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Love Without End

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781473690943

Price: £10.99

ON SALE: 23rd January 2020

Genre: Fiction & Related Items / Historical Fiction

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‘Melvyn Bragg’s account of the passionate and painful love affair between the 12th century radical theologian, Peter Abelard, and the brilliant young convent-educated Eloise springs magnificently to life . . . Thrilling.’ Piers Plowright, Tablet

Within the Cloisters of Notre-Dame, a charismatic philosopher and a young woman renowned for her scholarship embark on an ardent, secret affair. It will send shockwaves through Paris, incur savage retribution and lead to years of separation, though nothing will break the bond between them.

Bringing the true story of Heloise and Abelard to vivid life, this engrossing novel conveys the powerful emotions and beliefs that drove them. It captures a couple who defied the conventions and religious orthodoxies of their times with striking audacity, and illuminates why their extraordinary tale still resonates today.

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Bragg brilliantly re-imagines the legendary love story of Heloise and Abelard, uniting the Middle Ages and today in this thrilling novel.
Antonia Fraser
Melvyn Bragg brings a fascinated attention to the moral complexities of a love story we all thought we knew, but perhaps did not understand well enough. His compassion for Abelard and Heloise makes brilliantly real and present to us their anguished journey from erotic excess towards the mystical sublime.
Rose Tremain
A tour de force - a moving, poignant, compelling tale, wonderfully told. I have never read such true and compellingly depicted accounts of sexual desire and encounter, and Paris, both medieval and modern, comes vividly before one.
A.C. Grayling
Bragg has mastered his sources, chiefly the letters of Abelard and Heloise and Abelard's autobiographical Historia Calamitaturn. By the pen of Arthur the novelist, Bragg with his own flair and perceptive imagination tells their story . . . Bragg's ability to live inside the minds of these two mighty philosophical and theological intellectuals. He understands their agonies, their manipulation . . . and persecution . . . Bragg writes his version of this life-long love with ease and confidence. It is a pleasure to read; and to be reminded of Chaucer's fastidious Prioress whose shining gold brooch declares: "Amor vincit omnia."
Brian Martin, Spectator
In this fascinating, haunting evocation of two people aflame with passion and love of learning, Melvyn Bragg dramatises the struggle to find consolation in faith
Elizabeth Buchan, Daily Mail
The 12th-Century love story of the brilliant scholar Heloise and radical philosopher Peter Abelard has long endured, and here Bragg recreates their tragic tale for a modern audience. It's an atmospheric, thought-provoking retelling.
Simon Humphreys, Mail on Sunday
A fictionalised account of legendary star-crossed lovers unfolds in tandem with the struggles of its author . . . it all comes together in a rich tapestry of devotion.
Hephzibah Anderson, Observer
What is distinctive about Bragg's approach is his emphasis on the intellectual content of the learned lovers' affair. In Pope's poem, Eloise makes just one reference to Abelard's "adored ideas". Here they are central , and so are hers.
David Grylls, Sunday Times
[Arthur's and Julia's] reflection on Heloise and Abelard's vividly drawn, complex relationship deepens how we understand its importance. As Arthur says at one stage, the goal is to rescue history from being "just another story". In Love Without End we gain access to politics and religion in another time, but also to human passions that influence us all.
Will Smith, Cumbria Life
[Bragg's] efforts to get inside the medieval mind-set make this more than just another historical romance about star-crossed lovers.
Church Times
Bragg succeeds in showing how important philosophical debates about the true meaning of the Bible were in this century, and how the rivalries between philosophers became ferociously competitive.
Shirley Whiteside, Herald (Glasgow)
Henry James thought historical novels were 'tainted by a fatal cheapness'. Not this one. Melvyn Bragg's account of the passionate and painful love affair between the 12th century radical theologian, Peter Abelard, and the brilliant young convent-educated Eloise springs magnificently to life. No cardboard here but the smell and feel of a turbulent time and a doomed relationship, brought up close by a 21st century one. Thrilling.
Piers Plowright, Tablet
Melvyn Bragg has shed fresh light on a poignant, obsessive, and magnificent love affair that has been an enduring fascination for readers throughout the centuries. It is Romeo and Juliet before Romeo and Juliet, but it's real, and the passion has such cerebral and emotional depth that it is all encompassing and beyond time. Melvyn Bragg's novel is keenly observed, and the dual timeline brings modern analysis and perception to the story of these medieval lovers, making it new and fresh for a contemporary audience.
Elizabeth Chadwick