The Book that Caused the French Revolution

In recognition of Bastille Day, I, in this special Monday episode, discuss the book that caused the French Revolution: Les Liaisons Dangereuses (The Dangerous Liaisons), written by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos. The book — perhaps somewhat unintentionally — set off pious sentiment against the Ancien Regime, and its influence carries on today.

(Alternative link, via Vimeo.)


I start off the show with a brief primer on Bastille Day and immediately begin a summary of the characters and events in this novel, breaking down its story of lust and love. I then cite some of its distinctively Catholic elements. Next, I just barely touch on the Ancien Regime and the Revolution and I mention the piety of the peasant class in France at the time. Finally, I look at the author’s motives and the book’s importance today.


Matthew Olson is a student in the Diocese of Little Rock.

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Posted in Historical, Radio

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