Pierre Ambroise Francois Clioderios De Laclos, a French writer and soldier, born in Amiens in 1741, died in Taranto in 1803. He entered the army at the age of 18, and reached the rank of captain in the corps of engineers in 1778. In 1782 he published a licentious novel, Les liaisons dangereuses, which nearly vied in point of popularity with Louvet's Faublas. After 30 years of military service he became secretary of the duke of Orleans, and thenceforth mingled in all the intrigues which aimed at the overthrow of Louis XVI. with the view of placing his own master on the throne. He became an ardent revolutionist, a prominent member of the Jacobin club, conducted their journal, and was the first to call for the deposition of the king after his flight to the frontier. With Brissot, he wrote the petition for the same object which was to be signed at the Champ de Mars, July 17, 1791, and brought about the massacre with which Lafayette and Bailly were so bitterly reproached. For a time he served in Marshal Luckner's army in the north, and was made brigadier general, Sept. 22, 1792. The next year he was incarcerated, but was liberated on the 9th Thermidor. After commanding the artillery in the army of the Rhine, he was sent in the capacity of inspector general to the army in southern Italy, where he died.
He was the author also of Poesies fugitives (1783), of a continuation of Vilate's Causes secretes de la revolution du 9 thermidor, and of several works on military tactics and fortifications.