New York University Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Navigation Skip to Sub Navigation

"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.


Photo: iPhones with NYU wallpapers

Featured Wallpapers

Read More

Photo: Albert Gallatin with multi-colored graphic, superimposed over aerial view of New York City

Meet Albert Gallatin, NYU's Founding Father

Read More

Photo: Tomatoes

Farm-Fresh Veggies for All

Read More

Photo: Harvey Lauer, technology transfer specialist for the Veterans Administration, reading with the stereotoner in 1973.

Beyond Braille: A History of Reading By Ear

Read More

Photo: A page from the dictionary, featuring the definition of "race"

What's in a Name? A Lot, When You're Talking Race

Read More
NYU Footer