The Letters of Abelard and Heloise

The Letters of Abelard and Heloise

Introduction by:
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  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780140448993
  • 384 Pages
  • Penguin Classics
  • 18 and up


One of the world’s most celebrated and tragic love affairs

Through the letters between Abelard and Heloise, we follow the path of their 12th-century romance, from its reckless and ecstatic beginnings when Heloise became Abelard’s pupil, through the suffering of public scandal and enforced secret marriage, to their eventual separation.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Table of Contents

The Letters of Abelard and HeloiseAcknowledgments
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


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