Marquis de Sade Celebrates his birthday Today.

Today we are taking a look back on the life of French philosopher Marquis de Sade on what would be his 276th birthday. Born in France on June 2, 1740, de Sade was raised in a household where the family dynamic was of questionable stability. He grew to be defiant and insubordinate in nature, possibly stemming from experiencing his father’s abandonment and having his mother leave to join a convent. This left de Sade to be raised by overindulgent servants whose compliance negatively shaped his character. Marquis de Sade was later sent off to a school in Paris by the name of Lycée Louis-le-Grand where he studied for four years where he encountered corporal punishment that would leave a permanent impression in his mind. In his still early youth, de Sade joined a military academy where he became a soldier and later worked his way up to the rank of a colonel who would fight in the Seven Years War.

“It is always by way of pain one arrives at pleasure.” – Marquis de Sade

Marquis de Sade led a life filled with scandalous encounters in the years that followed, and it is no wonder that the term “sadist” stems from the name of this French aristocrat. He had been known for finding, poisoning and abusing prostitutes and even employees in his castle to the point where he was placed under police surveillance. After years of mistreating countless victims, de Sade fled to Italy to avoid imprisonment. He was later captured when he returned to Paris and found a way to escape; however, he was soon found and sent to the Bastille and later an insane asylum. He was released in 1790 and began a political career despite his disreputable past. He was later imprisoned again for his erotic writing and sent once more to an asylum after being declared insane in 1803. He died eleven years later.

“Lust’s passion will be served; it demands, it militates, it tyrannizes.” – Marquis de Sade

Marquis de Sade is perhaps known mostly for his infamous past, though he did produce many works still read today. During his lifetime he wrote pieces that were considered erotic, blasphemous and even illegal for that period of time. Published in 1800 is a collection of stories in a book titled Crimes of Passion by none other than the author himself. In this anthology, de Sade includes eleven tales including “Florville and Courval” which reinterprets the Oedipus myth and “Juliette and Raunai” which embodies the triumph of virture, but only after the characters experience a whirlwind of suffering. Also included is a story titled “Miss Henriette Stralson” where virtue also wins, but in such a way that the cost outweighs the victory. To read more about or purchase this title, please click here.

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