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"Dear Juliet" (Yes, That Juliet)

Write a letter, stick it in an envelope addressed to "Juliet, Verona," and you may get some sage advice in return. Yep, that's right—before "Dear Abby," there was "Dear Juliet": In 1937, an Italian municipal secretary named Ettore Solimani became the first "secretary" to Shakespeare's most famous lovelorn heroine, and later on the ladies of the Club di Giulietta took over answering her correspondence. Since 1989 they've amassed an archive of more than 50,000 letters touching on themes from illness and war to infidelity and interracial romance. Gallatin professor Lise Friedman's 2006 book on the phenomenon, Letters to Juliet, which she wrote with her sister Ceil Friedman, became the inspiration for a 2010 film, starring Amanda Seyfried, of the same name. In honor of Valentine's Day, Professor Friedman sat down with NYU Stories to talk about the enduring appeal of Romeo and Juliet and the crazy things we do for love all year long.

NYU Stories

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