The Story of My Misfortunes by Peter Abélard
In this classic of medieval literature, a brilliant and daring thinker relates the spellbinding story of his philosophical and spiritual enlightenment--and the tale of his tragic personal life as well. Peter Abélard paints an absorbing portrait of monastic and scholastic life in twelfth-century Paris, while also recounting the circumstances and consequences of one of history’s most famous love stories--his doomed romance with Heloise.
Considered the founder of the University of Paris, Abélard was instrumental in promoting the use of the dialectical method in Western education. He regarded theology as the "handmaiden" of knowledge and believed that through reason, people could attain a greater knowledge of God. "By doubting," he declared, "we come to inquire, and by inquiry we arrive at truth." Abélard's tendency to leave questions open for discussion made him a target for frequent charges of heresy, and all his works were eventually included in the church's Index of Forbidden Books. Unfortunately, Abélard’s reputation as a philosopher is often overshadowed by his renown as a lover.
In addition to its value as a scholarly treatise, The Story of My Misfortunes offers the rare opportunity to observe a legendary romance from the point of view of one of its participants.