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John Dowland, Spy (?)

8-panel comic depicting a fictional meeting between composer John Dowland and two other men looking to dethrone the Queen.
Greg Ferrisi
The probably-not-quite-true story of a spy who'd rather be luting.

Legend tells of a musician- and composer-turned-spy who might possibly have saved Queen Elizabeth. Or maybe he just wanted to cover his own butt...

I love a good spy thriller, and if there's one thing I've learned from John LeCarre's Smiley series (or more recently Mick Herron's Slough House books), it's this: there are two sets of rules.

Under Moscow rules, you watch your back or find yourself dead. With its bureaucracy and red tape, though, London rules require you to cover your butt, or risk career-related death.

Despite the rumors of lute-playing composer John Dowland spying for Queen Elizabeth, it seems to me he was more interested in covering his butt.

But maybe I got some bad intel... What do you think? Drop me a note behind that park bench. Then wait for the signal.

Greg is the weekday afternoon host on WCRB.