Choderlos de Laclos was born in 1741, at Amiens. He entered the army at the age of 18 and reached the rank of capitaine-commandant without seeing battle. In 1779 he was sent to the island of Aix, where Dangeruous Liaisons was written. Helen Constantine has translated Theophile Gautier's Mademoiselle de Maupin for Penguin Classics which will be published in 2004 with an introduction by Patricia Duncker. And with David Constantine, she has translated a volume of Henri Michaux's poetry, Spaced and Displaced (Bloodaxe). She lives in Oxford.
"If this book burns, it burns as only ice can burn."