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Forbidden Fruit: From the Letters of Abelard and Heloise (Great Loves, #2)

3.06 of 5 stars 3.06  ·  rating details  ·  132 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Love can be sinful

The illicit relationship between Peter Abelard, a medieval philosopher, and his young pupil Heloise is one of history's most legendary and tragic love affairs. From reckless ecstasy to public scandal and cruel separation, their eloquent and intimate letters tell the story of their passionate, doomed romance.
Paperback, Pengun Books -- Great Loves, 112 pages
Published August 2nd 2007 by Penguin Books (first published 1974)
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Debbie Zapata
I expected more from this little book. I had heard of the grand romance between Abelard and Heloise, but other than bare bones I did not know the details. This book gives the details, but I do not see any grand passion in the story, except perhaps on the part of Heloise for Abelard. He was not worthy of her.

These are letters between the two, written after Fate altered their lives. But the first and longest letter was written by Abelard to a friend who apparently had been complaining of some sor
What I managed to rip from these letters was that, despite they were well written, Abelard was self-centered, worried about his reputation, arrogant, eager to gather pity from others and lacked the sense of responsibility. Heloise was asking him to write more and express his kindness and love to her after being put into a convent by him etc. So... I didn't really see that "true love" thing going on for even half the time I was reading.
Ah, the differences between the minds of women and men! Abelard you douchebag! I just wish he would stop being so damn pedantic and show some more of his passion for Heloise. I can only imagine the sinking feeling in her belly when she opened his crappy letters...what a disappointing lover he would have been! In all seriousness though, this is quite an incredible story if not a little dry in moments and sometimes, a little smug.
The story itself is poignant, if a little depressing. The letters written by Abelard however, are mostly a self-pitying cry fest. Heloise seems to be much more intelligent, forceful and good-natured. Unfortunately, most of the book is taken up by a very long letter by Abelard to a friend detailing all the events of his life (more or less). His personality is very nearly unreadable. In the end, Heloise made me give it an extra star.
Abelard, you pedantic old fool! The fact that you're remembered as a famous philosopher and the intelligent, eloquent and brave Heloise merely as your wife and pupil must be one of history's biggest flaws. You didn't deserve her, at all.
Nicole Fischer
I found it terribly heartbreaking to read and a bit dry to swallow some of Abelard's prolonged preachings. Abelard's letters seemed a bit of an act. As if he was writing for everyone to read and to appease to the masses. It was disappointing that I felt no connection or meaning in his words. They seemed crafted and scripted and facetious. Heloise on the other hand seemed raw and emotional and human. She was in love, she was in pain, and in utter heartbreak and all she wanted was words from the m ...more
Maria Trujillo
For a book like this, I think a rating is almost obsolete because it was never intended to be a polished read. This compilation of eloquent letters sheds light on the intimate and tragic love store of Heloise and Abelard. Through their exchange, old wounds and pleasures are retold and reflected upon. Such a story of personal loss and desire, puts your own life into a crystal clear perspective.
Yaqeen Sikander
A philosophical love story of two lovers who end up being a monk and a nun for the fornication they committed and thus the name, forbidden fruit. It is a collection of letters they exchanged and shows boldly love, faith and intimacy.
I understand this is a small book yet I missed more context. For example, where did these translations come from and how do we know they are real? A list for further reading could have been helpful too.
While the letters are well written, there was not much to like in either Heloise or Abelard (particularly Abelard!). This was painted as one of history's greatest romances... frankly, I think they both would have been much better off without one another.
Oct 29, 2013 Bookowl1000 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
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Who doesn't love a tragedy? The only consolation you get at the end is inspite of the circumstances, Abelard and Heloise truly loved each other.
What I learned? Don't piss off the guardian of the girl you impregnated, that's what I learned. ;)
Ahhh Heloise, I loved your letters. Abelard, I didn't feel your love, just your ego.
Alina Grace
It was not a bad book at all though certain parts were utterly boring.
Tim Caines
Some good passages but sadly rather tedious.
Is this for real? It isn't really a satire?
Abhii PS
I never expected this :(
Johnny B. Rempit
Not really my cup of tea.
Abelard is a dick!
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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
More about Pierre Abélard...
The Letters of Abélard and Héloïse The Story of My Misfortunes Ethical Writings: Ethics/Dialogue Between a Philosopher, a Jew and a Christian Abelard & Heloise: The Letters and Other Writings Sic Et Non: A Critical Edition

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