Thursday, July 11, 2013

Ten top French Revolution novels

Jonathan Grimwood, writing under the name Jon Courtenay Grimwood, has won the British Science Fiction Association Award for Best Novel twice, and his work has been published in over fifteen languages. His new book is The Last Banquet.

For the Guardian, he chose fiction's best treatments of the mother of modern revolts, the French Revolution. One title on the list:
Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos

Morality tale, shocking exposé of aristocratic corruption or tragic love story? De Laclos' scandalous 1782 novel featuring Vicomte de Valmont, the Marquise de Merteuil and perversity at war with innocence exposed to an avid French public the squalor and malice of court life (and may or may not have helped bring the revolution closer). In 1985 Christopher Hampton reworked it as play and it's been the basis for several films.
Read about the other entries on the list.

Les Liaisons Dangereuses also appears on Helena Frith Powell's top ten list of sexy French books, H.M. Castor's top ten list of dark and haunted heroes and heroines, and John Mullan's list of ten of the best lotharios in literature.

--Marshal Zeringue