Advance praise for Searching for Juliet

It’s less than a month until Searching for Juliet is published in the UK, and I’m so excited to share the advance reviews with you! There’ll be quite a bit of info coming up on the blog over the next few weeks about where you can see/hear me in conversation about the book, and come to a signing, so please stay tuned!

Here is what people have been saying so far….

I love the combination of authority, research, anger, and dry wit. Sophie Duncan shows us that Juliet has created templates for young women that are both enabling and stifling – and traces that paradox unflinchingly across slave plantations, teenage mental health, and the erotics of the beautiful dead girl. Searching for Juliet offers the play and its reception a fresh kind of attention: a sort of tough love which avoids sentimentality without becoming cynical. Really eye-opening — Emma Smith, author of This Is Shakespeare

Shakespeare’s Juliet represents far more than passionate but doomed teenage love, and in her brilliant new book Sophie Duncan shows us why. Deeply researched and wryly written, Searching for Juliet makes us think again about a character and a story we thought we knew — Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, author of Metamorphosis: A Life in Pieces

Sophie Duncan’s wonderful new book tells the story of the most famous love story of Western literature as you’ve never seen it before. This story is an astonishing tour-de-force . . . Duncan does not shy away from the dark side of this story but her absolute passion for the subject shines through on every page. Juliet has found the biographer she deserves — Marion Turner, author of The Wife of Bath: A Biography

In Verona, an office answers letters posted to Juliet from all over the world. At college, Romeo and Juliet is the top Shakespeare pick by students for their studies. Tracing Juliet’s afterlife through many an enthralling by-way, Sophie Duncan begins this original, stylish and compelling narrative with the enthralling and sometimes poignant story of the boy actors and young women who first took on the role of Shakespeare’s first eponymous – and wonderfully spirited – heroine. It’s a marvellous book, and one that delivers a powerfully inspiring message to the young Juliets of our own troubled times — Miranda Seymour, author of I Used to Live Here Once: The Haunted Life of Jean Rhys

Breathtaking in its range, this is far more than a deep dive into an ocean of Juliets (although it is, gloriously, that): it is a powerful, witty, and provocative exploration of sex and gender, youth and age, love and death — Dr Anna Beer, author of Eve Bites Back: An Alternative History of English Literature

Bursting with energy, wit, and page-turning satisfaction, Sophie Duncan’s book unpacks the rich, and sometimes uncomfortable cultural history of Shakespeare’s Juliet — Gilli Bush-Bailey, author of Treading the Bawds: Actresses and Playwrights on the Late Stuart Stage

Sophie Duncan uses her expertise in theatre history to give us both a biography of Shakespeare’s Juliet and a capacious cultural study of people and politics. Duncan takes us from Shakespeare’s stage through plantation slaves to Mussolini’s Italy. She writes with wit and acumen, so that the story of Juliet across the centuries is imbued with personality and compassion. This is an extraordinary achievement — Laurie Maguire, author of The Rhetoric of the Page

Pre-order Searching for Juliet in Hardback, Kindle, or Audiobook for delivery in the UK; in the USA (release date 6 June 2023), and in Australia & New Zealand (release date 11 July 2023).


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