MARLOWE AND PLUMS

April 27, 2010

Christopher Marlowe’s legendary love of plums has been a source of interest to scholars ever since his (almost certainly plum-related) murder in 1593.

The celebrated dramatist and espionage agent was vociferous in his love of the tart fruit, once writing that:

“The Mereste Smack of a Primy Plumb’s Deep-Sweete Nectar doth but at once reduceth me to the moste Fool-Begged of Want-Wits.”

Marlowe’s plum love is theorised to have stemmed from his time as a spy for Sir Francis Walsingham, who was renowned for his extensive and high quality plum fields throughout much of modern day Wigtwizzle and Flagg.

Although scholars believe that Walsingham originally paid Marlowe in plums for his services, it would appear that in time Marlowe’s love of the stone fruit outstripped his earning capabilities, resulting in disastrous debts and his eventual murder.

No mere historical curio, Marlowe’s addiction has provided powerful evidence for the “Marlovian” school, who argue that the works traditionally attributed to William Shakespeare were in fact written by Marlowe.  Proponents of the theory have pointed to the many plum references throughout the Shakespearean oeuvre (Guildenstern taking “Plumb and Crabbe-Apple Jam” with him during the trip to England, Lear ranting about “Plumb-Coloured Ducats (coins)”, etc.) as proof of their claims.

Marlowe was often seen in public with plum juice smeared across his lips and cheeks

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