Paris: Éditions 10/18, 1997. Reprint Edition. 2 vols., 12mo, publisher's photo-illustrated stiff paper wraps.
Two-volume paperback set of the notorious French libertine’s scandalous "livre obscène." Originally published in 1797 (and swiftly banned by the monarchy), the illegally circulated violent and shocking novel was the last straw for the Parisian police who were already searching for the author of the book's predecessor Justine. Allegedly, the "Divine Marquis" was caught with a copy of Juliette in his hands when he was arrested and charged with writing "the most depraved novel of all time." The book, which revolves around the virginal Justine’s wicked elder sister, was banned into the late 20th century, when it was re-evaluated as a veiled indictment of 18th-century French society, and according to some feminist scholars, an attack on male sexuality. In an attempt to avoid legal hassles stemming from the "les publications destinées à la jeunesse" law of 1949, publisher Jean-Claude Zylberstein of the 10/18 imprint presented the novels as serious intellectual material, including a preface by late French poet and Sade authority Gilbert Lely (while omitting the customarily accompanying scandalous illustrations). Text in French. Some rubbing, soiling and edgewear. Overall very good. Item #3489