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At Home with the Marquis de Sade: A Lifeby Francine Du Plessix Gray
A New York Times Notable Book
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 1998
A finalist for the Salon Book of the Year
Synopses & Reviews
A remarkable and unparalleled portrait of the Marquis de Sade and the two women who endured his peculiar genius.
Much has been written about the Marquis de Sade (1740-1814), the flamboyant aristocrat whose years indulging in sexual aberrations inspired his celebrated works 120 Days of Sodom and Justine — and landed him in the Bastille. However, scant attention has been paid to the two women who were closest to him: Renee Pelagie de Sade, his adoring wife, and his powerful mother-in-law, Madame de Montreuil.
Francine du Plessix Gray draws on thousands of pages of letters exchanged by the married couple, few of which have been published before in English, to explore in the fullest historical and psychological detail what it was like to be married to one of the most maverick spirits of modern history. Gray brings to life two remarkable women and their complex relationship to Sade as they dedicated themselves to protecting him from the law, curbing his excesses, and ultimately confining him. With immediacy, irony, and verve, At Home with the Marquis de Sade also conjures up the extravagant hedonism and terror of late eighteenth-century France.
"In Gray's boldly imaginative retelling, the long-suffering spouse of history's most infamous rake becomes a praiseworthy enabler of greatness." Emily Eakin, The New York Times Book Review
"Gray's sharp and vivid prose, together with her skills as a storyteller, give this biography its edge over the scholars whose works have preceded it." Kirkus Reviews
"At Home with the Marquis de Sade is not the first full-length life of Sade in English, but it is most likely to remain the best." Chicago Tribune
"Boldly imaginative....The long-suffering spouse of history's most infamous rake becomes a praiseworthy enabler of greatness." The New York Times Book Review
Scant attention has been paid to the women closest to the Marquis de Sade: Renee Pelagie de Sade, his adoring wife, and his powerful mother-in-law, Madame de Montreuil. Now, in a groundbreaking account of the scandalous life and the violent times of the Marquis de Sade, Francine du Plessix Gray brings to life these women and their complex relation to Sade as they dedicated themselves to protecting him from the law, curbing his excesses, and ultimately confining him. With immediacy, irony, and verve. At Home with the Marquis de Sade also conjures up the extravagant hedonism of late-eighteenth-century France, the ensuing terror of the French Revolution, and the oppression of the Napoleonic regime under which Sade spent his last decade.
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