In this compelling novel of Tudor drama and suspense, acclaimed author Alison Weir brings to life one of England's most scandalous royal love affairs: the romance between the "Virgin Queen" Elizabeth I and her courtier Lord Robert Dudley.
Only twenty-five and newly crowned, Elizabeth vows to rule the country as both queen and king. But her counselors continually press her to form an advantageous marriage and produce an heir. Though none of the suitors have yet worked their way to her throne, the dashing—though married—Lord Robert lays claim to Elizabeth's heart. Their flagrant flirting, their unescorted outings, and the appointment of Lord Robert to Master of Horse inspire whispers through the court, and even rumors that Elizabeth has secretly given birth to Lord Robert's child.
Events take a dark turn when Robert's wife is found dead. Universal shock is followed by accusations of murder. Despite the scandal, Elizabeth and Robert manage to navigate the choppy political, economic, and religious waters around them. But the greatest obstacle to marriage between the Queen and her true love may come not from outside forces, but from within.
With intricate period detail and captivating prose, Alison Weir explores one of history's most provocative "Did they or didn't they?" debates. The Marriage Game maneuvers through the alliances, duplicities, intrigue, and emotions of a woman intent on sovereignty—over her country and herself.
Praise for The Marriage Game
"Entrancing . . . Weir manages to weave actual history and the imagined kind together seamlessly."—Huntington News
"Weir's credible characters and blend of the personal and political will sweep up readers of this engrossing behind-the-scenes psychological portrait of Elizabeth."—Publishers Weekly
"Based on historical events, letters and conjecture, Weir paints a fascinating picture of Elizabeth's years as queen. . . . There is enough drama here for a PBS series."—RT Book Reviews
"Weir's impeccable reputation as both a historian and a master storyteller guarantees a huge audience for another intriguing Tudor-themed tale."—Booklist
Praise for Alison Weir
A Dangerous Inheritance
"A juicy mix of romance, drama and Tudor history . . . pure bliss for today's royal watchers."—Ladies' Home Journal