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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Marriage Game, 16 July 2014
This review is from: The Marriage Game (Hardcover)
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. As Queen, politics could never be divorced from her private life, and it is in this terrible wasteland between head and heart that Elizabeth must move for her whole reign.

As always, Alison Weir has written an enthralling and engaging historical novel; definitely recommended for anyone wanting to read about Queen Elizabeth I, whether you are familiar with the story or not. A delightful read.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 16 Jul 2014 19:38:12 BDT
Timelord-007 says:
The word marriage too me is like a crucifix to a vampire arrggghhh.

As ever you have balanced this review superbly my dear, it just flows off the page.

Excellent review.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Jul 2014 20:25:14 BDT
Keen Reader says:
You're a worry, you are :-)
Thanks timelord007!

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Jul 2014 21:37:44 BDT
Timelord-007 says:
Don't mind living together shame the Devil & all that but marriage nooooooooo lol.
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