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Playwright of brief but dazzling fame, Thomas Kyd was Shakespeare’s contemporary and Marlowe’s housemate in London. Author of the hugely popular Spanish Tragedy, Kyd was arrested and tortured on charges of treason when “certain atheistical disputations denying the deity of Jesus Christ” were found in his lodgings. He denounced Marlowe and, broken, died not long afterwards, debt-ridden, aged 35.