Alexander Pope: Eloisa to Abelard

(2570 words)

Pope's poem, written in 1716 and first published in his collected Works of 1717, is based on the well-known love story of Peter Abelard (1079-1142), the famous French philosopher, theologian and master scholar, and Heloise (1101-64), the erudite pupil with whom he fell in love when he was forty and she was eighteen. Abelard was the intellectual idol of Paris and had a large following of students, numbering many thousands. At the time of his affair with Heloise he was living in the house of her uncle and guardian, a man named Fulbert, who was one of the canons of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. When the affair was discovered and Heloise found she was pregnant, Abelard conveyed her to his family chateau in Brittany, where she gave …

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Gordon, Ian. "Eloisa to Abelard". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 January 2002
[, accessed 06 July 2015.]