"You know, beloved, as the whole world knows, how much I have lost in you, how at one wretched stroke of fortune that supreme act of flagrant treachery robbed me of my very self in robbing me of you; and how my sorrow for my loss is nothing compared with what I feel for the manner in which I lost you."The Love Letters of Abelard and Heloise
Pierre Abelard was a medieval French scholastic philosopher, theologian and preeminent logician. The love story he had with his pupil Héloïse d’Argenteuil is very beautiful but like all beautiful love stories, it is tragic. He was born in the village Le Pallet and was encouraged by his father to study liberal arts; he was very good at dialectic which was based on Aristotle’s logic. He became a teacher and traveled the country debating and learning but eventually stopped in Notre Dame where he became canon.
The romance that was about to change his life started when he was most famous; he was 40 years old and was teaching in Notre Dame when he started tutoring Héloïse d’Argenteuil, who was only 17 years old. She was living with her uncle, the canon Flubert and she had a brilliant mind as she spoke lating, greek and hebrew. He seduced Héloïse who ultimately became pregnant and gave birth to their son Astrolabe. What interfered with his career was the fact that he started boasting his conquest among different people. Flubert learned about this affair and prohibited Héloïse to meet her lover; but this didn’t keep them from seeing each other in secret.
"My tears, which I could not refrain, have blotted half your letter; I wish they had effaced the whole, and that I had returned it to you in that condition; I should then have been satisfied with the little time I kept it; but it was demanded of me too soon. " Source
After giving birth to their son in Brittany, she came back to Paris and married her lover in secret. Obviously, the members of her family opposed marriage with him and when they found out about this they attacked and castrated him while he was sleeping.
Héloïse had to become a nun while Abelard became a monk at St.Dennis Monastery. There is a great collection of letters between them, 113 anonymous love letters from an early phase of their love and another bunch that was written between them fifteen years after their romance ended. They are not just an expression of love but also thought provoking writings between two extremely intelligent people.