About Peter Abelard
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The Letters of Abelard and Heloise

» Peter Abelard

Introduction by - Michael Clanchy

Penguin Classics
Paperback : 27 Nov 2003


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Translated by Betty Radice
Edited with an introduction and notes by Michael Clanchy


‘God knows I never sought anything in you except yourself. I wanted simply you, nothing of yours’

The story of the doomed relationship between Abelard and Heloise is one of the world’s most celebrated and tragic love affairs. It is told through the letters of Peter Abelard, a French philosopher and one of the greatest logicians of the twelfth century, and his gifted pupil Heloise. Through their impassioned writings unfolds the story of a romance, from its reckless, ecstatic beginnings through to public scandal, an enforced marriage and its devastating consequences. These eloquent and intimate letters express a vast range of emotions from adoration and devotion to reproach, indignation and grief, and offer a timeless and moving analysis of love.

This is a revised edition of Betty Radice’s acclaimed translation, in which Michael Clanchy, the biographer of Abelard, provides new notes and introductory guidance through recent scholarship concerning the authenticity of these letters.  This volume comprises Abelard’s remarkable autobiography and the subsequent correspondence between Heloise and Abelard, including his spiritual advice to her and her nuns, together with the letters of Peter the Venerable concerning them.

Table of contents

The Letters of Abelard and Heloise Acknowledgments
Preface to the Revised Edition
The Letters of Abelard and Heloise in Today's Scholarship
Further Reading

Letter 1. Historia calamitatum: Abelard to a Friend: The Story of His Misfortunes

The Personal Letters
Letter 2. Heloise to Abelard
Letter 3. Abelard to Heloise
Letter 4. Heloise to Abelard
Letter 5. Abelard to Heloise

The Letters of Direction
Letter 6. Heloise to Abelard
Letter 7. Abelard to Heloise (summarized)
Letter 8. Abelard to Heloise

Abelard's Confession of Faith

Letters of Peter the Venerable and Heloise
Peter the Venerable: Letter (98) to Pope Innocent II
Peter the Venerable: Letter (115) to Heloise
Heloise: Letter (167) to Peter the Venerable
Peter the Venerable: Letter (168) to Heloise

Two Hymns by Abelard
Sabbato ad Vesperas
In Parasceve Domini: III. Nocturno

Appendix: An Excerpt from the 'Lost Love Letter' of Heloise and Abelard

The Kingdom of France in the time of Abelard
Paris in the time of Abelard


Product details

Format : Paperback
ISBN: 9780140448993
Size : 129 x 198mm
Pages : 384
Published : 27 Nov 2003
Publisher : Penguin Classics

The Letters of Abelard and Heloise

» Peter Abelard

Introduction by - Michael Clanchy


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