Donatien Alphonse François, Marquis de Sade (2 June 1740 – 2 December 1814) was a French aristocrat, revolutionary politician, philosopher and writer, famous for his libertine sexuality and lifestyle. His works include novels, short stories, plays, dialogues and political tracts; in his lifetime some were published under his own name, while others appeared anonymously and Sade denied being their author. He is best known for his erotic works, which combined philosophical discourse with pornography, depicting sexual fantasies with an emphasis on violence, criminality and blasphemy against the Catholic Church. He was a proponent of extreme freedom, unrestrained by morality, religion or law. The words "sadism" and "sadist" are derived from his name.

Sade was incarcerated in various prisons and in an insane asylum for about 32 years of his life; 11 years in Paris (10 of which were spent in the Bastille), a month in the Conciergerie, two years in a fortress, a year in Madelonnettes, three years in Bicêtre, a year in Sainte-Pélagie and 13 years in the Charenton asylum. During the French Revolution he was an elected delegate to the National Convention. Many of his works were written in prison.

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Marquis de Sade Poems

Marquis de Sade Quotes

How delightful are the pleasures of the imagination! In those delectable moments, the whole world is ours; not a single creature resists us, we devastate the world, we repopulate it with new objects which, in turn, we immolate. The means to every crime is ours, and we employ them all, we multiply the horror a hundredfold.
Marquis de Sade (1740-1814), French author. Belmor, in L'Histoire de Juliette, ou les Prospérités du Vice, pt. 3 (1797).
Are not laws dangerous which inhibit the passions? Compare the centuries of anarchy with those of the strongest legalism in any country you like and you will see that it is only when the laws are silent that the greatest actions appear.
Marquis de Sade (1740-1814), French author. Chigi, in L'Histoire de Juliette, ou les Prospérités du Vice, pt. 4 (1797).
Wolves which batten upon lambs, lambs consumed by wolves, the strong who immolate the weak, the weak victims of the strong: there you have Nature, there you have her intentions, there you have her scheme: a perpetual action and reaction, a host of vices, a host of virtues, in one word, a perfect equilibrium resulting from the equality of good and evil on earth.
Marquis de Sade (1740-1814), French author. Clément, in Justine, ou les Malheurs de la Vertu (1791).

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