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Who Wrote That?Authorship Controversies from Moses to Sholokhov$
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Donald Ostrowski

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501749704

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501749704.001.0001

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Did Abelard and Heloise Write the Letters Attributed to Them?

Did Abelard and Heloise Write the Letters Attributed to Them?

(p.75) Chapter 4 Did Abelard and Heloise Write the Letters Attributed to Them?
Who Wrote That?
Donald Ostrowski
Cornell University Press

This chapter examines the set of letters that Abelard and Heloise presumably wrote. It recounts how Abelard and Heloise became icons of French and European cultural history as illicit lovers who suffered the consequences. It also analyzes the rediscovery of Abelard's theological and dialectical writings in the eighteenth century, during the time of the Enlightenment and when reason was being given priority of approach in intellectual matters. The chapter investigates two sets of letters. The first set has fifteen letters, in which nine were attributed to Abelard and four were addressed to Heloise. The second set contains 113 anonymous letters that was transcribed in the late fifteenth century by the monk Johannes de Vepria and referred to in the scholarship as “Epistles of Two Lovers.”

Keywords:   Abelard, Heloise, illicit lovers, Enlightenment, Johannes de Vepria, Epistles of Two Lovers

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