Abelard and Heloise are the Middle Ages’ most famous star-crossed lovers and letter writers. Abelard, a tutor of theology at Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral, fell in love with his pupil Heloise. She is the niece of the hot-tempered Canon Fulbert. She bore Abelard’s child name Astrolabe who is named after an astronomical instrument for measuring time. Abelard and Heloise were secretly married.
Fulbert got angry with Abelard for soiling the family’s honor by naming his nephew after an astronomical instrument and had Abelard castrated by his henchmen. Abelard became a monk and Heloise a nun. Despite separate cloisters, they maintained a passionate epistolary relationship and are entombed together in Paris’ Pere Lachaise Cemetery. A sculpture if Heloise embracing Abelard’s severed gonads can be found at Paris’ Conciergerie prison.