Yes, it's the unfinished tale you've all been lamenting... the sequel you've been waiting for...
The Amourous Adventures of Abelard the Arrogant Academic are making a comeback! The team was devastated by internal betrayals- Uncle Fulbert simply walked off the set one day, bringing the whole series down around our ears. But, like Dr Who, we are back. New
We left off with Peter Abelard gloating over his seduction of Heloise, and over Fulbert's dimwitted obliviousness. This week, Uncle Fulbert describes his rude awakening:
Didn't I suspect anything? How can a man be expected to suspect such things? I hope you don't think the girl's lapse was my fault. Oh no.
I raised her well, gave her the best of everything. What is a cleric supposed to do, suddenly saddled with a girl-child? I sent her to Argentueil. She reminded me of her mother, you know. Always such a smart child. Although where she got that stubborn streak I cannot say. Argentueil is the best school around for girls, I wouldn't have given her less. But she was never satisfied. Their library wasn't big enough. Their teachers never good enough. I would visit her, take her books from the cathedral here, and whatever I could borrow from other places. But she was headstrong, never happy with her lot. The nuns there found her impossible to teach. In the end, I had no choice but to bring her here with me.
A foolish choice. I can see you thinking it. A foolish choice. Why should a woman-child be given her way? Why should a woman be in the house of the cathedral in the first place? Perhaps you're right. I could think of no other course, however.
She was biddable enough at first. Her days were spent in the library of the cathedral. I would not allow her to go out to hear the teachers, I was not that foolish. The university is no place for a young lady. What was to become of her, I couldn't say. She had not the temperament for the convent life, though with her education she could have risen to high rank. I tried taking her to the sorts of parties where she might meet young people of her age and rank. She was sarcastic to the young men of court, but doted on the minstrels. Any man of education she cornered, regardless of propriety, and harangued him for hours.
What was I to do with her? She would make no one a wife, but she would not submit to the convent discipline. What is a man to do?
This Abelard fellow seemed a godsend. A tutor, the best of the young academics in Paris. She was satisfied to learn from him, and I thought he might instill in her some wisdom, some more womanly behaviours.
How should I have seen it coming? You cannot accuse me of laxity there. I should have left her in Argentueil, yes. But once here, who better to teach her than Peter Abelard? He had a reputation for stubbornness, yes. Perhaps even arrogance- never content to learn, he rushed on to teach as soon as he might. But such a man would command my wayward niece well. These academics, they all prize chastity and austerity as appropriate for philosophy.
Of course the town gossiped. The town will gossip. I thought better of my neice, and I thought better of Peter Abelard.
So he wrote songs for her. That's not unremarkable for a teacher and student. You've read the letters of Baudri. He wrote panegrics left write and centre- to Adela of Blois, to the Duke of Normandy, to the bishop and to the little boys in the choir stall. Have you never heard of a rhetorical device?
Of course she had a crush on him. Young girls will. Her stubborn will had met its match, I was hardly surprised to see that. He ought not to have taken advantage. It is a shame on his name, as a man and a philosopher.
Inevitably, I came in upon them. I packed him off, of course. Perhaps I should have been more fierce. I am a bachelor. The clergy are not trained to raise young girls! Besides... By now, I had little hope of her making a good marriage. If separation from her inflamed his passion still more, Abelard might be compelled to marry her.
He took lodging nearby and we heard little of him. After some weeks, however, the maid who took care of the girl came to me in quite a rage. Abelard had approached her and offered her coin, if she might arrange for him to see Heloise. A tight watch we kept upon her after that- the maid slept at her window, that he might not approach her therefrom.
It was not enough. One morning she was gone, the devious she-wolf. Gone!
What will happen next? Tune into HighlyTV to find out!