Daring, original, and highly erotic, this famous French epistolary novel explores the moral ambiguities of love and revenge. Les Liaisons Dangereuses
(Dangerous Liaisons) created a succès de scandale
upon its 1782 publication. More than two centuries later, this dark tale of calculating seduction and betrayal retains its grip on the popular imagination, thanks in part to its adaptations for stage and screen.
Set in the final days of the ancien régime, Les Liaisons
offers a revealing portrait of decadence among the French aristocracy on the eve of the Revolution. Its series of intimate letters chronicles the amorous adventures of the Marquise de Merteuil and the Vicomte de Valmont. Clever, wealthy, and bored, they amuse themselves by devising a game that uses sex to humiliate other members of their social circle. No winners emerge from their battles, in which the innocent suffer alongside the guilty.