As Shadow of the Night‚ the long-awaited sequel to Deborah Harkness’s A Discovery of Witches‚ hits the shelves, you might find your readers asking for books by, and references to, some pretty interesting figures, including Christopher Marlowe, George Chapman, Lord Northumberland, Thomas Harriot, and Sir Walter Raleigh. Each is a part of the shadowy group known as the School of Night. Here are a few parallel reading suggestions for Harkness fans who get hooked:
- The School of Night by Louis Bayard (Holt): This thriller smartly navigates among the players of the School of Night and a modern-day scholar on the hunt for their secrets.
- Chapman’s Homer: The Iliad by Homer, translated by George Chapman (Princeton Univ.): This is the verse translation that made Chapman famous and so thrilled Keats that he wrote On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer.” If you own a copy of Chapman’s poem Shadow of Night, Harkness fans might be thrilled to know it is dedicated to Matthew Roydon (you can see a version here).
- The Jewel House: Elizabethan London and the Scientific Revolution by Deborah Harkness (Yale Univ.): Now would be a good time to buy Harkness’s scholarly but accessible investigation into the ways science was woven into the society of Elizabethan London. Readers who loved the sections of Shadow of the Night featuring Mary Sidney’s experiments will find much to enjoy.
- Christopher Marlowe: The Complete Plays by Christopher Marlowe (Penguin): This edition reprints both versions of Doctor Faustus, the play Marlowe struggles with during his time with Matthew and Diana. If you still have a copy of Anthony Burgess’s Dead Man in Deptford or David Riggs’s The World of Christopher Marlowe, suggest those as well.
- Sir Walter Raleigh: In Life and Legend by Mark Nicholls and Penry Williams (Continuum): This is a fine biography to start exploring the life of a man often made up of more legend than fact. For readers tantalized by the vague references that Harkness makes to Raleigh’s lost colony suggest A Kingdom Strange: The Brief and Tragic History of the Lost Colony of Roanoke by James Horn (Basic).