Pierre Abélard and Héloïse, The Letters of Abélard and Héloïse: Abelard seems to have a talent for pissing people off.

Both Abelard and Heloise are good at expressing themselves (and the translation I am reading seems to be a good one — it has many interesting explanatory footnotes). I know I should not be so surprised, but I am finding Abelard to be nothing more than a total self-centered jerk and I find myself getting […]

Margery Kempe, The Book of Margery Kempe: This woman was crazy. Hands down, batshit, insane.

So, let’s start with the good things first. This was the first autobiography practically and it is by a woman. A woman who got to do things not a lot of other medieval women got to do. That’s where the good ends however. Unfortunately, the story of Margery Kempe, while it could be extremely interesting, […]

Paradise Lost, by John Milton: The whole thing is written in blank verse.

I can imagine folks reading this and enjoying it. But not me. The story lying at the heart of Paradise Lost was one I really wanted to read. I’ve heard many times that Satan is portrayed as the sympathetic figure, that he’s honest about the absurdity of rebellion against the ultimate power of God yet still so […]