Arrested many times for sexual misdemeanours, the Marquis de Sade was imprisoned in the Bastille, where he was writing "120 Days of Sodom" and "The Misfortunes of Virtue" at the time that it was stormed in 1789. After the French Revolution he was again imprisoned and sent to an asylum, where he wrote diaries and plays. With the details of his life writ large in gossip sheets and whispered in outraged Parisian salons, de Sade's life story is as unpredictable and scandalous as his ever-popular prose.
Dr David Carter is a writer, translator and freelance journalist. He has taught at the universities of St Andrews and Southampton, and is currently Professor of Communicative English at Yonsei University, Seoul. He has translated many works of German and French literature, and is the author of "Brief Lives: Honore de Balzac."