Articles/Biographies/Writers/de Sade, Marquis

Marquis de Sade was born Donatien Alphonse Francois comte de Sade on June 2, 1740 in Paris, France. His parents were French nobles and spoiled him immensely throughout his childhood. His family owned numerous estates, including a dark castle.

At the age of four, he was sent to live with his uncle, Abbe de Sade, in Avignon. There, he studied at the Jesuit College and took an interest in writing. At the age of fourteen, he enlisted in the French Army to fight in the Seven Years War. He was quickly promoted to the rank of captain, mainly due to his nobility, and returned home to Paris in 1766 after twelve years of military service.

In 1763, he married a woman named Renee-Pelagie de Montreuil, who was the daughter of a wealthy family. Despite his marriage, he also took up an affair with an actress, while also entertaining himself with prostitutes.

A few months after his marriage, he invited a prostitute to his home and proceeded to have sex in a most unusual manner. He proceeded to curse God during his intercourse and reportedly pleasured the woman with a crucifix. The news of this blasphemy reached the police, who arrested de Sade and placed him in jail for several months. After his release, he was forced to leave the city of Paris and live in house arrest for some time.

In 1768, Marquis de Sade kidnapped a prostitute named Rose Keller and abused her. His reputation as an abusive client spread throughout the city of Paris, yet he continued his bizarre sexual escapades. He continued to commit sex crimes by having orgies and even seduced his sister-in-law while she was visiting his estate.

In 1772, he accidentally poisoned several prostitutes with Spanish Fly during an orgy. He fled from the scene of the crime to Italy with his sister-in-law, but he was arrested after a few months and sentenced to solitary confinement. de Sade managed to befriend the prison warden and escape the country yet again, but he returned after a year to live with his wife again.

After returning to his wife, they hired a group of teenage girls to serve as sex slaves. After a few weeks, the families of the girls contacted the police to report them missing. The girls were taken from de Sade and sent to convents to reform, but de Sade was charged with a long list of sex crimes.

Marquis de Sade once again fled France, but returned a year later to arrange more orgies. He was finally arrested and imprisoned permanently starting on February 13, 1777. de Sade quickly became bored with prison life and proceeded to practice his new hobby of writing. The subject of his writing centered around sex, scandal, and blasphemy in the form of short stories and plays.

The Marquis concealed his works from the prison authorities and slipped them to the outside world for publishing. His books became secretly popular. The titles of his books kept no secret of the contents with names like "Dialogue between a priest and a dying atheist" and "120 days of sodom".

After the French Revolution of 1789, Marquis de Sade was considered a political prisoner and released in 1790. He continued writing perverse erotic novels for the people of France, but he also wrote revolutionary pamphlets for the new government.

In 1801, the police cracked down on de Sade and arrested him for his foul literature. He was sent to a mental asylum without a trial or any charges. He continued writing over the next thirteen years and even staged plays with the other patients in the asylum. He finally died in his sleep on July 21, 1814 at the age of seventy-four.