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The Marquis de Sade

The Marquis de Sade, born Donatien Alphonse François in 1740, is one of the most famous and notorious figures in French history. The man whose name coined sadism is best known for his violent and blasphemous sexual exploits, which he recorded in his books and plays. After a series of arrests and exiles for acts of sodomy and sexual abuse of a number of prostitutes, the Marquis de Sade was eventually successfully imprisoned in the Bastille in 1784. On 4 July 1789, he was transferred to an insane asylum at Charenton near Paris. Ten days later, the storming of the Bastille, a major event of the French Revolution, occurred at the famous prison. During Robespierre's Reign of Terror in post-war France, Sade obtained his freedom and soon established himself as an important political figure. However, his public criticism of Robespierre ensured he was imprisoned once more. In 1803, Sade was declared insane for the second time and was reinstated at Charenton. He died there in 1814, having conducted a sexual affair with a thirteen-year-old girl.
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