Les Liaisons dangereuses

English language

Published Sept. 28, 1999

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Les Liaisons dangereuses (French: [le ljɛzɔ̃ dɑ̃ʒ(ə)ʁøz]; English: Dangerous Liaisons) is a French epistolary novel by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos, first published in four volumes by Durand Neveu from March 23, 1782. It is the story of the Marquise de Merteuil and the Vicomte de Valmont, two amoral lovers-turned-rivals who amuse themselves by ruining others and who ultimately destroy each other. It has been seen as depicting the corruption and depravity of the French nobility shortly before the French Revolution, and thereby attacking the Ancien Régime despite having been written nearly a decade prior to those events. The author aspired to "write a work which departed from the ordinary, which made a noise, and which would remain on earth after his death". As an epistolary novel, the book is composed of letters written by the various characters to each other. In particular, the letters between Valmont and the Marquise mark …

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