The Marlowe Society
27 January 2010

Hoffman Prize Winner Announced

2009 Prize Won by Dr. Andrew Duxfield

In December, the King's School, Canterbury announced that the winner of the twentieth Calvin & Rose G Hoffman Prize for a distinguished publication on Christopher Marlowe was Dr. Andrew Duxfield for his essay entitled 'Individual and Multitude in The Jew of Malta'.

The winning essay was developed by Andrew Duxfield from a chapter in his PhD thesis, The Tension Between Reduction and Ambiguity in the Plays of Christopher Marlowe. One of his supervisors at Sheffield Hallam University was Professor Lisa Hopkins, who has written a number of acclaimed books on Marlowe, and is also a Vice-President of our Society. Dr. Duxfield has also had articles on Marlowe published in the electronic journal Early Modern Literary Studies, including "Doctor Faustus and the Failure to Unify", and a review of Professor Park Honan's biography Christopher Marlowe: Poet and Spy (also a Society Vice-President).

The prize itself was established as a bequest by Calvin Hoffman, author of the 1955 book The Murder of the Man Who Was Shakespeare, which posited that Marlowe's death in Deptford in 1593 was in fact faked, and that he rather went on to write the works now attributed to Shakespeare. A substantial Trust Fund was set up that will be awarded to anybody who can produce "irrefutable" evidence that Marlowe was the real author.

In the meantime, an annual prize is also awarded for the essay that "most convincingly, authoritatively and informatively examines and discusses the life and works of Christopher Marlowe, and the authorship of the plays and poems now commonly attributed to Shakespeare". Both prizes are administered by the King's School, who appoint an appropriate adjudicator each year to make the judgement.

In 2007, one of the joint winners was Marlowe Society member Peter Farey, and previous winners have also included Prof. Hopkins herself (in 1994), Prof. James Shapiro (Columbia University, also 1994), Prof. Jonathan Bate (University of Liverpool, 1995), Prof. David Riggs (Stanford University, 1998), and Prof. Michael Hattaway (University of Sheffield, 2001).