The Lost Love Letters of Heloise and Abelard: Perceptions in Dialogue in Twelfth-Century France

In this book, Constant Mews and Neville Chiavaroli examine 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 and Chiavaroli provide 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. They also explore the political, literary, and religious contexts in which the two figures conducted their affair, and offer new insights into Heloise as an astonishingly gifted writer, whose literary gifts were ultimately frustrated by the course of her relationship with her teacher. The Lost Love Letters of Heloise and Abelard is an extraordinary volume that will deepen the reader's understanding of these two historical figures as it enhances one's knowledge of the Middle Ages.