LACLOS, PIERRE AMBROISE FRANÇOIS CHODERLOS DE (1741- 1803). A French army officer. He was the author of an epistolary novel entitled Les Liaisons Dangereuses, which was first published in 1782. The protagonist of the novel recounts the various immoral ways he has used to seduce young girls. Laclos hoped to educate by illustrating the villainy of the professional seducer. He had considerable psychological insight and underlined the fact that to seduce and corrupt an honest young woman, she first must be made to lose respect for her mother and hence for herself.
Bibliography: Versini L. 1968. Laclos et la tradition.
LACORDAIRE, JEAN BAPTISTE HENRI (1802-1861). A French theologian and Dominican preacher. His 'Conférences' at Notre Dame in Paris made him famous. At a time when the church was dubious of magnetism (q.v.), he asserted his belief in it in a sermon delivered in 1846. He stated that magnetism consisted of "natural but irregular forces" used by God to oppose the materialism of the times.
Bibliography: Sheppard L. 1964. Lacordaire.
LACTANTIUS, LUCIUS CAELIUS FIRMIANUS (c.240-c.320). A Christian writer, brought up in Africa. He was tutor to the son of Constantine the Great ( 288?-337). In his Divinarum Institutionum Libri Septem he described the ways in which demons affect the viscera and, through them, the human mind. He also reported the belief that anger was linked with the gallbladder, fear with the heart (q.v.), joy with the spleen (q.v.), and sexual pleasure with the liver (q.v.).
Bibliography: Chadwick H. 1967. The early church.
LACTATION. For centuries suppression of lactation after childbirth was considered a cause of insanity in women. As late as the nineteenth century, it was believed that the suppressed milk found its way to the brain. As