full title Dangerous Liaisons or, Letters Collected in One Section of Society and Published for the Edification of Others by Monsieur C_ de L_
author Pierre-Ambroise-François Choderlos de Laclos
type of work Novel
genre Epistolary novel
time and place written Paris, late 1770s or early 1780s
date of first publication 1782
date of first public banning 1824
first publisher Choderlos de Laclos
narrator Because the novel is composed of letters written by different people, there are multiple narrators. Virtually every person in the character list is a narrator.
protagonist There are multiple protagonists for the same reason there are multiple narrators.
antagonist Some readers view the Marquise de Merteuil and the Vicomte de Valmont as antagonists. But it is also possible to see them as anti-heroine and hero, who in fact antagonize themselves into ruin.
settings (time) August to January in an unspecified year of the 18th century
settings (place) Paris and various estates in the French countryside
point of view The first person point of view shifts, depending on who composes a particular letter; more generally, it is that of the French aristocracy in the late 1700s.
falling action The beginning of Part four, when Valmont finally succeeds in seducing the Présidente de Tourvel
tense For the most part, past, except when the authors of the letters describe their sentiments at the moment of writing, or make predictions about (or demands for) the future.
tones Polite, flattering, passionate, imploring, disdainful, gossiping, earnest
symbols The letter, the key
themes Desire, war, religion, sincerity, education, men and women
motifs The opera, class, illness and medicine