The Lost Love Letters of Heloise and Abelard: Perceptions of Dialogue in Twelfth-Century France
, Apr 7, 2001
- 378 pages
This book examines a medieval text long neglected by most scholars. The Lost Love Letters of Heloise and Abelard looks at the earlier correspondence between these two famous individuals, revealing the emotions and intimate exchanges that occurred between them. The perspectives presented here are very different from the view related by Abelard in his "History of My Calamities," an account which provoked a much more famous exchange of letters between Heloise and Abelard after they had both entered religious life. Offering a full translation of the love letters along with a copy of the actual Latin text, Mews provides an in-depth analysis of the debate concerning the authenticity of the letters and look at the way in which the relationship between Heloise and Abelard has been perceived over the centuries. He also explores the political, literary, and religious contexts in which the two figures conducted their affair and offers new insights into Heloise as an astonishingly gifted writer, whose literary gifts were ultimately frustrated by the course of her relationship with her teacher.