The full history of Eloisa and Abelard may be read in Elwin's edition of Pope's Works, vol. ii. p. 226. The two principal personages of the poem flourished in the twelfth century. It is enough to say of them here that both were learned and for learning famous, and deeply attached to each other. Circumstances parted them, and they retired to separate convents. A letter from Abelard to a friend, bewailing his hard fate in this matter, fell into the hands of Eloisa, who then, according to the tradition, wrote the Latin letter on which the poem is founded, but of the genuineness of which there is much doubt.
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