I was really torn writing this. I felt badly for my characters. I want them to be happy, they want to be happy. They are not happy right now. Other people fictional and otherwise have made it through these waters, and stayed off the reef. My guys are not having such an easy time. (Rikibeth has some excellent examples of such.)
I had meant for Thomas Walsingham to be more of a villain, and less of a shlub.
On a related note:I do kind of believe that the idea of 'waiting for the muse' is foolish if you really want to write. You have to apply the seat of the pants to the chair, as they say. I mean you don't hear much about the bricklayers muse, or the fry cook muse, or whatever.
But I have also found that sometimes my people won't go where I tell them, or say what I want them to say. I find it best to give in gracefully.
I feel like this last little bit has some 'as you know Bob' in it. Not sure how to help that.
So here is the history, as I understand it. Please, if you know better, and I am wrong, let me know.
Francis Walsingham was the Queen's spymaster. (Think Dick Cheney,) He was credited with saving her from various attempts on her life, and foiling the attacks of Spanish and Catholic sympathizers. it is hard to know, after all this time how real some of those threats really were. He was utterly devoted to her, and was one of the devoted that she did not kill. The Queen really did call him 'The Moor.' She was not saying it to be nice.
He probably brought Christofer Marlowe into the spy game, when Marlowe was at Cambridge. Marlowe was a scholarship student who ran out of money, and took some time off. He was supposed to be headed for a career in the church. That is what his scholarship said, and that is where his studies were supposed to take him. But he was noodling with 'athiesm' by then. it is not really atheism as we understand it, more questioning and doubting actually. But that was a crime against the state. And he was writing some rather naughty translations of Ovid. (Such a bad-ass, even then.)
When he came back to school, he had plenty of money, but the school said he had lost too much time to be graduated. At the last moment, a letter from the Queen appeared, saying Marlowe had been indispensable to the crown, and should move ahead on time.
So I am assuming that was when he started spying. His feelings about it were, I believe, mixed. His feelings about most things were mixed.
So this section is him and his lover-- Thomas Walsingham, that is, Francis Walsingham's nephew.
I tried to make the writing itself as clear and fun as possible, but maybe reading this too will help.