A Dangerous Liaison Paperback – 5 Mar 2009
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
"indefatigably detailed and even-handed. [Seymour-Jones] has mastered a great deal of French political life over many decades" (Literary Review)
"excellent ... Seymour-Jones's narrative crackles and pops with engrossing anecdotes ... a tautly written, riveting book ... formidable" (The Observer)
"As a portrait of marriage - or more accurately of a refusal to marry - this joint biography is filled with delicious detail, with nefarious intrigues, trysts, betrayals, and outrageously libertine behaviour; and for all its scrupulous research and historical understanding ... it rattles along with the drama of a soap opera ...Massive, lavishly researched and eminently readable, Seymour-Jones's book is as page-turning as its is scholarly. The end result is quite dazzling." (Guardian)
"[an] excellent biography" (Independent on Sunday)
"This absorbing account traces the trajectory of these twin rockets with energy and objectivity" (Independent)
A revelatory new biography of Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul SartreSee all Product Description
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
From their adolescence onwards they had both rejected belief in God. This had two consequences in particular: the first and earliest was that `if God is dead, everything is permitted', and they certainly allowed themselves behaviour which, even by permissive standards, was often indefensible. On the other hand, they sought to fashion a morality which, in theory, was as demanding as any laid down by the churches: absolute honesty towards themselves and each other, a ruthless exposure and condemnation of mauvaise foi, the necessity to fashion a moral code for themselves and then an insistence on total commitment to it. These have made them the heroes of their followers and of many thoughtful people who have themselves wrestled with the moral problems raised by the absence of religious belief.
But they fell very far short of what they preached: they lied (what De Beauvoir wrote in her Memoirs is often belied by her diary; and Sartre lied about his behaviour during the Occupation); they seduced minors and casually wrecked other people's lives.
A typical situation: De Beauvoir, aged 24, had a lesbian relationship with her 17 year old pupil Olga Kosackiewicz; suffers torments when Sartre makes a play for her which Olga encourages.Read more ›
Instead it concentrates on their unconventional (if not downright bizarre) personal relationship which lasted over 50 years and allowed them both to go their own ways while remaining pledged to each other. This unusual situation, which led to moral and ethical contradictions at a personal level which Sartre would have dismissed as "petty bourgeois", was matched by muddled thinking on political and social issues which led them both to become apologists for the Soviet and Chinese Communist regimes during the Cold War.
Sartre is portrayed as a hypocrite and a liar who inflated his own role in the French Resistance during the Nazi occupation. Not only he did betray his country by collaborating but he also treated many of his lovers and friends badly, according to the author.
de Beauvoir is treated more sympathetically although she is portrayed as a bisexual who specialized in seducing her young female pupils before sharing them with Sartre. She comes over as a more approachable person than Sartre. Her affair with the American writer, Nelson Algren, which lasted a number of years,is one of the most interesting parts of the book and could make an excellent film with the right treatment.Read more ›
I was surprised to discover how apolitical the 2 were during the 1930s. Both were then firmly set on establishing careers for themselves and having sexual relationships with impressionable young women. Many of these women like the Kosackiewicz sisters, Natalie Sorokine, and Bianca Lamblin (nee Bienenfeld - a Jew whom both de Beauvoir and Sartre abandoned as the Germans tightened their grip on France in the late spring of 1940). De Beauvoir later felt guilty for how shabbily she and Sartre had treated Lamblin and after the war, she and Lamblin would take annual trips together. (Lamblin, Seymour-Jones reveals, wrote her own memoirs in which she spoke fully of her betrayal and the nervous breakdown she suffered after having fought with the Maquis in the Vecours against the Germans.)
Sartre (and de Beauvoir to some extent) greatly understated his Resistance activity during the Second World War. In truth, both felt that the German occupation was likely to last 20 years and, like most French, largely accomodated themselves to Hitler's New Order in France. In contrast to Albert Camus, a mutual friend, Sartre and de Beauvoir played almost no part in the Resistance.
Sartre shortly before the war had begun to make a name for himself as a writer and existentialist thinker through his first successful book, 'La Nausee'. For de Beauvoir, the war helped her to find her voice as a writer and thinker.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I got about a quarter of the way through this and gave up - I found the writing unrivetting to say the least. It should have been a good read given the interesting subject matter. Read morePublished on 28 May 2013 by S. L. Cooke
I was warned against Seymour-Jones's biography of Vivienne Eliot for its being a vicious attack on T.S. Eliot and his writing. Read morePublished on 27 Sept. 2011 by Kate Hopkins
That long, tangled, unreconciled relationship between Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre reminded me of another stormy couple - Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, two people who... Read morePublished on 14 April 2011 by Larry Roland Taylor
This book certainly covers the lives of de Beauvoir and Sartre, digging up every seedy and unpleasant detail, making them thoroughly unlikeable. Read morePublished on 30 July 2009 by Milly
Carole Seymour-Jones has given us a gift.
My local reading group chose this unusual book as the subject for our latest review. Read more