He raised his head irritably when his sister Janey entered, and then quickly bent over his book (Swinburne's "Chastelard
"--just out) as if he had not seen her.
This is worth mentioning in part because it attests to the astonishing fecundity of Swinburne's late twenties, which yielded two career-defining volumes of poetry (to say nothing of Chastelard
, still another collection of poems) and a monograph of some 350 pages on a subject as formidable as Blake.
Atalanta in Calydon certainly has little in common with spasmodic dramas in its classical plot and formal structure (though Swinburne's other early play, Chastelard
, comes closer in its focus on deviant passion).
Here the highlights include Walter Scott's historical novel The Abbot (1820), Agnes Strickland's Life of Mary Queen of Scots (1844), James Froude's History of England (1862), Algernon Swinburne's Mary Stuart trilogy, especially its first part, Chastelard
(1865), Charlotte Yonge's novel for children, Unknown to History (1882), and "Michael Field's" (pseudonym for Katherine Bradley and Edith Cooper) closet drama The Tragic Mary (1890).
His devotion to Shakespeare and his unrivaled knowledge of Elizabethan and Jacobean drama are reflected in his early play Chastelard
In the same year he published Chastelard
(1865), the first of three dramas on Mary Queen of Scots.
She is the subject of Schiller's tragedy Maria Stuart (1800); Bjornstjerne Bjornson's drama Maria Stuart (1864); Swinburne's trilogy of verse dramas Chastelard
(1865), Bothwell (1874), and Mary Stuart (1881); and N.
Catherine Barnes Stevenson adduces some of the parallels between Swinburne's writings (including the play Chastelard
) and LT in "Swinburne and Tennyson's Tristram," VP 19 (Summer 1981): 185-189.
His international profile can be seen in the making as King Ludwig of Bavaria decides to have Chastelard
translated into German, a translation duly followed by a German Atalanta in 1878, and Gabriel Mouray's French version of Poems and Ballads.