On September 24th, Coco Hoek took us to 18th c France for the fourth lecture in Mayflower Bookshop’s Great Books series. Hoek, who studied French in Leiden, painted a vivid picture of the conventions in 18th French society, in which it was social ruin for a girl to have sexual relations before marriage. In this context, Hoek led us to the tradition of the Libertine novel and to Dangerous Liaisons, making clear how timeless this novel is even to a 21st audience in a period when grooming has taken on a whole new meaning. She also showed us the malice and deviousness of the Marquise de Merteuil, victimizing a young girl and using the Vicomte de Valmont simply to revenge herself!
The afternoon concluded with a reading from Les Liasions Dangereuses by Freek Bouricius (Marquise de Merteuil) and Roland de Ligny (Vicomte de Valmont)