4 May 1861, 595
To toil through ‘The Queen-Mother’ will cost the critic
Many a weary step and many a groan.
We should have conceived it hardly possible to make the crimes of Catherine de’ Medici dull, howsoever they were presented. Mr. Swinburne, however, has done so. There is more of real drama in Mr. Browning’s short poem of the French poisoner in the laboratory than in the entire hundred and fifty pages here wearily spun off. —Having had such ill-luck with one wicked Queen, we were unable to cope with a second one; and thus the Tragedy of Woodstock, once again told, though shorter as a play, is gladly handed over to others who are disposed to venture into the labyrinth.