The Story of My Misfortunes (or: Historia Calamitatum)

Read by Martin Geeson

(4.7 stars; 16 reviews)

Autobiographies from remote historical periods can be especially fascinating.
Modes of self-presentation vary greatly across the centuries, as of course does
the very concept of Self.

Peter Abelard, the medieval philosopher and composer, here gives a concise
but vivid survey of his notoriously calamitous life. The work is couched in the
form of a letter to an afflicted friend. Abelard's abrasively competitive, often
arrogant personality emerges at once in the brief Foreword, where he informs his
correspondent: "(I)n comparing your sorrows with mine, you may discover that
yours are in truth nought.. and so shall you come to bear them the more easily."
(Summary by Martin Geeson) (2 hr 34 min)


Foreword, Chapters I-V 28:30 Read by Martin Geeson
Chapters VI, VII 29:15 Read by Martin Geeson
Chapters VIII, IX 25:28 Read by Martin Geeson
Chapters X-XII 34:01 Read by Martin Geeson
Chapters XIII-XV 37:01 Read by Martin Geeson


Overall, quite good

(4 stars)

Mr. Geeson puts such effort into his readings that one really must get used to them. They are like delicacies; very rich and almost overpowering at first, but with time, one comes to appreciate them more and more. A single star is lacking for the translation, which though good and no fault of Mr. Geeson's, lacks a little of the power of this great text and has parenthetical scripture citations that can get a little annoying when they break in midsentence. However, this marvelous production is very much worth listening to and one should proceed to the Letters of Abelard and Heloise afterwards.

good book well read

(5 stars)

good book well read

An interesting book about a prominent Medieval scholar who’s life was like a cr…

(5 stars)