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The Love Letters of Abelard and Heloise

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  95 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
Many of the earliest books, particularly those dating back to the 1900s and before, are now extremely scarce and increasingly expensive. We are republishing these classic works in affordable, high quality, modern editions, using the original text and artwork.
Paperback, 144 pages
Published January 1st 2006 by Pomona Press
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Oct 15, 2012 Christina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not quite finished reading it yet, but definitely liking it so far.
Jul 15, 2013 Vanessa rated it really liked it
Shelves: pdf
• It’s so sad that 2 people who loved each other so much, being intelligent and brave, were so blind to what real joy is all about in life; mostly Abelard was so blinded by the horrendous church and Christianity that only he thought that suffering and abstinence on earthly feelings and body sensations could be the only purposes of life on earth through the path of the cross and only wanting to serve God by eliminating anything that has to be with human love seeing it as sinful and devil’s work. ...more
Oct 17, 2011 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: my friends
Recommended to Linda by: a good friend now gone
Absolutely captivating. They were young and in love. He was her tutor and not "suited" for her. She has his child and he is castrated. That is the basis of this true story. They spend the rest of their lives writing to one another and searching for each other. He spends his life doing good deeds. She spends hers in an abbey. It is the poignant yearning just to see each other again that made the book so important to me. Do not we all long for a feeling, a word, a touch from some elusive entity?
Nayla Caruso
Oct 27, 2015 Nayla Caruso rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Speaking not as a medieval scholar but as a former lover who got herself in deep waters (unlike Abelard and Heloise, it got better), I'm going to side with those who say these letters are authentic. They ring true right down to the moments you wish you could reach across the three hundred referenced miles and smack Abelard for missing the point so phenomenally and repeatedly. In retrospect, referring to Abelard as missing the point is probably in poor taste, not to mention a truism that explains ...more
Aug 24, 2010 Sue rated it liked it
Provoking. The letters span the time from when Abelard was Heloise's tutor, their secret affair and then nuptials, his castration by her family, his leaving her for God, and her asking him to teach her how to devote herself to God since she can't devote herself to him....

It's both selfish and sacrificial - I still don't know exactly how I feel about it. I certainly do feel for Heloise, though.
Dianne Oliver
Dec 03, 2014 Dianne Oliver rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
Tragic and beautiful, utterly literate. I suppose it is impossible in our modern age to understand the purpose of trying so desperately to forget ones true love in pursuit of monastery life when the motives to surrender ones life there are so begun. We have lost much in giving up hand written letters.
Jan 24, 2015 Lauren rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am looking forward to discussing this one at book club. So much of their tragedy seemed self-inflicted, but it was a fascinating story. It makes me want to know the history of how the letters were preserved and found... and what happened to their son.
So disturbing. This is the patriarchy at its creepiest.
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Peter Abelard was the preeminent philosopher of the twelfth century and perhaps the greatest logician of the middle ages. During his life he was equally famous as a poet and a composer, and might also have ranked as the preeminent theologian of his day had his ideas earned more converts and less condemnation. In all areas Abelard was brilliant, innovative, and controversial. He was a genius. He kn ...more
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