June 2, 1740 — The Marquis de Sade is born today in Paris. A military leader, governor-general, and author, his acts of extreme cruelty and violence resulted in the term sadism being created from his name to describe gratification in inflicting pain.
Famous for his libertine sexuality, Sade is best known for his erotic works, which combined philosophical discourse with pornography, and an emphasis on violence — as well as what was considered blasphemy against the Catholic Church.
A proponent of extreme freedom, that he believed should be unrestrained by morality, religion or law, Sade was incarcerated in various prisons and in an insane asylum for about 32 of his life. Many of his works were written in prison.
During the French Revolution, he was an elected delegate to the National Convention.
Words of Wisdom
In order to know virtue, we must first acquaint ourselves with vice.