Pierre Choderlos de Laclos was supposed to be helping to construct fortifications against the British on the west coast of France in 1779 but he spent most of his time writing his experimental novel, "Les Liaisons Dangereuses." The book was published in four volumes in 1782, becoming an immediate bestseller. A few years later, he left the army to become a diplomat and administrator in the Ministry of War. He spent some time in prison after the French Revolution and after meeting Napoleon Bonaparte, was reinstated in the army as a Brigadier General and artillery expert. Although considered scandalous in its day, "Liaisons" went on to heavily influence the works of many subsequent writers.