The illicit relationship between Peter Abelard, a medieval philosopher, and his young pupil Heloise is one of history’s most legendary and tragic love affairs. From reckless ecstasy to public scandal and cruel separation, their eloquent and intimate letters tell the story of their passionate, doomed romance.
United by the theme of love, the writings in the Great Loves series span over two thousand years and vastly different worlds. Readers will be introduced to love’s endlessly fascinating possibilities and extremities: romantic love, platonic love, erotic love, gay love, virginal love, adulterous love, parental love, filial love, nostalgic love, unrequited love, illicit love, not to mention lost love, twisted and obsessional love….
Soon after meeting near the famed city of love, Paris, Heloiseand Abelard fall into a deep and passionate love. Abelard is a well-known man and famous teacher; his students are considered to be lucky to study with him. Heloise, however, surpasses his other students with her multi-linguicism and impressive scholarship. Whether it be fate or their mutual intelligence, Heloise and Abelard make a quick connection. Since Heloise is one of Abelard's pupils, the love quickly invites scandal. When Fulbert, Heloise's uncle and sole guardian, discovers their romance, he forbids it. The two lovers continue their affair in secret, but it becomes impossible to hide when Heloise gets pregnant. After the birth of their son, Heloise is sent away to live in a convent, and Abelard soon follows her suit, becoming a monk after a violent run-in with Fulbert and his friends. Each struggle with their own religious journey, one born from necessity and shelter, the other from devotion. Though apart, Heloise and Abelard try to stay in touch and sustain their love, despite the public scandal and unfavorable odds.
Told through a series of letters, witness the intimacy of this 12th century romance. Filled with scandal, passion, and emotion, The Letters of Abelard and Heloise gives readers a personal view into the famed and real-life relationship of Abelard and Heloise. This classic romance has since inspired love stories, while Abelard and Heloise remain legends in French history, and fascinating characters of history. Heloise's embodiment of feminist values provide much needed representation in classic literature.
With a brilliant new cover design and a readable font, The Letters of Abelard and Heloise not only tells the true and dramatic story of a forbidden romance, but also offers insight into Middle Age culture and religious life.
Abelard's major ethical writings--Ethics, or Know Yourself, and Dialogue between a Philosopher, a Jew and a Christian, are presented here in a student edition including cross-references, explanatory notes, a full table of references, bibliography, and index.
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