Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Sharp Hook Of Love by Sherry Jones

The Sharp Hook Of Love tells the famous story of Heloise and Abelard in Paris in 1115, and the scandalous love that made them famous and brought them ruin.  Abelard was a canon, a famous teacher and philosopher who gave up his claim to nobility to pursue a life of the mind.  He was renowned throughout France for his writing and much beloved in Paris for his wit and looks.

Heloise was also a scholar, a rare thing in that day and age for a woman.  She was raised in Argenteuil Convent, left there by her mother who had her as an unmarried woman.  She left in her late teens to live with her uncle, Canon Fulbert, in Paris.  He wanted to use Heloise's beauty and scholarship to advance his own career. 

The stage for tragedy was set when Abelard agreed to become Heloise's tutor.  He moved into Canon Fulbert's house to facilitate her learning and a love affair ensued.  When they were discovered, Fulbert was enraged.  By then, Heloise was pregnant and Abelard arranged to send her to Brittany to his family for her confinement. 

When she returned to Paris, the pair had a secret wedding to appease Fulbert.  When rumors of their marriage leaked out, Abelard had Heloise return to the convent.  He was not allowed to marry as a canon and put his career ahead of his love.  The affair ended in tragedy for all.

Sherry Jones (pictured at right) has written a novel that explores the role that women had in medieval Europe.  They had little if any freedom and their choices were always made by the men in their lives.  Men were free to corrupt and then put aside women, which substantiated the idea that women had to make men commit to marriage to remain safe.  Women had no role in intellectual affairs, except for some women who had risen to head religious orders. 

For more information and additional reviews of this book, you can go to www.francebooktours.com.  This book is recommended for readers of historical fiction.


Sandie said...

Thanks for the extended link. I thought it was an interesting book. Many people have heard of Heloise and Abelard but don't know the real story. I have a hard time reading about this time period when women were basically treated as property.

Anonymous said...

so, if readers are intrigued, they may follow that link to see where they can connect with the author and buy her book