Abelard, a prominent twelfth-century theologian, is hired to tutor Heloise, a brilliant pupil who becomes his lover and the mother of his child. Although the two are secretly married, a misunderstanding leads to Abelard's castration by Heloise's uncle, followed by the lovers' permanent separation. Abelard retreats to a monastery and Heloise to a nunnery — and their subsequent correspondence captured the romantic imaginations of generations of readers. The letters offer insights into the thinking of Abelard, who ranks among the Middle Ages' foremost philosophers, and the spirited determination of Heloise, an early feminist. They have also excited ongoing controversy in terms of their historical content and significance. Translator C. K. Scott Moncrieff takes a modern approach to the correspondence, adding new significance to its reflection of medieval attitudes toward love, marriage, and religion.