This collection of essays on Christopher Marlowe attempts to place the writer and dramatist in the context of the cultural history of his period, with particular reference to its dynamics of social change, aspiration, exploration, conflict and discordance. As such, what characterises this selection from contributions to the conference held in 1993 at the University of Kent at Canterbury, is its interdisciplinarity. Several of the essays exemplify the variety of approaches which may be taken to the writing of cultural and intellectual history. While fresh perspectives are offered by presenting new documentary and textual evidence, and through the re-reading of Marlowe's work in the context of the Elizabethan literary Renaissance, room is made in the selection for different interpretations to stimulate debate. The volume begins with discussions of Marlowe’s childhood and youth, which address the subjects of the formative influence of family and community, his early experience of academic drama, and the activities of the playing companies within the circumscribed world of Elizabethan Canterbury and Cambridge. Several essays uncover strains of resistance and dissidence in Marlowe's work.