Dangerous Liaisons
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Dangerous Liaisons

4.07 (35,167 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Translated by 

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Description

Published in 1782, just years before the French Revolution, Les Liaisons Dangereuses is a disturbing and ultimately damning portrayal of a decadent society. At its centre are two aristocrats, former lovers, who embark on a sophisticated game of seduction and manipulation to bring amusement to their jaded existences. While the Marquise de Merteuil challenges the Vicomte de Valmont to seduce an innocent convent girl, the Vicomte is also occupied with the conquest of a virtuous married woman. But as their intrigues become more duplicitous and they find their human pawns responding in ways they could not have predicted, the consequences prove to be more serious, and deadly, than Merteuil and Valmont could have guessed.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 448 pages
  • 128 x 196 x 32mm | 340.19g
  • PENGUIN CLASSICS
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • New
  • 0140449574
  • 9780140449570
  • 48,496

Back cover copy

The complex moral ambiguities of seduction and revenge make Les Liaisons dangereuses (1782) one of the most scandalous and controversial novels in European literature. Its prime movers, the Vicomte de Valmont and the Marquise de Merteuil, gifted, wealthy, and bored, form an unholy alliance and turn seduction into a game - a game which they must win. And they play with such wit and style that it is impossible not to admire them - until they discover that the game has mysterious rules that they cannot understand. In the ensuing vicious battle there can be no victors, and the innocent will suffer with the guilty. This new translation gives Laclos a modern voice, and readers will be able to judge whether the novel is as 'diabolical' and 'infamous' as its critics have claimed, or whether it has much to tell us about the kind of world we ourselves live in.
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Review quote

"If this book burns, it burns as only ice can burn."
-Baudelaire
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About Choderlos de Laclos

Choderlos de Laclos was born in 1741, at Amiens. He entered the army at the age of 18 and reached the rank of capitaine-commandant without seeing battle. In 1779 he was sent to the island of Aix, where Dangeruous Liaisons was written.


Helen Constantine has translated Theophile Gautier's Mademoiselle de Maupin for Penguin Classics which will be published in 2004 with an introduction by Patricia Duncker. And with David Constantine, she has translated a volume of Henri Michaux's poetry, Spaced and Displaced (Bloodaxe). She lives in Oxford.
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Rating details

35,167 ratings
4.07 out of 5 stars
5 40% (13,919)
4 36% (12,489)
3 19% (6,669)
2 4% (1,551)
1 2% (539)

Our customer reviews

One of my favourite books from the modern classics. Many of the themes are still relevant today. This is a must read.show more
by Anna Bochenek
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