day for art. Blind in one eye due to a paper-clip mishap, he lied his way into the directing job at Warner's and basically created the whole Looney Tunes stable, with help from Bob Clampett, Chuck Jones, and Friz Freleng. But he was never comfortable with authority, and walked out on Warner's for MGM. I think he and Kit would have gotten along swell. And just like Kit, others would take his form and style and refine it into timeless art.
In their joint honor, I present the first true meeting of Elmer and Bugs.