Abelard and Heloise Love Story

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    Abelard and Heloise Love Story

    abelardheloise The reason we know about this love story is because of a set of over 100 love letters written in a 15th century manuscript between the two star-crossed lovers which were recently uncovered and published. The love letters were thought to have originated in the 12th century themselves.

    Peter Abelard was a philosopher and scholar. His rise to fame brought him into office at Notre-Dame in Paris where he sought official priesthood. He had many students and he was the most popular philosopher of the late 11th century, no one could beat him. He was considered to be the most knowledgeable in philosophy and theology.

    But in the early 12th century he met Heloise, a niece of the canon Fulbert of Notre-Dame and fell in love with her. He even arranged to stay at Fulbert's house to be close to her. Their relationship was not kept secret, except from Fulbert himself, and it interfered with his work. But soon, Fulbert did find out and he was furious. He separated the two but they managed to meet in secret. When Heloise became pregnant, Peter then secretly transported them both to Brittany where she gave birth.

    Her Uncle was even more furious but Abelard came up with a plan for a secret marriage to appease her Uncle. The wedding would give Fulbert peace of mind and it had to remain secret so that Abelard himself could remain within the church and keep advancing. Fulbert and Heloise agreed to the secret wedding. They were married but Fulbert did not keep the secret for long. Very soon everyone knew and life for Heloise and Abelard was made very difficult as people criticized them.

    The torment became so bad that Abelard asked Heloise to escape to a convent for a while until the commotion died down. She did so at his bidding. But Fulbert became even more furious. He thought that now Abelard now just wanted to be rid of his niece and so he plotted revenge. Late one night he and some others crept into his room and castrated him. A castration meant that he would no longer be welcomed in the offices of the church, at least not a canon position.

    Abelard also felt he could no longer provide husbandly duties for his wife, Heloise, now that he was castrated. But he did not want her to be with any other man either. He asked her to become a nun while he would become a monk and she agreed. Living out their lives separate from one another, they remained in love through the many years and as told through the many letters sent to each other as a nun and a monk.

    Back To Famous Love Stories List