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Heloise & Abelard : a new biography

Author: James Burge
Publisher: [San Francisco] : HarperSanFrancisco, ©2003.
Edition/Format:   Book : English : 1st edView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
The heart-rending love story of Abelard and Heloise was one of the most talked about relationships in the Middle Ages, and is one of the greatest love stories of all time. Peter Abelard was arguably the greatest poet, philosopher, and religious teacher in all of 12th century Europe in an age when women were rarely educated, Heloise was his most gifted young student. As master of the Cathedral school at Notre Dame in
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Genre/Form: Biography
Named Person: Héloïse; Peter Abelard; Peter Abelard; Héloïse
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: James Burge
ISBN: 0060736631 9780060736637
OCLC Number: 57135039
Description: xv, 319 p., [16] p. of plates : ill., maps ; 24 cm.
Contents: The letters of two lovers --
"Darling" --
"At last I came to Paris" --
"By doubting we come to inquiry, by inquiry we come to truth" --
Master of the schools --
"Need I say more?" --
Love and marriage --
"The story of my misfortunes" --
St. Denis --
"Not strong enough to dig, too proud to beg" --
"You are greater than heaven, greater than the world" --
Return to Paris --
The comforter --
The Council of Sens --
"And so Master Peter ended his days."
Other Titles: Heloise and Abelard
Responsibility: James Burge.

Abstract:

The heart-rending love story of Abelard and Heloise was one of the most talked about relationships in the Middle Ages, and is one of the greatest love stories of all time. Peter Abelard was arguably the greatest poet, philosopher, and religious teacher in all of 12th century Europe in an age when women were rarely educated, Heloise was his most gifted young student. As master of the Cathedral school at Notre Dame in Paris, Abelard was expected to be celibate; his career would be destroyed by marrying. In spite of this, Abelard and Heloise's private tutoring sessions inevitably turned to passionate romance, and their moments apart were spent writing love letters. When Heloise became pregnant, her possessive Guardian and uncle, Fulbert, angrily insisted that they marry. The ceremony was held in secret, but the rumor spread through Paris. Enemies confronted Heloise, who publicly denied the marriage in order to protect Abelard's career. Fearing for her safety, Abelard slipped Heloise out of the city and sent her to a convent. Robbed of his knees and his family's honor, Fulbert took revenge by having Abelard brutally castrated. Abelard retreated to a monastery, and the famous lovers now live separate lives behind cloistered walls, but their love, and their letters, continued. For a long time, the only letters known to have survived dated from the later period of their separation. Then, astoundingly, a few years ago a young scholar identified 113 new letters between the pair. Lost for almost 900 years, these fresh missives provide an intriguing snapshot of the couple's clandestine passion that is erotic, poignant, and at times even funny. - Jacket flap.

This volume is a dual biography of medieval French philosopher and logician Peter Abelard (1079-1142) and French nun Heloise d'Argenteuil (1100-1164). Abelard's affair with and love for Heloise has become legendary. Abelard was arguably the greatest poet, philosopher, and religious teacher in all of twelfth-century Europe. In an age when women were rarely educated, Heloise was his most gifted young student. Their private tutoring sessions inevitably turned to passion, and their moments apart were spent writing love letters. Recently, new love letters between the pair surfaced, when combined with the latest scholarship, recount the couple's clandestine passion -- in a story that is erotic, poignant, and at times humorous.

A cache of newly-discovered love letters written by gifted student Heloise to medieval theology tutor Abelard follows their written relationship from behind cloistered walls after they were forced to separate.

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