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Book/Printed Material Dangerous Liaisons. Les Liaisons dangereuses

About this Item


  • Dangerous Liaisons.

Other Title

  • Les Liaisons dangereuses


  • French author Pierre-Ambroise François Choderlos de Laclos (1741--1803) published Les Liaisons dangereuses (Dangerous liaisons) in 1782, signed only with his initials. Widely regarded as scandalous work, the epistolary novel etched the name of Laclos in the literary tradition of the 18th century, in which fiction in the form of purportedly discovered letters and memoires flourished, and in which debauchery and anonymity were interlinked. In the novel, the characters Merteuil and Valmont, aristocratic members of an overly mannered, rarified society near the end of the ancien régime, hatch an infernal trap in which they themselves fall, leading to the story's tragic ending. The prodigious success of Les Liaisons dangereuses was only equaled by that of Jean-Jacques Rousseau's La Nouvelle Héloïse (The new Heloise) 20 years earlier. The novel, which Laclos initially entitled Le danger des liaisons (The danger of liaisons), is suffused with tension and moral ambiguity, and critics have long debated whether Laclos intended to write a work exposing the decadence of the aristocratic society of his day. This manuscript is a copy of an initial unknown draft, worked on by Laclos at two different times. Laclos later reordered some of the letters in the novel.


  • Laclos, Choderlos de, 1741-1803 Author.

Created / Published

  • Paris : [publisher not identified], [1779 to 1881]


  • -  France
  • -  France--Île-de-France--Paris
  • -  1779 to 1881
  • -  Aristocracy (Social class)
  • -  Seduction


  • -  Title devised, in English, by Library staff.
  • -  Original resource extent: Signed manuscript, corrected intermediate version. Paper, 93 pages; 25.5 x 20 centimeters. Half-binding in ivory.
  • -  Original resource at: National Library of France.
  • -  Content in French.
  • -  Description based on data extracted from World Digital Library, which may be extracted from partner institutions.


  • 1 online resource.

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2021667681

Online Format

  • compressed data
  • pdf
  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

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Credit Line: [Original Source citation], World Digital Library

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Laclos, Choderlos De, Author. Dangerous Liaisons. [Paris: Publisher Not Identified, to 1881, 1779] Pdf.

APA citation style:

Laclos, C. D. (1779) Dangerous Liaisons. [Paris: Publisher Not Identified, to 1881] [Pdf] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Laclos, Choderlos De, Author. Dangerous Liaisons. [Paris: Publisher Not Identified, to 1881, 1779] Pdf. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.