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The Marriage Game

The Marriage Game [Kindle Edition]

Alison Weir
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)

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Product Description


"[Weir] gets right inside the head of the Virgin Queen. The reader has a blissful sense of seeing history as it happens." (Kate Saunders The Times)

"Elizabeth explodes from the page, a full-blooded woman, all desire, passion and vulnerability . . . a breathtaking story of secrets and lies." (Kate Williams, author of BECOMING QUEEN and JOSEPHINE)

"Politics, historical detail and unfulfilled love in Alison Weir's endlessly fascinating account of Elizabeth I's attempt reconcile her personal passions with public life . . . The sheer weight of Weir’s scholarship underpins the narrative, making it endlessly fascinating." (Sunday Express)

"The captivating, tempestuous, often hilarious and ultimately poignant story of the extraordinary love affair between Elizabeth I and Robert Dudley" (Historical Novel Review)

"With the vogue for Tudor history at its height, this is a brilliant novel that focuses on the volatile relationship with Elizabeth I and the charismatic Lord Dudley." (Woman and Home)

Book Description

Bestselling historian Alison Weir brings all her knowledge of Elizabeth I to vivid life in a novel of intrigue, sex, plots, mysteries and tragedies, with all the colour and pageantry of the Tudor court.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1194 KB
  • Print Length: 436 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0091930863
  • Publisher: Cornerstone Digital (26 Jun 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091926254
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091926250
  • ASIN: B00IN87YLE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #5,934 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Alison Weir lives and works in Surrey. Her books include Britain's Royal Families, The Six Wives of Henry VIII, Children of England, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Henry VIII: King and Court, Mary, Queen of Scots and Isabella: She-Wolf of France.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
By EleanorB TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Alison Weir is uniquely placed to create fiction around the life of Elizabeth the First, given her extensive research and factual work on the Tudor period. In this novel she deals with Bess's infuriating (for her advisers) and frustrating (for herself and Robert Dudley equally) method of dealing with the pressure to marry and produce heirs for England. Her answer answerless continues for decades in a dance of courtships across the royal houses of Europe, all of which come to nothing, although the Queen herself clearly enjoys the 'game' and the gifts and flattery which accompany it. Weir brilliantly describes the utter panic that ensues when Elizabeth contracts smallpox: her life hanging in the balance and no acceptable heir in the frame makes the whole marriage game considerably more serious.

Weir's highly readable and very well written tale presents Elizabeth as part minx and part Gloriana. The vexed questions are all dealt with imaginatively: do she and Dudley have a full sexual relationship, is she so psychologically damaged by her mother's fate that marriage and motherhood are genuinely terrifying to her, or does she simply not want to share her power or be governed by a man? The other mystery of course is that surrounding the death of Dudley's wife, Amy, conveniently parked in the country and clearly unwell. If it were to look as if she has been murdered by Dudley, and not simply taken a fatal fall, one wonders who has most to gain and that is possibly actually not Dudley himself, as a man with such a tarnished reputation will not make good marriage material in the eyes of the world, and Mr Secretary Cecil no longer has the handsome Robert as a significant problem.

These conundrums are all addressed in a cracking work of fiction, which I highly recommend as a page turner that any fan of Tudor fiction will thoroughly enjoy.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Alison Weir on top form 3 July 2014
By TVgold.
After the awful endurance test of the Elizabeth of York biography, I had my doubts about buying this novel. I needn't have done. Her three previous novels were compelling page turners and this latest foray into fiction does not disappoint. It brings Elizabeth alive as a character, and is a fascinating study of the passionate relationship between Elizabeth and robert Dudley, the man that almost certainly she loved but could never bring herself to make love to. The novel attempts to address the mystery of the death of Amy Dudley while leaving it open for the reader to decide. The wider context of Elizabeth's reign is not neglected, and Elizabeth comes across as an infuriating tragic but humorous character impossible to dislike. Highly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Marriage Game 16 July 2014
By Keen Reader TOP 100 REVIEWER
One of the biggest issues that always faced Queen Elizabeth I in her lifetime was the succession to the English throne. Before she became queen, her concern was whether she would live long enough or be able to succeed her father, her brother or her sister. And once she was queen, who would succeed her? Her councillors and indeed politicians all over Europe were quite sure she would soon marry and have children so as to ensure the Tudor succession. Who she would marry was considered just as much a matter for political consultation, not her personal gratification. Should she marry an Englishman or someone outside England? A Catholic or a Protestant? A King who would have his own loyalties to his country, or a Prince who could settle in England and be consort to England’s Queen Regnant? But given that Elizabeth’s sister Mary’s marriage had not been successful in this regard, there was understandable hesitation in committing the Queen to a marriage that would bind England also.

Elizabeth herself kept her people and her councillors guessing just about her whole reign as to the marriage question, or the “marriage game” as Alison Weir has rightly termed it in this novel. Elizabeth’s heart may have been given to Robert Dudley, but he was unacceptable to many for multiple reasons – he was married when Elizabeth became queen, and his wife’s fate only heightened Dudley’s unsuitability to be husband to Elizabeth. Politically Elizabeth could have chosen her sister’s widower, or a French prince, or any other suitably titled and acceptable candidate. But for many reasons, both political and personal Elizabeth ruled alone. All that is widely known, but Alison Weir has taken that and woven it into a magical novel of Elizabeth the woman, and Elizabeth the Queen.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For the love of Elizabeth I 9 Aug 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Oh, Elizabeth Tudor... how I love to read versions of your life story, you fascinating woman!

I think that one statement completely sums up what I really think about this book.

Over the years Queen Elizabeth I has been a very popular character for historical novel writers simply because of who she was, who are father was and the mysterious relationship she had with Lord Robert Dudley. While many may see this as another version of Elizabeth and Robert's love affair, which it is, it doesn't mean that it isn't a wonderful read and that is won't take a new view on the affair.

The book travels the course of Elizabeth I reign on England's throne and charts her undying love for Lord Robert Dudley until his untimely death. This is your normal soppy romance as their relationship was an extremely complicated one and this book takes the view that they were deeply in love with each other but kept apart ultimately by Elizabeth's absolute terror of marriage. We follow Elizabeth as she plays what she calls 'The Marriage Game' where she will focus on an eligible man with whom a marriage could be good for the realm and then plays and toys with him to keep him interested in a union with her, to keep him (and his family/country) an ally to both her and the country. It's a difficult game to play and one that she wasn't always good at either but then again you wouldn't expect that keeping a man interested in marrying you for 11 years (in one case) would be particularly fun or easy but what it is is very interesting and makes for a really fascinating book.

I do love Alison Weir's novels as much as I do her non-fiction books and this novel is definitely not a let down for me.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars I finished it .....Just about.
I have immense respect for Alison Weir as a historian as her non fiction books are very well researched, however im not sure that her venture into fiction works. Read more
Published 13 hours ago by Karen
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great read
Published 8 days ago by allyannah
2.0 out of 5 stars In pursuit of a woman
In pursuit of a woman. Review: The Marriage Game by Alison Weir. Read more
Published 14 days ago by Thea Brooke
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent book the marriage game
Well written and enjoyable factual and great historical facts. Loved it so much. A love story well told. Most enjoyable
Published 19 days ago by spacemonk
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 27 days ago by Mrs S Sengelow
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good book
Published 27 days ago by miss l c ball
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed it.
God descriptive historical novel. Enjoyed it.
Published 1 month ago by maggie/poole
5.0 out of 5 stars A great intro to Elizabeth
Having been introduced to the Plantagenets after finishing Game of Thrones (at least the books to date), I had worked though the Tudors with a passion and then got a chance to read... Read more
Published 1 month ago by MartinRG
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent novel with historical fact included
Excellent novel with historical fact included. I learnt a lot. Alison Weir is one of my favourite novellists. Brilliant.
Published 1 month ago by Angela Mary Finnemore
3.0 out of 5 stars Oh Alison Weir, what have you done?
I have long been an admirer of Alison Weir's history books (particularly the earlier ones) and enjoyed her first foray into historical fiction (about Lady Jane Grey). Read more
Published 1 month ago by Cornwallgurl
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