A Dangerous Liaison

Front Cover
Random House, Dec 31, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 592 pages
2 Reviews

A Dangerous Liaison tells the intense, passionate and sometimes painful story of how these two brilliant free-thinkers - and rivals - came to a share a relationship that was to last over fifty years.

Moving from the corridors of the Sorbonne and the chestnut groves in the Limousin, to the cafes of Paris's Left Bank, we discover how the strikingly beautiful and gifted young Simone came to fall in love with the squinting, arrogant, hard-drinking Jean-Paul. Seymour-Jones describes that first summer of 1929: the heated debates that went on long into the night, the sexual rivalry and betrayal, the dangerous ideas that led people to experiment with new ways of behaving and the deep love that this perhaps unlikely couple shared.

We hear how Sartre clandestinely compromised with the Nazis and fell into a Soviet honey-trap. And, thanks to recently discovered letters written by de Beauvoir, the darker, more dangerous side to their philosophy of free love is revealed, including Simone's lesbianism and her pimping for younger girls for Jean-Paul, in order to keep his love.

This is a compelling and fascinating account of what lay behind the legend that this brilliant, tempestuous couple had created.

What people are saying - Write a review

Review: A Dangerous Liaison

User Review  - Anoush Margaryan - Goodreads

While I enjoyed reading about the lives and the work of Sarter and De Beauvoir, this book is just badly written. The analysis is sometimes superficial, the timeline incoherent, and the language often ... Read full review

Review: A Dangerous Liaison

User Review  - Jodi - Goodreads

I found this book to be more author conjecture and guesswork than an actual biography. Got about half way through before I gave up. Disapointing that a book about two such fascinating people could be so dull. Read full review

About the author (2011)

Carole Seymour-Jones was born in Towyn, North Wales and educated at Oxford and Sussex Universities. Her recent biography Painted Shadow: The Life of Vivienne Eliot was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson prize. She lives with her partner in Surrey and London.

Bibliographic information