Synopses & Reviews
The story of Heloise and Abelard remains one of the worldÆs most celebrated and tragic love affairs.
Despite their misfortunes, these staunch Christians, as their letters reveal, found a path through self-pity into acceptance of a changed but lasting relationship. Whilst Heloise attained fame for her learning and administrative genius as an abbess, Abelard became an inspired teacher in Paris and the foremost logician of his day.
This translation includes AbelardÆs account of his misfortunes (Historica calamitatum); four of their personal letters; the æletters of DirectionÆ, in which he advises her how to adapt for women the rule of Benedict; correspondence between Heloise and Peter the Venerable; and two of AbelardÆs hymns.
The story of Abelard and Heloise remains one of the world's most dramatic and well-known love affairs. It is told through the letters of French philosopher Peter Abelard and his gifted pupil Heloise. Through their impassioned writings unfolds the story of a romance, from its reckless, ecstatic beginnings to the public scandal, enforced secret marriage, and devastating consequences that followed. These eloquent and intimate letters express a vast range of emotions from adoration and devotion to reproach, indignation, and grief, and offer a fascinating insight into religious life in the Middle Ages.
About the Author
Peter Abelard (1079 &1142) was the greatest logician of the twelfth century. He taught in Paris, where Heloise (1101 &1164) was his pupil when they met.
Betty Radice was editor of the Penguin Classics during the 1960 &70s and an acclaimed translator from Latin, Greek, and Italian.
M. T. Clanchy researches at the Institute of Historical Research at the University of London.