Shakespeare, the Playwright with a License to Quill

Jacopo della Quercia’s recently released novel License to Quill places literary legends William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe in a narrative derived from contemporary spy thrillers such as the James Bond series. When William Shakespeare is approached by Guy Fawkes to help in the infamous Gunpowder Plot, the playwright is forced to work undercover with the group of conspirators, infiltrating their plans until the treasonous act ultimately fails. Christopher Marlowe deals with the foreign implications of the Gunpowder Plot in Italy. The story, outlandish to the novel’s 17th Century setting, serves to provide an interesting glimpse of the two writers’ personalities and eccentricities as understood through historical sources and their own works. The narrative begins on a stormy night in London around May 30, 1593 — the reported date of Christopher Marlowe’s untimely death.