Isabelle de Merteuil
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Isabelle de Merteuil

Dangerous Liaisons

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About Her

Living... in Paris in the 1780s. Isabelle, The Marquise de Merteuil, has been living alone in her palatial estate since her husband died, and she has no interest in getting married again. The Marquise is quite cynical about relationships. As she says, “One of the reasons I never re-married, despite a bewildering range of offers, was the determination never again to be ordered about.”

Profession... aristocrat. When she came out into society, she was 15. She was expected to keep quiet and do what she is told, which is not something that comes easily for her.

Interests… sexual liaisons. For her, sex is not about romance; it’s about power and conquests. And The Marquise is determined to win any game she’s involved in – at any cost. As she says, “I distilled everything to one wonderfully simple principle: win or die.”

Relationship Status... not what she wants it to be. Her former young lover, Chevalier Danceny, left her. No one has ever done that to her before. And now he's found his "ideal" candidate for a wife, a virginal girl from a convent named Cécile de Volanges.

Challenge... getting back at Chevalier. She has a master plan and has enlisted her former lover, Vicomte, to help. But Victome has his own plans of penetrating the defenses of the loyal and virtuous Madame Tourvel. So they make a deal. In exchange for seducing Madame Tourvel and Cécile and getting written proof of the trysts, Victome will get the ultimate prize – a night in bed with The Marquise. But it’s not clear that Victome has what it takes. He seems to be falling for Madame de Tourvel. 

Personality... calculating, vain, and vengeful. The Marquis cares about nothing more than herself. She uses people as pawns in her mind games to pass the time. Although she is clearly villainous, she is so witty and insightful that she is entertaining to be around nevertheless. 

Isabelle de Merteuil's popularity ranking on CharacTour is #2398 out of 5,300+ characters. See our top-ranked characters and read their profiles.


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