The great Sarah, looking her very best — and her very best is indeed majestic, ever virile and ever fascinating — reposed queenlike on a sofa, a book in hand. For the celebrated tragédienne is one of those to whom an hour unoccupied would mean an hour wasted. The great impersonator of the “eternal feminine” intends to play Hamlet, not Ophelia. “Yes,” said Mme. Bernhardt, “the Prince of Wales wishes me to play Hamlet, or, rather, I ought to say his Royal Highness did me the honor to propose that I do so. I am delighted with my visit to London. J’adore les Anglais!
— from The New York Times archive.
It does not matter … how the people talk—or in what labyrinthine parentheses they let their unarriving language wanter. They strongly and vividly exist, and they construct not a drama, perhaps, but a world, floating indeed in an obscure where it seems to have a solitary orbit, but to be as solidly palpable as any of the planets of the more familiar systems.
— William Dean Howells on Henry James.