What is Marlowe’s chief source for his drama “Edward II”

Christopher Marlowe’s chief source for “Edward II” is Holinshed’s “Chronicle” which was first published in 1577 and subsequently ran in the second edition in 1587. According to Prof. Ward and Dr. Wagner, Marlowe derived his history for the main part from Fabyan’s “Chronicle or Concordance of Histories”. But Marlowe’s history presents some minute details of history which are lacking in Fabyan’s chronicle.

Marlowe, being a rising dramatic artist has some specialty. For example, he has used the chronicle of John Stowe for the story of the king being shaved with ditch water which is not to be found in Holinshed or Fabyan. But Marlowe’s work deviates from the work of Stowe’ as it lacks details.

Marlowe’s story also deviates from Holinshed’s “Chronicle”. He adds the early history of England, legend, mythologies, allusions, and deals with all of them. With his well-knit plot, psychological introspection into historical characters, and poetic impulses he has succeeded in presenting “Edward II” a new artistic pleasure drama.