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The libertine novel was an 18th-century literary genre of which the roots lay in the European but mainly French libertine tradition. The genre effectively ended with the French Revolution. Themes of libertine novels were anti-clericalism, anti-establishment and eroticism.
Authors include Claude Prosper Jolyot de Crébillon (Les Égarements du cœur et de l'esprit, 1736; Le Sopha, conte moral, 1742), Denis Diderot (Les bijoux indiscrets, 1748), Marquis de Sade (L'Histoire de Juliette, 1797-1801), Choderlos de Laclos (Les Liaisons dangereuses, 1782).
Precursors to the libertine writers were Théophile de Viau (1590-1626) and Charles de Saint-Evremond (1610-1703), who were inspired by Epicurus and the publication of Petronius, and John Wilmot (Sodom, or the Quintessence of Debauchery, 1684). .
Robert Darnton is a cultural historian who has covered this genre extensively.
- DeJean, Joan (1981). Libertine Strategies: Freedom and the Novel in Seventeenth-Century France. Ohio State University Press. ISBN 9780814203255.
- Stam, Robert; Raengo, Alessandra, eds. (2007). A Companion to Literature and Film. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 347–349. ISBN 9781405177559.
- Miletic, Tijana (2008). European Literary Immigration Into the French Language: Readings of Gary, Kristof, Kundera and Semprun. Brill-Rodopi. pp. 196–197. ISBN 9789042024007.