Giada Alessandroni has recently completed a a funded PhD in French Studies. Her research explores literary representations of female homosociality in female-authored fiction of the Belle Epoque (1880-1914).






Exeter, Saturday 24th November 2018

Dear Research,

When I first met you, you were only a timid idea, barely formed in my head. Look at you now: you’ve grown into a full manuscript, you’ve been submitted and you’re in the hands of some incredibly bright professors. I know what you’re thinking, but you don’t need to be scared; I’m sure that they will like you too, and I’ll remain by your side no matter what they say.

We’ve known each other for about three years now. During this period, you’ve seen me through some of the most exciting times of my life: when I bought my first house; when I got my first (and last) tattoo; when I started overcoming my fear of driving on (the wrong side of) the road.

Thanks to you, many good things have happened to me, like meeting extraordinary people and spending time in Paris, reading and strolling by the Seine like a real flâneur.

Remember when we found that signed first edition in a library and I got all emotional? You always say that I cry too much. What about that day when I introduced you to a room full of people and we finally went public? I thought my heart would burst during those long twenty minutes.

I knew that we were right for each other from the moment that someone gave us money so that we could move in together and start sharing our lives. Sure, things haven’t always been perfect, and we had a few bumps along the road, but all couples do. For example, you can be very possessive, and you never bore the thought of being apart. You’ve kept me from my family and country, and sometimes you got under my skin. In fact, some people say that our relationship is toxic. However, I never doubted our love. You’ve changed my life for the better and for that I will always be grateful.

I am writing to tell you that I cannot marry you after all. You know how much you mean to me, but the truth is that you belong to academia and I… well, I don’t know where I belong yet, but if I figured you out, then I’m sure that I can figure the rest of my life out too.

I hope that one day you will turn yourself into a best-selling academic book. But if you’d rather stay on the shelves of a library, collect some dust and wait to be picked up by chance, that’s ok too. Either way, know that you’re important to me and I will always remember you.

Truly yours,


Written By: Giada Alessandroni, PhD Researcher in French Studies.