In the news

Oneworld Buys New Ros Barber – The Bookseller, 16th July 2014

The Marlowe Papers Wins Desmond Elliott Prize
The Marlowe Papers Wins Desmond Elliott Prize
Desmond Elliott Prize Goes To Former Computer Programmer
Desmond Elliott Prize Goes To Former Computer Programmer
Ros Barber faced ‘hostility’ over The Marlowe Papers
The Marlowe Papers longlisted for The Women's Prize
The Marlowe Papers longlisted for The Women’s Prize for Fiction


BBC Radio 4 Saturday Review – 5 May 2012

Robert McCrum in The Guardian – 10 May 2012

“The verse is subtle and varied enough never to disturb the ear, and in fact you forget that you’re reading poetry at all. This is no bawdy, cod-Shakespearean romp. And if it doesn’t quite make you believe, you look again at Marlowe’s dangerous era with its riddles, disguises, allusions and concealments, and you begin to wonder …”
Suzi Feay in the Financial Times – 19 May 2012

“This rich and charmingly playful work avoids the potential for whimsy inherent in such an undertaking. The thrill at reimagining the events and era comes through wave after wave in Barber’s blank verse.”
Adam O’ Riordan in The Telegraph – 20 May 2012

“For me, The Marlowe Papers is the best read, so far, this year.”
Martin Newell in The Express – 20 May 2012 

[Former poet laureate Andrew Motion didn’t like it. Some would say that’s a commendation all of its own.
Andrew Motion in the Guardian – 15 June 2012 
Others continued to be positive…]

“An accomplished writer, she composes effective blank verse and is playful with form: her research into Marlowe’s documented life forms a series of gripping flashbacks, and her introduction to a cast of characters from the theatre and the court is deft”
Jackie Watson in the TLS – July 2012

the Marlowe Papers thunders along like an episode of some Elizabethan 24.”
Jonathan Barnes in the Literary Review – August 2012

“Themes of identity and self-esteem, of truth and loyalty, give substance to Barber’s enthralling plot in a work that combines historical erudition with a sharply satisfying read. Marlowe’s passion infects the page; Barber’s skill draws the fever.”
James Urquhart in the Independent – 11 Sept 2012

US Reviews

“Barber is an accomplished poet, and as a sustained exercise in nuanced poetic narrative this is a remarkable book.”
Charles Nicholl in The New York Times – 25 January 2013

“With the screw-tightening verve of a great thriller and the romantic pull of Renaissance poetry, the novel — which purports that Marlowe is the true author of William Shakespeare’s legendary oeuvre — is a gripping, lyrical, most unlikely page-turner.”
J Rentilly in American Way

Book Clubs and Book Magazines

“now that I’ve reached the end I want to go back and read it all again.”
New Books Magazine

“this is a book to read slowly and savour. A gourmet meal rather than a Big Mac.”
The Bookbag

“the book as a whole is more readable, more interesting and more successfully intriguing than you might ever assume.”
We Love This Book

Book Blogs

“a stirring emotional epic.”

“It’s a remarkable piece of work, it really is, and if you have the slightest fondness for Shakespeare or Marlowe or beautiful poetry, I urge you to read it… It might only be 9 January, but this is already a strong contender to be one of my top books of the year.”
The Idle Woman


Waterstones Blog: Five Books That Influenced Me – 23 May 2012
Criminal Element: Writers As Spies – 1 Feb 2013


The Observer:  Debut Author – 20 May 2012 


BBC Radio 3 The Verb – 18 May 2012

Ros at BBC Salford recording for Radio 3’s The Verb with Gary Numan & Ian McMillan

One thought on “Media

  • July 31, 2023 at 9:47 am

    Hello, I’m a huge fan of your fiction (I recently read The Marlowe Papers, and thought it was exquisite). I’m also passionate about the forgotten history of women in the past, and so your latest project about Mary Read and Anne Bonny is intriguing (although I haven’t yet read it…but I will). I’m also a published author (Operation Moonlight), and I work closely with my local independent bookshop here in Alton, Hampshire-Goldfinch Books. We have a huge book club (100 members spread over 4 groups), a writing group, I run creative writing programmes for beginner writers, and we host author events. Recently, authors such as Claire Fuller, AJ Pearce, Laura Bates, BA Paris and Guy Morpuss have done events with us. I was wondering if you would be interested in visiting us for an event? You could perhaps talk about your Shakespeare knowledge, or about self-publishing (we have lots of would-be authors in our community). Or it would be great to showcase your latest book and talk about female history. We’re open to anything. I don’t know which part of the country you live in, so this might be too far for you to travel, or you may be way too busy. But if you think you might be interested in doing something with us at some point, this year or next, please do get in contact. Thanks, and bye for now. Lou.


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