11. A Torrid and Illicit Affair
A rarity among women in her day, Heloise had mastered Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, and gained renown for her knowledge of classical studies. To get to her, Abelard wormed his way into the household of her uncle, Fulbert. He claimed that he could not afford a place of his own, and offered to tutor his niece in lieu of rent. Fulbert agreed, tutor and student soon hit it off, and in 1115, Heloise and Abelard began an affair. It was torrid and given their circumstance, the duo were too blinded by their passion to pay heed to the risks involved.
Heloise lived in convent, but she snuck out, or he snuck in, whenever possible. They got physical whenever and wherever they could. They made love in gardens at night, in her convent cell, in the nunnery’s kitchens, and in her uncle and guardian’s bedroom. She eventually got pregnant, and the couple found themselves in an awkward situation. So Abelard arranged for her to visit his family in Brittany. There, she gave birth to a son. Unfortunately for the lovers, and especially for Abelard, his arrogance betrayed him: he started to boast of his conquest. That backfired on him in a major way.