Author. His one major work is the epistolary novel "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" ("Dangerous Connections", 1782), a masterpiece of French Literature. It deals with the corruption of innocence and virtue by two immoral aristocrats, the Viscount de Valmont and his mistress, the Marchioness de Merteuil, for their own jaded amusement. Essentially a study of power and evil, it was viewed as a ferocious attack of the French nobility. The novel has been filmed several times, most successfully as the Oscar-winning "Dangerous Liaisons" (1988). Laclos was born of untitled nobility in Amiens, and spent most of his life as an artillery officer in the French Army. His only other literary efforts were "Ernestine" (1778), a comedy that received a single performance, and a handful of poems. In 1789 he joined the radical Jacobins and played an important military role in the French Revolution. He was imprisoned during the Reign of Terror and expected to be guillotined, but was freed in December, 1794. Laclos was promoted to General of Artillery by Napoleon in 1800. He died at the St. Francis Convent in Taranto, Italy, and was buried there. After the fall of Napoleon in 1815, locals destroyed Laclos' tomb and tossed his bones into the sea. With the permissiveness of the 1960's, the battle of the sexes depicted in "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" attained new relevance, and Laclos' reputation has remained high ever since.
Bio by: Bobb Edwards