The Letters Of Abelard And Heloise Summary

The Letters Of Abelard And Heloise Summary – Abelard and Heloise The Letters of Abelard and Heloise read unabridged by Gunnar Cauthery, Alison Pettitt and David Rintoul

The letters of Abelard and Heloise are one of the most unusual letters in European history. Written in the 12th century, the letters document the love affair between Peter Abelard, a revolutionary philosopher and biblical scholar, and his beautiful and precocious student Heloise. Taken from his religious opponents and castrated by Heloise’s family, Abelard is haunted by bad luck, and the lovers are forced to live separate lives, as monks and nuns, with letters as their only form of communication. What unfolds is tragic and heartbreaking, but also fascinating. The letters have sparked compelling philosophical, theological and sociological debates and offer a glimpse into the medieval mind as the two lovers’ everyday lives are laid bare through their passionate discourse.

The Letters Of Abelard And Heloise Summary

The Letters Of Abelard And Heloise Summary

Alison Pettitt has twice been a member of BBC Radio Drama. Her work there included Sonya

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All cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the functioning of the website and are used specifically to collect user personal data through analytics, ads, other embedded content are called non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to obtain user consent before running these cookies on your website. Eloisa to Abelard is an epistle in verse by Alexander Pope that was published in 1717 and is based on a well-known medieval story. In itself an imitation of the Latin poetic gre, its immediate fame resulted in a large number of Glish imitations throughout the rest of the century and other poems later based on its themes. Translations of varying degrees of fidelity appeared throughout Europe, beginning in the 1750s and peaking in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. They were in the vanguard of the move away from classicism towards the primacy of emotion over reason that heralded romanticism. Artistic renderings of the poem’s themes are often reproduced as prints illustrating the poem; in France there were also pictures of female readers of love correspondence between lovers.

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Heloise And Abelard, Love’s Requital, Feminism And Religious Bigotry In The Middle Age, Scholarly Chauvinism, And Contemporary Views, On Heloise Love Letters.

Pope’s poem was published in 1717 in a small volume entitled The Works of Mr. Alexander Pope. There were two more accompanying poems, “Elegy to the Memories of an Unfortunate Lady” and the original version of “Ode on St. Cecilia’s Day.” The poem was so popular that it was reissued in 1720 together with the retitled “Verses to the Remembrance of an Unfortunate Lady” and several other elegiac poems by various authors.

“Eloisa to Abelard” is Ovid’s heroic epistle of which Pope had previously published an example translated from the Latin in 1714, “Sapho to Phaon.”

His own original exercise in this game was inspired by the 12th-century story of Héloïse d’Argteuil’s illicit love and secret marriage with her teacher Peter Abelard, a famous Parisian philosopher twenty years her senior. After their affair and marriage, Abelard was brutally attacked and castrated by her family, after which he seized the convent and forced Héloïse to become a nun. Both of them led relatively successful religious careers. Years later, Abelard completed the Historia Calamitatum (History of Calamities), poured out as a letter of consolation to one Frida. When he fell into Heloise’s hands, her passion for him was rekindled, and four letters written in an ornate Latin style were exchanged between them. In an effort to come to terms with their personal tragedy, they explored the nature of human and divine love. However, their incompatible male and female perspectives made the dialogue painful for both.

The Letters Of Abelard And Heloise Summary

In Pope’s poem, Eloisa confesses a repressed love that his letter has reawakened. She recalls their former life together and its consequences of violence, comparing the happy state of the “immaculate vestal” with her own experience of past passion and sorrow. The memory of it makes the landscape dreary “and breathes a brown terror on the wood” (line 170). This interferes with the performance of her religious services, where Abelard’s painting “steals between my God and me” (line 267). But since relations between them are now impossible, she advises him to distance himself from her memory and looks forward to the exit of death where “a sort of grave” will reunite them (line 343).

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The Pope was born a Roman Catholic, so it can be assumed that he has insight into the story and is particularly interested in it. However, he had a properly published source that inspired him and guided his readers. It was The Letters of Abelard and Heloise: With a Special Account of Their Lives, Loves, and Misfortunes by the poet John Hughes, which was first published in 1713 and was to go through many editions in the next century and more.

As one example, where Heloise exclaims: “Among those who are married to God I serve man; among the heroic supporters of the cross I am a poor slave of human passion; at the head of the religious community I am devoted only to Abelard”,

Ah, wretch! He trusted God’s wife in vain, He confessed himself as a slave of love and man.[7] — lines 177-78 Imitations and responses [edit]

Such if there are, who love so long, so well; Let him tell our sad, our tder story; Well-sung sorrows will soothe my soul’s spirit; The one who can paint them best, who can feel them the most.[8]

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Whether intentional or not, several imitations and parodies of his poem were written by the end of the century, all but two of which were presented as Abelard’s response to Eloise and written in heroic couplets. Although Pope’s poem was the main inspiration, and the authors often referred to it in their forewords, there was always Hughes’s anthology with its historical account in the background. In his later editions the connection between the two was further emphasized by the inclusion of Pope’s first poem (from 1755) and some of the main responses in subsequent editions.

In addition to such direct imitations, Pope’s song inspired heroic epistles among other couples. Charles Augustine Lea stated on the title page that his “Eliza to Comus, Epistle” (1753) was written as an imitation. Noting, however, an excess of superfluous words compared with Pope’s terse style, the Monthly Review chided the author for his indiscreet comparison.

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The later poetic epistles of Chrysostom and Marcela (Dublin 1777) are also described as “dedicated to the memory of Abelard and Eloisa”.

The Letters Of Abelard And Heloise Summary

In 1785, the fourth edition of Seymour’s imitation was accompanied by two more epistles, “Leonora Tasso” and “Ovid to Julia”.

Miniature Poetry Book Love Letters Of Abelard And Heloise

Gre had to be expanded with two more imitations whose witty success brought frequent reprints. The first was Richard Ow Cambridge’s clever “Elegy Writt in an Empty Assembly-Room” (1756).

Although the preface describes the poem as “a parody of the most famous passages in the well-known Epistle of Eloise to Abelard”, the title also classifies it as a contemporary parody of Gray’s Elegy Writt in a Country Churchyard which aimed to provide an unlikely setting. The imitation of lines from the Pope’s epistle in this context adds a new level of subtlety.

A later work, by Eloisa Deshabille, is a new version of that lady’s celebrated epistle to Abelard (1780),

In this burlesque and humorous version it corresponded to Pope’s original verse for verse, and in later editions it appeared opposite his song. It was written in anapetic meter with frequent two- and three-syllable rhymes, one of the most notorious of which was

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The poem has been attributed to several authors, of whom Richard Porson was once considered the most likely, although a strong case is also made for John Matthews.

While parodies mocked the passages they imitated, epistolary imitations repeated Pope’s themes and language to show their affinity. So Richard Barford writes his poem in a similar line to Pope’s, that true lovers will express their kinship with Eloisa and Abelard in similar words:

Each grief-stricken lover pale with anguish exhausted, Trembling will follow the lamented tale. Weep for our sorrow, sigh after sigh, And with your boundless passion speak your mind.[37] — line 373-376

The Letters Of Abelard And Heloise Summary

And the third and fourth lines of Seymour’s introduction, “If my blood run cold,

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