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 narcissistic rivals (and ex-lovers) who use seduction as a weapon to socially control and exploit others, all the while enjoying their cruel games and boasting about their talent for manipulation. 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. The book has also been described as merely a story about two amoral people.
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 drive the plot, with those of their victims and other characters serving as contrasting figures to give the story its depth.
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