The Love Letters of Abelard and Heloise

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Overview

By any standard, the tale of Heloise and Abelard is an extraordinary story: brilliant young philosopher seduces brilliant beautiful student, passionate affair ensues, she gets pregnant, and they secretly marry. Her relatives feel he has wronged her terribly, and in the middle of the night they break in and castrate him, after which both take refuge in the church. The letters, written years after the affair, are of great eloquence and depth of thought and feeling. Through them, the couple works to transform their ...
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The Love Letters of Abelard and Heloise (Illustrated with TOC)

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Overview

By any standard, the tale of Heloise and Abelard is an extraordinary story: brilliant young philosopher seduces brilliant beautiful student, passionate affair ensues, she gets pregnant, and they secretly marry. Her relatives feel he has wronged her terribly, and in the middle of the night they break in and castrate him, after which both take refuge in the church. The letters, written years after the affair, are of great eloquence and depth of thought and feeling. Through them, the couple works to transform their 'earthly love' (which had continued to burn in Heloise's heart) into a spiritual bond that turns out to have similarly great passion and transcendence. Although the letters are steeped in religious debates and intrigues of the time, their beauty makes the love behind them seem as alive today as it was so many centuries ago.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781151567451
  • Publisher: General Books LLC
  • Publication date: 10/28/2012
  • Pages: 30
  • Product dimensions: 7.44 (w) x 9.69 (h) x 0.06 (d)

Meet the Author

Abelard and Heloise are nearly as famous a pair of tragic lovers as the fictional Romeo and Juliet; their shared passion for knowledge, religious faith, and one another sealed their destiny. Abelard was a well-respected, 12th-century Parisian scholar and teacher, and Heloise was his talented young student. The two relate their story through a set of letters to one another and intimate acquaintances. Their ardor is unmistakable; as Abelard writes to his love, "So intense were the fires of lust which bound me to you that I set those wretched, obscene pleasures, which we blush even to name, above God as above myself..." This forbidden lust resulted in a pregnancy and secret marriage, and when their union could no longer withstand the challenges in its path, each lover sought refuge in the church--Abelard became a monk and Heloise an abbess. Their correspondence continued as both achieved success in their new careers but continued to struggle with their feelings for one another; the set of letters powerfully articulates the wide range of emotions they experienced. So timeless is their love story that--after eight centuries--their passion, their devotion, and their struggle still resonate with readers.
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