A C Grayling

Missives from the Monastry

Heloise and Abelard: A Twelfth-Century Love Story

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ONE OF THE most famous couples in the annals of passion, Abelard and Heloise are invariably referred to in that order: as ‘Abelard and Heloise’. James Burge chooses to entitle his book ‘Heloise and Abelard’, and by this rearrangement succeeds in making a large and appropriate statement: for it is Heloise who is first in this story, being the one with the truly eloquent heart, to her very core the image and paradigm of a woman whose love is so profound that it rejects and defies the whole world and the wrath of God – everything, indeed, other than the beloved himself.

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