Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Forbidden Fruit: From the Letters of Abelard and Heloise (Great Loves, #2)” as Want to Read:
Forbidden Fruit: From the Letters of Abelard and Heloise (Great Loves, #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

3.03  ·  Rating Details ·  157 Ratings  ·  25 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)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Forbidden Fruit, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Forbidden Fruit

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
May 29, 2016 Vanessa rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, classics
This book was incredibly frustrating.

As part of the Penguin Great Loves series, I find this incredibly misplaced. The love affair of Abelard and his pupil Heloise is meant to be both legendary and tragic, but from this short collection of some of their letters to each other, I just didn't see it.

Abelard came across as a pompous, self-inflated whiny git who cared more about how crap his life was than the woman who he had sent to a convent. Heloise's letters are brimming with emotion and guilt and
Debbie Zapata
Oct 27, 2014 Debbie Zapata rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dar
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.
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.
Jan 02, 2012 Emilie rated it liked it
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.
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.
The three stars of my review are for Penguin's lovely little edition of these letters and for the contribution of Heloise to the canon of medieval female literature. Abelard is the reason why this book could only get three stars.
Ever since I first heard the story of Abelard and Heloise as a romantic early teen I have wanted to read more than just extracts from the letters of these two. Usually when you come across extracts you will find that they come from letters written by Heloise, and I had
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
Jun 22, 2014 Yaqeen Sikander rated it liked it
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.
Dec 23, 2014 Andrea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Aug 04, 2014 Mia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
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.
Apr 14, 2008 Alejandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jun 23, 2013 Bookowl1000 marked it as to-read
I registered a book at!
Oct 29, 2013 Bookowl1000 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I registered a book at!
Pru Wirth
Pru Wirth rated it it was amazing
Oct 14, 2012
Claire rated it did not like it
Aug 16, 2016
Karin Mayer
Karin Mayer rated it it was ok
Mar 18, 2013
Joanna rated it it was ok
Feb 11, 2009
Noor Khan
Noor Khan rated it it was ok
Dec 31, 2013
Madhuri rated it it was ok
Oct 15, 2008
Ana Maria
Ana Maria rated it really liked it
Aug 18, 2016
Mikaela Liva
Mikaela Liva rated it did not like it
Jan 11, 2016
Theodora rated it really liked it
Mar 27, 2008
Jan 30, 2014 Pink rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ahhh Heloise, I loved your letters. Abelard, I didn't feel your love, just your ego.
Marc Maris
Marc Maris rated it did not like it
Jul 17, 2013
Alisha Torres
Alisha Torres rated it it was amazing
May 20, 2014
Camilla Magzhan
Camilla Magzhan rated it did not like it
May 03, 2016
Andy rated it it was ok
Apr 18, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Cures for Love  (Great Loves, #5)
  • Of Mistresses, Tigresses and Other Conquests (Great Loves, #4)
  • The Eaten Heart: Unlikely Tales of Love (Great Loves, #3)
  • Bodily Secrets (Great Loves, #19)
  • Something Childish But Very Natural (Great Loves, #13)
  • The Women Who Got Away (Great Loves, #20)
  • A Mere Interlude
  • Eros Unbound (Great Loves, #18)
  • Deviant Love (Great Loves, #11)
  • A Russian Affair (Great Loves, #10)
  • Doomed Love (Great Loves, #1)
  • Magnetism (Great Loves, #12)
  • The Seducer's Diary
  • Some Anatomies of Melancholy
  • The Virgin and the Gipsy
  • Mary
  • Abba Abba
  • The Christians and the Fall of Rome (Great Ideas)
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...

Share This Book