Pierre Choderlos de Laclos

Dangerous Liasons or Dangerous Connections - (Les liaisons dangereuses) (Unabridged)

Dangerous Liasons or Dangerous Connections by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos - 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 amoral lovers-turned-rivals who amuse themselves by ruining others and who ultimately destroy each other.
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 despite having been written nearly a decade prior to those events. The author aspired to "write a work which departed from the ordinary, which made a noise, and which would remain on earth after his death".

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 make up the majority of the plot, along with those of Cécile de Volanges and Madame de Tourvel.
It has been adapted multiple times, including the successful 1985 play and subsequent award-winning 1988 film adaptation.

Plot summary
The Marquise de Merteuil is determined to corrupt the young Cécile de Volanges, whose mother has only recently brought her out of a convent to be married-to Merteuil's previous lover, who has discarded her rudely. At the same time the notorious Vicomte de Valmont is determined to seduce the virtuous, married, and therefore inaccessible Madame de Tourvel, who is staying with his aunt while her husband is away on a court case. Cécile falls in love with the Chevalier Danceny (her young music tutor), and Merteuil and Valmont pretend to help the secret lovers in order to gain their trust and manipulate them later to benefit their own schemes.

Merteuil first suggests that the Vicomte should seduce Cécile in order to enact her revenge on Cécile's future husband but Valmont refuses, finding the challenge too easy and preferring to devote himself to seducing Madame de Tourvel. He is however interested in resuming their affair. Merteuil promises Valmont that if he seduces Madame de Tourvel and provides her with written proof of seduction, she will spend the night with him. At first Valmont is able to convince Tourvel that he has turned over a new leaf, but he does not find it as easy as his many other conquests. During the course of his pursuit, Valmont discovers that Cécile's mother has written to Madame de Tourvel warning her about him. He avenges himself by seducing Cécile as Merteuil had suggested. Meanwhile, Merteuil takes Danceny as her lover.
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