Who is Marquis de Sade?June 26, 2021
Donatien Alphonse François le Marquis de Sade (French pronunciation: maʁki: dəsad)
French aristocrat and philosopher. He is one of the important writers of erotic literature, often writing harsh pornographic articles.
He spent nearly 29 years in prison and 13 years in a mental institution, and wrote his most important work, The 120 Days of Sodom, in prison. Another important work is Justine. It is known that the origin of sadism is based on his writings.
In his writings, he advocated extreme freedom (even immorality) and pleasure best, regardless of morality, law, or religion. Sade was imprisoned in different prisons and mental hospitals for 32 years; eleven years in Paris (ten years passed in the Bastille), one month at the Conciergerie, two years at the castle, one year at Madelonnettes, three years at Bicêtre, one year at Sainte-Pélagie, and 13 years at the Charenton mental institution. He wrote most of his writings while in prison. The concept of “sadism” is derived from its name.
In his books, Sade gives information about what can happen once the human side of a person is lost in interpersonal relations. When the dignity of human beings in interpersonal relations is left aside, if the new principle that emerges is taken to the end of protecting his own benefit; necessarily arrive at “sadism”. In other words, if nature is the only thing that is human in human beings, if direct natural causality determines the actions of human species, being human naturally carries with it being criminal. In his works, he tells what would happen if instincts or “conditional commands” were made the “principle” of action, rather than ethical values as the determinant of moral action.
Sade was born at the Condé Palace in Paris. His father is comte Jean-Bastiste François Joseph de Sade. His mother is Marie-Eléonore de Maillé de Carman, who was a distant cousin and assistant to the princess of Condé.
His uncle, who was a Catholic priest in his childhood, was educated under Sade. He then went to the Jesuit lycée (boys’ school) and received military training. He served as the commander of the cavalry in the Seven Years’ War. He returned from the war in 1763 and fell in love with the daughter of a wealthy statesman, but this marriage was rejected by his father, who thought that the same year the girl would marry his older sister, Renée-Pélagie de Montreuil.
His lifelong interest in the theater was revealed in 1766 with the private theater he had built in the Lacoste castle in Provence.
His family chose the titles comte and marquis. His grandfather, Gaspard François de Sade, was the first in the family to use the title of marquis. He was usually known as the marquis de Sade, but in some documents he is also known as the marquis de Mazan. However, in the place where Donatien de Sade lived, no documents were found about him or his ancestors, and no legal document was found by the Provence parliament confirming the titles of marquis or comte. Such legal confirmation was necessary to use the title of nobility. The Sade family, members of the Noblesse d’épée, or former French nobility, claimed their nobility came from ancient Europeans. In fact, the ancestor of the family was Laura de Noves. It was customary for the proud titles granted to be approved by the king. The family’s different use of the titles marquis and comte reflects the relative nature of the French title hierarchy. In theory, the title of marquis is suitable for nobles who own several ships. However, the use of this title by obscure people caused it to fall into disrepute. Leading the court was not based on title, but on the rank of the nobility and royal approval. In correspondence before her marriage, Sade was referred to as a marquis by her father. But generations after him refused to use this honorable but unofficial title, calling themselves comtes de Sade.
It is said that Sade led an eventful and immoral life and mistreated prostitutes as well as the men and women of castle Lacoste. Among these behaviors of Sade is the case of Anne-Prospere, the sister of the wife who came to Lacoste castle.
One of Sade’s most important scandals occurred on Easter Day 1768, when he forced a woman named Rose Keller to have him sexually serviced. He was accused of forcibly holding her in his castle in Arcueil, and physically and sexually mistreating her. She was also tried for insulting, which was an important crime during this period. The woman escaped by climbing through a second-floor window and was not rewarded for her ill-treatment. Sade’s mother-in-law, la Presidente, received a document from the King (lettre de cachet) not to bring Sade to court. This document (lettre de cachet) would later prove disastrous for the marquis.
In 1763, Sade began to live near Paris. Many prostitutes complained about his bad behavior and were detained by the police, with detailed reports of what happened. He was released after many brief arrests and returned to castle Lacoste in 1768.
In 1772, in Marseille, he and his servant Latour were poisoned with dried rabies powder, which was used as a non-lethal aphrodisiac, and sod.