Review of The Marriage Game – Alison Weir

Posted: September 27, 2014 in general fiction, history, Review

The Marriage Game

The young Queen Elizabeth was considered a bastard, a heretic, and a usurper, though many nobles sought her hand in marriage in order to rule over Tudor England. Elizabeth kept them all waiting for a yes, while enjoying a close relationship with her Master of the Horse, Robert Dudley. The son and grandson of traitors to the crown, Dudley was dashing but married, leading to scurrilous rumours about them at court. Most believed them to be lovers and Elizabeth not a virgin queen.

Fearing she’d lose her right to rule England to her husband, for over 20 years Elizabeth kept considering offers of marriage, thereby keeping suitors as friends rather than enemies of England. She also had a fear of childbirth and either dying or being supplanted by a male heir. Her advisors urged her to wed as women need a man to guide them and couldn’t rule by themselves and their hopes kept getting dashed.

A fictional story of Elizabeth’s rule, this book is very well researched and gives life to long-dead figures from history. You get a glimpse of what-might-have-been and what life inside the Tudor court must have been like. I thought the book would be dry and boring as the language was stiltingly old-fashioned but a few ages in I was hooked by the story. I have a deep admiration for Elizabeth and how she managed her affairs and kept everyone dangling for years. It must have been so hard being a woman then, not to mention ruling a country with people plotting your death.


Supplied by Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Jan

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