New York: Arcade Publishing, 1999. 1st Edition. Octavo, publisher's black textured paper over cream paper-covered boards, spine stamped in metallic red, cream endpapers, original illustrated dust jacket.
Collection of correspondence by highly controversial 18th-century French writer and libertine Donatien-Aldonse-François de Sade, the "Divine Marquis," widely disparaged as one of the most perverted thinkers of all time. Sade spent much of his life behind bars for his outrageous conduct and writings, years he put to productive use, composing most of his major novels there, including Justine, Juliette, and The 120 Days of Sodom, all of which were banned during and well after his lifetime. Compiled and translated by the leading translator of Sade into English, Richard Seaver: "These letters, covering thirteen key years...reveal more about this most enigmatic of men than any of his other work. Here he is not putting on a face for the world, he is not posturing or proselytizing, he is not indulging in his outrageous philosophical fantasies of evil...In short, in these letters from prison, we are as close to the real Marquis de Sade as we will get" (from the introduction). With 16 pages of black-and-white photos and reproductions and a frontispiece illustration of the four prisons in which Sade served time. First printing with complete number row to copyright page. Fine in unclipped dust jacket. Item #2876