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Les Liaisons Dangereuses (English Translation) Paperback – 26 Nov 1998

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks; New edition edition (26 Nov. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192838679
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192838674
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 2.3 x 12.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 422,596 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


The Oxford World's Classic edition offers students an excellent introduction to this classic text and also important notes and chronologies. (Dr. Paraic Finnerty, University of Portsmouth.)

About the Author

Douglas Parmée is Retired Fellow of Queen's College, Cambridge. He is the translator of Nana, Attack on the Mill (Zola) and A Sentimental Journey (Flaubert) for World's Classics. David Coward is Professor of French at the University of Leeds. He is the translator and editor of Maupassant, de Sade, and Dumas in World's Classics. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Well, Sophie dear, as you see, I'm keeping my word and not spending all my time on bonnets and bows, I'll always have some to spare for you! Read the first page
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Lusarussa on 17 April 2007
Format: Paperback
I just wanted to write a review about the Oxford edition of this book and not the penguin classic one, and the same reviews are under both books !?

Anyway, I just wanted to say that I have read the penguin classic version translated by PWK Stone, and I have just read the available pages on here of the Oxford edition, and its really is awful. The way it has been translated is clumsy and ugly, it sounds too modern...wheras the penguin classic version has been modernised but still retains some flavour of 18th century france along with being readable.

I would just suggest to anyone wanting to read this book to read Stones' translation and not touch this one, or at least read the first few pages of each and compare them. If I had started reading the oxford version I think I would never have bothered reading the book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C. Manning on 24 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback
Wealthy, devious and bored the Vicomte de Valmont and Marquise de Merteuil have formed an alliance and begin a dangerous game of seduction and domination. Eager to preserve their reputations, Valmont as a libertine and Merteuil as a lady they act out their roles with passion and vigour. Yet by targeting the naive Cecile Volanges, the lovestruck Chevalier Danceny and the pious Madame de Tourvel the pair don't realise that in a game this deadly, the guilty will suffer along with the innocent.

I'm a long term fan of the movie Cruel Intentions so I've wanted to read the original book for a while just to see how it compares. Now I have I can completely understand the controversy and scandal that resulted from the publication of this book in 1782. I'm also amazed at the modernity of the story. I enjoyed the modern feel to the book, and if that is down to the translation alone then I applaud Douglas Parmee for making the book so easy to read, but it could be that the themes of love, lust and betrayal are universal.

Written as a series of letters between the main characters, the author does imply that these were real people and obscures the identity of various individuals and places, as well as the year the events take place in. However there is also a publishers note stating this is a work of fiction. Whether these characters or just people like them actually existed, the book remains a view on the excesses of wealth and twisted games played by those in positions of power.

Merteuil and Valmont are incredibly devious and twisted, playing their games with a kind of maniacal glee and delighting in the suffering they entail.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Simon Savidge Reads on 5 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback
Dangerous Liaisons (or Les Liaisons Dangereuses as my title was) is really a tale of love, hate, and lavish deviousness. From their separate abodes, or indeed the abodes of others, two bored aristocrats use the people they know as pawns in a game of deceit. The Marquis de Merteuil writes to her former lover the Vicomte de Valmont as she has decided to ruin the soon to be bride of Comte de Gercourt a man she has a bone to pick with and so sets up spoiling his future young bride, a fifteen year old by the name of Cecile Volanges, in any way she can and wants Valmont's help and also you get the feeling she wants him to be in awe of her wickedness which she is no doubt the better at. However Valmont is currently planning his greatest scandal yet the ruin of Presidente de Tourvel, the wife of a judge and a highly religious women. Valmont is decided he will make her fall in love with him, sleep with her and then leave her. There are much more debauched things going on but I wouldn't want to give to many of these wicked acts away.

As the book continues the lives of these two marvellously cunning scoundrels draw in a whole cast of other characters who become embroiled in their web of plots and lies, from Cecile's piano teacher Danceny, who she becomes besotted with, to her mother Madame de Volanges a friend and confident of both Merteuil and Tourvel. As the letters fly back and forth between this collection of characters Laclos creates an amazing plot which constantly twists and darkens as the dastardly duo of Valmont and Merteuil try to complicate things for one another and better each other in acts of their cunning.

I don't know if you can tell yet that I absolutely adored this book. I thought it was wonderful and wish Laclos had written so much more.
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By H. Carlton on 24 Mar. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Choderlos de Laclos, on the strength of this one book, was a master writer.
That this novel, written in 1779, seems so modern and fresh in 2009 is surely a mark of genius. It has all the attributes of a modern book in that it is impossible to put down (a page-turner),is spot on in descriptions of male/female behaviour (emotional intelligence), has a very moral message and most of all, spellbinding characters. That this is all achieved through a series of letters makes the result even more astonishing, as although it might put some people off to hear that a novel is written through letters, here one is so bound up in the story that it only registers later that it is entirely in letters..
Don't miss reading this. It is one of the 100 books one must read, if only purely for enjoyment.
I place it up there with Dickens, Tolstoy, Proust, et al, as a very great work of literature which manages to be utterly enjoyable as well. de Laclos expressed a wish that "this book would create some stir in the world and would continue to do so after I've gone....." It does!
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