Let us bid adieu to Pierre Ambroise François Choderlos de Laclos, author of Dangerous Liaisons, who died of dysentery and malaria on this day in 1803.
Dangerous Liaisons was a masterpiece of fiction based on the real-life, tangled amorous relations of 18th Century French aristocrats (Any similarity between myself, la Comtesse Marie, and characters within the novel are purely coincidental, I assure you.)
Did you know:
- Although Laclos successfully wrote about the diabolical machinations of members of the ancien regime, he was actually born into a bourgeois family.
- One of Laclos's first literary attempts was a comedic opera based on Marie Jeanne Riccoboni's popular novel, Ernestine. The play, which debuted on July 19, 1777, was a tremendous failure.
- Marie Antoinette attended the premiere of Laclos's first play.
- The Chevalier Saint-Georges, a deadly swordsman, skilled equestrian, gifted musician, and unmatched lover, was one of Pierre Choderlos de Laclos's closest friends.
- The title of Dangerous Liaisons in French is Les Liaisons Dangereuses.
- Vicomte de Valmont, the sexual predator in Pierre Choderlos de Laclos's Dangerous Liaisons, was indeed based on a real nobleman, a calculating libertine.
- For a time, Pierre Choderlos de Laclos served in the French Army.
- After his stint in the military, Laclos entered the service of Louis Philippe, Duke of Orléans, who was a cousin of Louis XVI and an instigator of the Revolution. During the Revolution, the traitorous Orléans voted in favor of the execution of Louis XVI. Karma is just though: Orléans, who had changed his name to the more republican Philippe Égalité, was later sent to the guillotine.
- Laclos was buried at Forte de Laclos, a military fort in the Isola di San Paolo in Italy.
- The 1988 movie, Dangerous Liaisons, starring Glenn Close and John Malkovich, was based on Laclos's novel. It won three Academy Awards and sixteen other cinematic awards.
|First edition of |
from the King's Collection,
Palace of Versailles
|Illustration from the first edition|
of Les Liaisons Dangereuses.
This engraving, which was
included in the original book,
was done by Charles Monnet.