ROMA GILL PRIZE

EVERY TWO YEARS, THE MARLOWE SOCIETY OF AMERICA AWARDS THE ROMA GILL PRIZE TO THE BEST NEW WORK IN MARLOWE STUDIES. WE ARE ESPECIALLY HONORED TO NAME OUR AWARD AFTER ROMA GILL (1934-2001), A DISTINGUISHED SCHOLAR AND TEACHER WHO WAS HERSELF A MEMBER OF THE MARLOWE SOCIETY OF AMERICA. 

In 1954, Roma Gill was one of the fifteen founding undergraduate members of New Hall (now Murray Edwards College), Cambridge—the first women’s college at the university in nearly a century. She studied under Helen Gardner at Oxford (St. Hilda’s) and then, beginning in 1963, taught at Sheffield under William Empson, where she was the only woman in the department and became Reader in English Literature in 1979. She was best known for her general editorship of the Oxford School Shakespeare and, of course, her editions of Marlowe. She was general editor of the Oxford University Press Works (1987-98) herself editing the first volume on the poems and translations. She also published editions of Doctor Faustus (1965) and Edward II (1967), as well as a one-volume complete plays (1971).


PAST WINNERS OF THE ROMA GILL PRIZE

2013–2014

FIRST PRIZE

MICHAEL L. STAPLETON

Marlowe's Ovid: The Elegies in the Marlowe Canon

Ashgate, 2014

The first book of its kind, Marlowe's Ovid explores and analyzes in depth the relationship between the Elegies—Marlowe's translation of Ovid's Amores—and Marlowe's own dramatic and poetic works. Stapleton carefully considers Marlowe's Elegies in the context of his seven known dramatic works and his epyllion, Hero and Leander, and offers a different way to read Marlowe. Stapleton employs Marlowe's rendition of the Amores as a way to read his seven dramatic productions and his narrative poetry while engaging with previous scholarship devoted to the accuracy of the translation and to bibliographical issues. The author focuses on four main principles: the intertextual relationship of the Elegies to the rest of the author's canon; its reflection of the influence of Erasmian humanist pedagogy, imitatio and aemulatio; its status as the standard English Amores until the Glorious Revolution, part of the larger phenomenon of pan-European Renaissance Ovidianism; its participation in the genre of the sonnet sequence. He explores how translating the Amores into the Elegies profited Marlowe as a writer, a kind of literary archaeology that explains why he may have commenced such an undertaking. Marlowe's Ovid adds to the body of scholarly work in a number of subfields, including classical influences in English literature, translation, sexuality in literature, early modern poetry and drama, and Marlowe and his milieu.


2011–2012

FIRST PRIZE

CHLOE PREEDY

Marlowe's Literary Scepticism: Politic Religion and Post-Reformation Polemic

Bloomsbury Arden Shakespeare, 2013

Marlowe's Literary Scepticism re-evaluates the representation of religion in Christopher Marlowe's plays and poems, demonstrating the extent to which his literary engagement with questions of belief was shaped by the virulent polemical debates that raged in post-Reformation Europe. Offering new readings of under-studied works such as the poetic translations and a fresh perspective on well-known plays such as Doctor Faustus, this book focuses on Marlowe's depiction of the religious frauds denounced by his contemporaries. It identifies Marlowe as one of the earliest writers to acknowledge the practical value of religious hypocrisy, and a pivotal figure in the history of scepticism.

 

SECOND PRIZE

JEFFREY MASTEN

"Bound for Germany: Heresy, Sodomy, and a New Copy of Marlowe's Edward II," TLS: The Times Literary Supplement, 21 and 28 December, 2012, 17–19

 


2009–2010

FIRST PRIZE

PATRICK CHENEY

Marlowes Republican Authorship: Lucan, Liberty, and the Sublime

Palgrave Macmillan, 2008

FROM THE BOOK JACKET: ...the first attempt to situate Marlowe’s iconoclastic dissidence within the context of Elizabethan republican thought. Recent studies locate Sidney, Spenser, Shakespeare, and Jonson within this context, but not Marlowe. The primary rationale for filling the gap comes from Marlowe's translation of Book 1 of Lucan’s Pharsalia, the central poem of the republican imagination. Not simply does Marlowe build the Lucanian battle between Republic and Empire into his plays, but in each he foregrounds Lucan’s achievement: out of the imperial narrative of defeated liberty, he invents a poetics of the sublime. Marlowe’s commitment to liberty and the sublime has long been understood as the apex of his achievement, but Cheney’s book is the first to contextualize both in terms of Lucan’s haunting republican poem. The book demonstrates that he is the literary pioneer of a Lucanian republican authorship in English. Like Lucan, Marlowe makes the freedom–seeking author of the sublime the imagined leader of a new republican art.


2007–2008

FIRST PRIZE

ROBERT LOGAN

Shakespeare's Marlowe: The Influence of Christopher Marlowe on Shakespeare's Artistry

Ashgate, 2007

Shakespeare's Marlowe critiques the traditional concept of rivalry and is instead devoted to “the uncommonly powerful aesthetic bond” between the authors as “practicing dramatists and poets.” Shakespeare’s undoubted incorporation of “dramaturgical and literary devices that resulted in Marlowe’s artistic and commercial success” manifests itself in three areas of influence: a “remarkable verbal dexterity,” an “imaginative flexibility in reconfiguring standard notions of dramatic genres,” and an “astute use of ambivalence and ambiguity.”

 

SECOND PRIZE

JOHN PARKER

"Barabas and Charles I," in Placing the Plays of Christopher Marlowe: Fresh Cultural Contexts, ed. Sara Deats & Robert Logan

Ashgate, 2008

The essay argues the The Jew of Malta was dangerously topical in Caroline England, and that it represents an attempt to use "dated material" in the form of a dramatic revival to critique what was perceived by some to be the king's increasingly Catholic revision of the Anglican liturgy.