Letter I, Historia Calamitatum, Abelard to a Friend, the Story of His Misfortunes Summary and Analysis. The first letter Abelard wrote is to a friend, describe his past trials and misfortunes. It functions as an appropriately introductory letter because it sets the stage for the remaining letters. Abelard was born near Brittany, eight miles east of Nantes in a town called Le Pallet.