01/24/2014 12:22 pm ET Updated Mar 26, 2014

7 Brilliant Writers Who Were Overshadowed by a Contemporary

This year marks the 450th anniversary of the birth of two great Elizabethan writers: Christopher Marlowe and William Shakespeare. Though William Shakespeare is known as the author of some of the most famous plays and poems in the English-speaking world, Christopher Marlowe, if he is known at all, is known chiefly (though inaccurately) as a drunken brawler who was stabbed through the eye at the age of 29. It's every writer's worst nightmare: Break new ground and become a key influence on a contemporary, only for their work to eclipse yours entirely. Here are some other genius writers who suffered the same fate.

7 Brilliant Writers Who Were Overs

Ros Barber is the author of The Marlowe Papers, now available in paperback from St Martin's Griffin.