The Letters of Abelard and Heloise Background

The Letters of Abelard and Heloise Background

The Letters of Abelard and Heloise are a series of letters written in Latin in the twelfth century and published in Paris in 1616. From then, the letters sped all over Europe and were translated anonymously into various languages. The letters tell the love story between a learned man and a young woman.

The man was named Abelard, a scholar and a man of the church who falls in love with his student, the beautiful nineteen year old Heloise. Because marrying her would mean that he will no longer be able to advance in the church, they continue to see one another in secret. Things change however when Heloise becomes pregnant and gives birth to a child. Abelard proposes to her and asks her to marry him in secret, she refused.

When Heloise’s uncle and father find out about the affair and about the child, they mutilate Abelard. Ashamed, he decides to become a monk while Heloise is forced to become a nun. The two lovers are sent away and years later, Heloise receives a letter from Abelard that contain their conversation while being away and it reveals the feelings both of them still had for one another.

Abelard and Heloise remain in history for their love story and are famous for not giving up on their feelings even though they were apart.

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