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Letters of Abelard and Heloise

3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  122 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Kindle Edition
Published (first published February 24th 2010)
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"All men, I believe, are under a necessity of paying tribute, at some time or other, to Love, and it is vain to strive to avoid it. I was a philosopher, yet this tyrant of the mind triumphed over all my wisdom."

These are the words of Peter Abelard, a controversial philosopher of the Middle Ages, whose erotic and passionate love affair with Heloise caused a clash with ecclesiastical authority resulting in the "amputation of the offending member." Their story has thundered down through 900 years o
I must say that these letters were not quite what I had expected. That was because Abelard and Heloise didn't exactly live up to their reputation. I'm not sure how they ever ended up on the most-romantic-tragic-love-story-list. Don't get me wrong, I found the letters profoundly interesting on many different levels. A treasure for historians. Interesting character studies. But romantic? Not so much.

Abelard strikes me as too much of a narcissist to raise much sympathy for his misfortunes – especia
It was encouraging to read Heloise's feisty demands for emotional reciprocity from Abelard (- her husband and father of their son), but a sad reminder that women today still have to fight like hell to get what they NEED, let alone what they want. Abelard was a big shot in philosophy circles, but it's possible that he knew Heloise was even smarter, though neither one would ever admit it.
A Medieval era yet the age of atonement.
The time of man and woman bounded by spirituality & sexuality but separated with cruelty.
Story of a man who was dealt a humilating punishment for causing a crime in the eyes of church and its people.
For my philosophy class
While this is just a brief sample of the letters shared between this historical couple, it's easy to see how trouble their relationship was - and how devoted they remained to each other even after they were separated.
A bright but effusive 20-something hopelessly in love with an older man, a famous thinker and polished writer who tries gently, and then less gently, to break it off. A medieval soap opera.
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Bayle was born at Carla-le-Comte (later renamed Carla-Bayle in his honour), near Pamiers, Ariège, France. He was educated by his father, a Calvinist minister, and at an academy at Puylaurens. He afterwards entered a Jesuit college at Toulouse, and became a Roman Catholic a month later (1669). After seventeen months, he returned to Calvinism and fled to Geneva.

There he became acquainted with the te
More about Pierre Bayle...
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