Buy Used
FREE Delivery on orders over £10.
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by the book house
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: This item will be picked, packed and shipped by Amazon and is eligible for free delivery within the UK
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

The Marriage Game Paperback – 26 Jun 2014

3.6 out of 5 stars 123 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback, 26 Jun 2014
£6.71 £0.01
click to open popover

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Hutchinson (26 Jun. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091930863
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091930868
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 3 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 716,581 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

See all Product Description

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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.
Comment 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've read all Weir's other fiction books and loved them all. Been completely unable to put them down. Through her I had fallen in love with a young Elizabeth, Eleanor of Aquataine, Katherine Plantagentant and the Grey Sisters. And yet this book seems to completely fall flat. I found myself skimming over large chunks of it just because it was completely repetitive and added zero to the story while major plots were glossed over. For example, the courtship of Robert and Lettice was completely neglected and since Robert is meant to be the other main character thought they could of given it a bit more depth, there doesn't seem to be any explination as to why Robert chose to marry Lettice despite knowing it would incur the wrath of Elizabeth. There must of been some depth to their feelings but that is totally unexplored.

The characters are dull and unlikable with Elizabeth just being demanding, spoilt and playing games all the time (ok I know she was a little like that but she must of had some redeeming qualities), Robert is seen as niave and nothing to offer but his good looks while Lettice is just a screeching brat.

Please Alison go back to your traditional writing styles.
1 Comment 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By Keen Reader TOP 50 REVIEWER on 16 July 2014
Format: 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.
Read more ›
3 Comments 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
"The Marriage Game" by Tudor historian Alison Weir is a clever and entertaining, if sometimes maddening, novel about the love life of Queen Elizabeth the first.

If you have read more than a few romances you will almost certainly have encountered some in which an infuriating heroine who cannot make up her mind leads the hero and often a host of other suitors a merry and highly frustrating dance. Both in real history and in this book, "Good Queen Bess" absolutely was that girl. Hence when I say that the book is sometimes maddening I mean that one identifies sufficiently with the characters to find Queen Elizabeth's behaviour maddening - as it was, although this book helps you get inside her thoughts enough to understand why she behaved the way she did.

When she came to the throne Queen Elizabeth already had good reason to be fearful and cautious about the dangers of love. She had been two years old when her father had her mother beheaded. A year after that the Queen for whom Henry VII disposed of her mother, Jane Seymour, died in childbed. When she was fourteen her last stepmother, Catherine Parr, also died in childbed. And shortly after that her stepfather Thomas Seymour who had married Henry VIII's widow Catherine Parr, was beheaded for High Treason on a number of grounds, one of which was that he behaved with improper familiarity towards Princess Elizabeth. This may have been part of a treasonous plot to marry her and gain the throne. Whether or not that was the case, the Regency council headed by Seymour's own brother were sufficiently convinced of it to have him executed.

Having seen so many of those who were close to her die in such circumstances, Elizabeth had every reason to know that love could be dangerous.
Read more ›
Comment 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Look for similar items by category