Rouben Mamoulian

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Otis C. Ferguson

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Taking the subject of Christina, enlightened despot, Lesbian, free-lance adventuress, ["Queen Christina"] substitutes for all the strange facts bearing upon her reign and exile the considerably mildewed fictions of the Graustark cycle. To be sure, it borrows enough facts to make a setting; it indicates the Swedish court, and makes itself pleasant with glamor while it may. But then come the big scenes, the Od's-wounds-milady-'tis-but-a-scratch. In the end, it reduces the complex circumstances surrounding the abdication of a homosexual queen to a quick and wholesome elopement with the Gentleman from Spain…. So the whole play falls down, echoing falsely. Its essential crumbling, of course, has come about not because it is poor history but because it has nothing satisfactory to give in history's place.

Otis C. Ferguson, "Histories and a Travelogue," in The New Republic (reprinted by permission of The New Republic; © 1934 The New Republic, Inc.), Vol. 77, No. 100, January 31, 1934, p. 336.

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