Les Liaisons Dangereuses


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One of the most `modern’ of eighteenth-century novels, Les Liasons Dangereuses is the brilliantly observed and vividly rendered story of two libertines and the innocent characters they plot to destroy .

Top review

John Beckham

Reviewed in the United States on 24 December 2007

Dangerous Liaisons (1782) is an epistolary novel, the print candy of the voyeur with the slightest degree of imagination. Laclos has penned letters that weave an intricate toile of lives, loves and hates set in French estates, countrysides and city scapes. Letters between the two leads, a lechorous libertine male (gentelman is unwarrented in his case) and a Grand Dame of French society (on the surface, manipulative witch is far more accurate) for the crux of the story. They spend their time manipulating those around them, creating love affairs, while having strings of assignations with the (guilty and trouble) puppets. During the course of manipulations an increasing antipathy forms between the two main characters. The manipulated are portrayed in the conspirator’s letters as insipid, stupid near sock puppets – yet in their own letters they are a moral balance to leading couple. If you are looking for a guide to manipulation, an etiquette book for the erotic libertine lifestyle, or a well crafted `hate’ `love’ story, then Laclos’ Dangerous Liasions (1782), is an excellent choice