Romeo and Juliet: A New English Translation by Michael Curtotti

Shakespeare Begins Book 2

This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Buy on Amazon Buy on Buy on
*This page contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you.
Send NetGalley books directly to your Kindle or Kindle app

To read on a Kindle or Kindle app, please add as an approved email address to receive files in your Amazon account. Click here for step-by-step instructions.
Also find your Kindle email address within your Amazon account, and enter it here.
Pub Date 27 Oct 2023 | Archive Date 21 Feb 2024

Talking about this book? Use #RomeoandJulietANewEngishTranslationbyMichaelCurtotti #NetGalley. More hashtag tips!


This is Romeo and Juliet as you’ve never experienced it before…

By the time William Shakespeare penned the first words of the most famous romantic tragedy of our time, another storyteller had already written Romeo and Juliet. In fact, Matteo Bandello’s stories had been translated into multiple languages across Europe before the doomed lovers inspired Shakespeare to create his world-famous play.

In this edition, Bandello’s original tale has been translated and formatted for the modern reader. In contrast to Shakespearean English, Bandello's beautiful writing has a clarity and directness through which we hear, as never before, the words a real Romeo and Juliet might have said to each other. The star-crossed lovers we know are there, just as in the play, but their troubles are set in a real Verona, that Bandello knew personally.

As the tragedy unfolds to its bitter end, Bandello's heartrending story offers readers a more intimate experience of the anguish and joys that captured Shakespeare and an entire continent. Hidden for years in the ivory towers of scholarly study, Bandello’s influential tale finds new life in Michael Curtotti’s translation for students and lovers of literature alike.

This is Romeo and Juliet as you’ve never experienced it before…

By the time William Shakespeare penned the first words of the most famous romantic tragedy of our time, another storyteller had...

Advance Praise

“ … the most celebrated novelist of the Italian Renaissance period …” John Payne

“Matteo Bandello … deserves to rank as the most important of the Italian novellieri … [but none] … of his contemporaries has the sheer craft of storytelling been shown more convincingly than by [Bandello] …” Percy Pinkerton

“… a true writer, prolific, polished, refined, and precise …” Leandro Alberti

“ … the most celebrated novelist of the Italian Renaissance period …” John Payne

“Matteo Bandello … deserves to rank as the most important of the Italian novellieri … [but none] … of his...

Available Editions

ISBN 9780645844627
PRICE $6.99 (USD)


Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (EPUB)
Send to Kindle (EPUB)
Download (EPUB)

Average rating from 11 members

Featured Reviews

Before Shakespeare, Matteo Bandello penned the original inspiration behind Romeo and Juliet. Now, Bandello’s authentic 16th century story is translated and presented in modern format, unveiling the clear beauty of his writing.

This gorgeous translation of Bandello's novella is a jewel for Shakespeare enthusiasts. It's unfortunate that the afterword questions whether Shakespeare can be said to have authored the play "Romeo and Juliet," since he didn't invent the plot. But literature isn't plot—it's expression. I can plot a novel in 20 minutes, but a hundred different authors would create a hundred unique novels from that plot. Shakespeare's play is beloved because of the text, the beautiful poetry, the expression of the idea, not the idea itself.

Thanks, NetGalley, for the ARC I received. This is my honest and voluntary review.

Was this review helpful?

Thanks to Netgalley for a copy for an honest review

I like it, I would highly recommend it to all Shakespeare fans, a great translation.

Rating 4 Stars

Was this review helpful?

Okay so I don’t know what I was expecting when I requested this, but definitely was not expecting what I got. That being said, I really like the idea behind this. It’s basically just a novelization of Romeo and Juliet that takes it out of the play format. There’s of course no replacing the original work, but that being said, I think this would be an excellent study guide or companion to have while reading the play to make it more accessible,

Was this review helpful?

Phenomenal story. This is the version we should have been taught in school instead of Shakespeare's version. Don't get me wrong, Shakespeare's plays have their pros, but they are not meant to be read as a book. They're meant to be watched in play format. This version reads beautifully as a novella. There are some significant differences and I thought they made the story much better. The story is darker, more poignant, and delves deeper into their emotions and mental states. The speeches by both characters are also lovely and powerful. I will most definitely read this again whenever I'm looking for a Romeo and Juliet fix.

Was this review helpful?

This amazing translation by Michael Curtotti of the original “Romeo and Juliet” revives the nearly forgotten masterpiece of Matteo Bandello. In an age where we are more interested in authenticity and tracing thoughts and ideas back to their roots, and giving credits to the origins this translation comes to shed a light on the beauty of the original 16th century Italian novella that inspired the well known play of Shakespeare. Michael Curtotti's writing style is a harmonious blend of elegance and accessibility, making it a delightful experience for both seasoned literature enthusiasts, native English speakers, and readers from diverse linguistic backgrounds. His ability to convey the richness of Bandello's narrative in a way that resonates universally is a testament to the translator's remarkable skill.

Was this review helpful?

Since discovering Romeo and Juliet was based on a short story, I have wanted to discover it but never found one fully translated until today. Bandello's Romeo and Juliet is an amazing read that is a must-read that differs from Shakespeare's play in many ways that change scenes, and show how characters were supposed to be. Honestly, I enjoyed Michael Curtotti's translation of Bandello's story more than Shakespeare's play.

Overall, Bandello's Romeo and Juliet is a beautifully written story that shows where the star-crossed lovers' tale originated. If you love the play, I recommend you read Bandello's original short story.

Thank you NetGalley and BooksGoSocial for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

Was this review helpful?

I am someone who has never read this version of Romeo and Juliet before, but I found it completely compelling. I think I may even like this version of the story better than its more favorite Shakespearean counterpart. There is more depth and explanation to the characters and settings, and I think any fan of Romeo and Juliet should read this translation!

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: