Sade Biography

Sade Biography



June 2- In the Conde mansion on the rue de Conde, in Paris, the Countess de Sade, nee (1712) Marie-Eleonore de Maille de Carman, lady-in-waiting to the Princess de Conde, gives birth to a son, during the seventh year of her marriage to Jean-Baptiste-Joseph-Francois (born 1702), Count de Sade, lord of the manors of Saumane and La Coste and co-lord of Mazan, Lieutenant-General of the provinces of Bresse, Bugey, Valromey, and Gex, then Ambassador from Louis XV to the Elector of Cologne.

June 3 – In the absence of both his godparents (his godfather being his maternal grandfather Donatien de Maille, Marquis de Carmen, and his godmother Louise-Aldonse d'Astoaud de Murs, his paternal grandmother), the infant is held out over the baptismal font in the parish church of Saint-Suplice by two retainers of the Sade household. For Christian names he is given Donatien- Alphonse-Francois instead of those apparently intended for him, Louis-Aldonse-Donatien, a mishap which is to plague him with the authorities throughout his life, especially under the Republic.


August 16 – The municipal council of Saumane sends its consuls and secretary to Avignon "to compliment My Lord the Marquis de Sade, son of the Lord Count of this place, on his happy arrival at Avignon and to wish him long and happy years as heir apparent…."


January 24 – A paternal uncle of the Marquis, Jacques-Francois-Paul-Aldonse (born at the chateau de Mazan on September 21, 1705) moves to the Benedictine monastery of Saint-Leger d'Ebreuil, to which he has been named abbot. Entrusted with the education of his nephew, he shares with him two homes, his residence at d'Ebreuil and another at Saumane, a seigneury of which he has life-long tenure.


…- The Marquis returns to Paris to enter Louis le Grande College, a Jesuit school. He is given a personal tutor, Abbe Jaques-Francois Amblet.


May 24 – Young Sade obtains from the genealogist Clairambault a certificate of nobility in order to be received into the training school attached to the Light Horse Regiment of the Royal Guards.


December 17 – He is appointed sub-lieutenant without pay in the King's Own Infantry Regiment.


January 14 – The Marquis de Sade is granted a commission as Cornet (Standard Bearer) in the Carbine Regiment, Saint-Andre Brigade, and participates in the war against Prussia.

April 1 – He is transferred, with the same rank, to the Malvoisin Brigade.


April 21 – He is promoted to the rank of captain in the Burgundy Horse.


Late February – Sade, it would appear, is engaged to two young ladies simultaneously: Mademoiselle Renee-Pelagie de Montreuil and Mademoiselle Laure de Lauris. Of the two, Sade prefers the latter, with whom he is wildly in love, but his father is intent on arranging an alliance between his son and the wealthy Montreuil family, doubtless because of the seemingly delicate financial situation in which he then finds himself.

March 15 – Sade is discharged with the rank of cavalry captain, the Paris Treaty having to all intents and purposes ended the Seven Years' War.

Late April – Only a scant two weeks before the date set for his marriage to Mlle. De Montreuil, Sade is still in Avignon, trying to win the hand of Laure de Lauris, despite the fact that she apparently has broken off the engagement. Sade's father is angry and concerned by the Marquis' conduct, which is compromising the proposed alliance with the Montreuil family; nonetheless, young Sade appears to have been so persuasive of eloquent that the Count as one point consents to his marrying Lady Laure.

May 1 – The King, the Queen, and the royal family give their consent to the proposed marriage between the Marquis de Sade, allied through the Maille family to the royal blood of the Condes, and Renee-Pelagie Cordier de Launay de Montreuil (born in Paris December 3, 1741), eldest daughter of the President Claude-Rene de Montreuil and of Marie-Madeline Masson de Plissay (married August 22, 1740).

May 15 – The marriage contract is signed by the parties in the town house of the President, situated rue Neuve-du-Luxembourg. The future husband signs it Louis-Aldonse-Donatien.

May 17 – The marriage is celebrated in the church of Saint-Roch.

October 29 – By order of the King, the Marquis de Sade is committed to Vincennes fortress for excesses committed in a brothel which he has been frequenting for a month.

November 13 – The order to free the Marquis is delivered, but the King commands him to withdraw to Echauffour Manor, a property owned by the Montreuils, and to remain there.


May 4 – The King authorizes Sade to go to Dijon, with the provision that he remain there only long enough to address the Burgundy Parliament in his capacity of LT.-General of the King for the provinces of Bresse, Bugey, Valromey, and Gex.

September 11 – The King completely revokes the order restricting Sade's residence to Echauffour Manor.

December 7 – In a report, Police Inspector Marais notes that M. De Sade is in Paris and adds that he (Marais) has asked La Brissault "to refrain from providing the Marquis with girls to go to any private chambers with him."


…- Sade has taken as mistress an actress-prostitute who is the toast of all the young fops in Paris, Mlle. Beauvoisin.

June-July – Sade is at La Coste with Mlle. Beauvoisin, passing her off as his wife's relative or at times even as his wife. Sade's mother-in-law, Lady Montreuil, has had wind of the affair, but apparently it has been kept from his wife.

September – Sade is back in Paris, but spending more time at La Beauvoisin's house rather than at his own. His alleged reason for remaining in Paris is that he must settle his debts, which amount to 4500 livres.


November 4 – Sade pays a M. Lestarjette the sum of two hundred livres as four and a half months' rent on a furnished cottage in the suburb of Arcueil. This little retreat is to be associated with important events in Sade's life.


January 24 – Jean-Baptiste-Francois-Joseph, Count de Sade, dies at Montreuil, near Versailles, at the age of sixty-five, leaving his son the Marquis de Sade as his sole heir.

April 16 – The Marquis de Sade is promoted to Captain Commander in the du Mestre Regiment, with orders to assemble his company without delay. Lady Montreuil's reaction is one of delight, for, as she notes, "it means at least a short period of peace."

April 20 – Sade leaves for Lyons to rejoin Mlle. De Beauvoisin, leaving his wife, who is five months pregnant, in Paris.

June 21 – Debate and deliberation by the community of La Coste, which results in a favorable reply to the demands of the Marquis for due recognition of his rank and for a memorial service for his deceased father in the church.

August 27 – In the parish of the Madeline de la Ville-l'Eveque in Paris, Louis-Marie, Count de Sade, the Marquis' first son is born.

October 16 – Inspector Marais reports on M. De Sade's unsuccessful attempts to induce Mlle. Riviere of the Opera – where she is a member of the ballet – to live with him. He "has offered her 25 louis a month on condition that whenever she is not performing she will spend her time with him at his maisonette in Arcueil. The young lady has refused, but M. Sade is still pursuing her."


January 24 – Louis-Marie de Sade is baptized in the private chapel of the Conde mansion, the Prince de Conde and the Princess de Conti being his godparents.

April 3 – On Easter Sunday, at about nine o'clock in the morning on the Place des Victoires, the Marquis de Sade accosts Rose Keller, the widow of one Valentin, a pastry cook's assistant. A cotton spinner by trade, out of work for a month and now reduced to begging alms, she accepts to accompany Sade in a cab to Arcueil. There, in his rented cottage, he orders her to undress, threatens her with a knife, and flogs her. He then locks her in a room from which, however, she shortly manages to escape. Reaching the village – it now being about four in the afternoon – Rose Keller encounters three local women to whom she recounts her adventure and exhibits her wounds. The women take her to the authorities. Her statement is recorded and she is examined at once by the village doctor, Pierre Paul Le Comte.

April 7 – Madame de Sade summons Abbe Amblet and M. Claude Antoine Sohier to her residence at the rue Neuve-du-Luxembourg and dispatches them to Arcueil to determine whether Rose Keller can be prevailed upon to drop the charge she has made to the local magistrate. The emissaries obtain her agreement in return for 2400 livres, plus a payment of seven gold louis for dressings and medication.

April 12 – Sade sets out for Saumur castle in the company of Abbe Amblet, having been granted the privilege of not being conducted there under police escort.

April 15-23 – Concerned by the rumors circulating, the Paris Council orders the case taken out of the hands of the local magistrate and transferred to those of the criminal court of La Tournelle, which proceeds to a thorough examination of the evidence and declares the accused under arrest.

April 30 – Inspector Marais appears at Saumur castle to transfer the Marquis to Pierre-Encise prison near Lyons, where discipline is not so lax.

June 2 – The King signs two Royal Orders, one authorizing the transfer of the Marquis to the Conciergerie du Palais where the High Court is to ratify the previously issued Royal Letters of Annulment, the other ordering his transfer back to Pierre-Encise.

June 10 – The accused is interrogated and admits to the principal allegations, but insists that Rose Keller was fully aware of what would be expected of her at Arcueil. He presents the Letters of Annulment granted him by the King. That same day, the High Court of Paris, meeting in pleno, pronounces for ratification of the annulment and directs the Marquis "to refund the sum of one hundred livres relative to the board of prisoners in the Conciergerie du Palais prison."

June 11 or 12 – The Marquis is returned to Pierre-Encise.

August – At the request of her husband, the Marquise arrives in Lyons, where she will remain until the Marquis recovers his freedom.

November 16 – Two Royal Orders are issued, one instructing the supervisor of Pierre-Encise to release Sade, the other enjoining Sade to retire to his estates at La Coste. The Marquise, perhaps because she is again pregnant, returns to Paris shortly after the release of her husband, while he proceeds to Provence as ordered.


June 27 – Birth in Paris of Donatien-Claude-Armand, Chevalier de Sade, the Marquis' second son, who is christened the following day at the parish church of Madeline de la Ville-l'Eveque.


August – Sade reports to resume his military duties as a Captain Commander in the Burgundy Regiment. After some difficulties caused by the deputy commander of the regiment, who at first places Sade under arrest and forbids the quartermaster to take any orders whatsoever from the newly arrived captain, he is fully reinstated in his duties.


March 13 – Sade applies to the Minister of War, requesting the rank of colonel, without stipend, which application is granted on March19.

April 17 – Birth in Paris of Madeline-Laure, daughter of the Marquis de Sade.

May 27 – The Marquis, who has recently arrived in Provence, orders the public officials of Saumane, of which he is the lord of the manor, to do him homage.

June 1 – The Marquis is authorized to draw 10,000 livres as the fee payable upon his cession to the Count d'Osmont of the regimental colonelcy.

September 9 – Sade leaves fort l'Eveque prison, where he has spent a week for debts. To obtain his release he pays a sum of 3000 francs in cash and the remainder in a promissory note dated October 15.

November 7 – Sade's sister-in-law, Mademoiselle Anne-Prospere de Launay de Montreuil, joins the Sades at La Coste.


January 20 – In the theater at La Coste, Sade presents a comedy of which he is the author.

Mid-June – With his manservant Armand, known as Latour, Sade sets out for Marseilles for the purpose of collecting some monies due him.

June 25 – Having several days to spend in Marseilles, Sade sends Latour out in search of some girls with whom to entertain himself.

June 27 – Latour arranges a rendezvous with four girls – Marianne Laverne, Mariannette Laugier, Rose Coste, and Mariette Borelly – at Mariette's place at the corner of the rue des Capucins. The girls range in age from eighteen to twenty-three, Marianne being the youngest and Mariette the eldest (Sade has several times specified to Latour that he is to look for "very young girls"). In the course of the morning, during which Sade and Latour sequester themselves together with each of the girls singly, then with some jointly, the Marquis offers at least two of the girls aniseed sweets, the sugar of which had been soaked with Spanish fly extract, or cantharides. The orgy lasts throughout the morning. That same evening, Sade's last in Marseilles, Latour procures him another prostitute, Marguerite Coste, to whom he also gives a number of the same sweets.

June 30 – The Royal Prosecutor attached to the Seneschal's Court of Marseilles is informed that one Marguerite Coste, after consuming an excessive number of sweets pressed upon her by a stranger, has been so racked with intestinal pain as to indicate that she has been poisoned. The Prosecutor calls for an investigation. The Lt.-General for criminal matters, Chomel, records Marguerite Coste's accusations, a doctor is appointed to examine her, and a pharmacist to analyze the matter vomited.

July 1 – Mariette Borelly and the three other prostitutes make a statement to the Lt.-General and the Royal Prosecutor, Marianne ascribing her digestive troubles during and after the morning bout to the aniseed offered her by the Marquis. All four girls profess indignation at the attitude of the Marquis and his valet whom they accuse of "homosexual sodomy", at the same time claiming to have refused to accede to Sade's and Latour's "unnatural advances".

July 4 – Medical reports on Marguerite Coste and Marianne Laverne are completed and deposed. The Lt.-General signs the submission to the Royal Prosecutor of the ten statements made. The Royal Prosecutor decrees the arrest of both Sade and Latour.

July 4 (?) – The Marquis, either fearing trouble or being unofficially informed of his impending arrest, flees from La Coste chateau acconpanied by his sister-in-law, Anne.

July 5 – The pharmacists who have analyzed both the matter thrown up by Marguerite Coste and the uneaten candy found in Mariette Borelly's room, conclude that they have found no trace of arsenic, nor any corrosive sublimate in the specimens.

July 11 – Acting upon the warrant of July 4, the bailiff of Apt with three mounted men and a brigadier from the Constabulary, go to La Coste and are advised that Sade and Latour have departed a week before. Further warrants are then issued for their arrest, as are summons for them to appear before the court two weeks from that date. The possessions of the fugatives are impounded and listed.

Mid-July – The Marquise de Sade goes to Marseilles to appeal her husband's case before the magistrates.

August 8 and 17 – Marguerite Coste and Marianne Laverne appear before a Marseilles lawyer and drop their charges against Sade and Latour.

August 26 – The Royal Prosecutor orders special proceedings against the accused and missing persons and stipulates that the re-examination of witnesses shall require confrontation.

August 29 – The President de Montreuil joins his daughter, the Marquise de Sade, at La Coste, the younger sister Anne being in flight with the Marquis.

September 3 – Final verdict: Sade and Latour, being declared contumacious and defaulting, are found guilty, the former of the crimes of poisoning and sodomy and the latter of the crime of sodomy, and are condemned to expiate their crimes at the cathedral porch before being taken to the Place Saint-Louis "for the said Sade to be decapitated…and the said Latour to be hanged by the neck and strangled…then the body of the said Sade and that of the said Latour to be burned and their ashes strewn to the wind."

September 11 – Judgement at the bar of the High Court of Provence (the chamber summoned during the summer vacation) confirms and renders executive the sentence of the Seneschal's Court of Marseilles.

September 12 – Sade and Latour are executed in effigy on the Place des Precheurs, in Aix.

October 7 – The Canoness, Lady Anne de Launay, returns to La Coste and remains there with her sister.

October 27 – Leaving his luggage at Nice, Sade reaches Chambery, traveling under the name of the Count de Mazan. With him are Latour, another footman named Cateron, and his sister-in-law, Lady Anne.

Early November – After putting up for a few days at the Pomme d'Or, Sade rents a country house for six months, the house being outside the city gates. About the same time, having discovered her son-in-law's whereabouts, Lady de Montreuil prevails upon the Duke d'Aiguillon to ask the King of Sardinia's ambassador to issue a Royal order "for the arrest and imprisonment of the Count de Mazan, a French nobleman in retreat at Chambery."

December 8 – Major de Chavanne and two adjutants, acting upon the order of His Majesty the King of Sardinia, Duke of Savoy, arrest Sade and Latour at Sade's Chambery residence.

December 9 – The Marquis is driven by post chaise, escorted by four calvarymen, to the Fort Miolans prison, where he signs a pledge to the commander of the fort, M. De Launay, not to attempt to escape. Latour constitutes himself a voluntary prisoner, joining his master behind bars.

December 18 – A family council convening in Avignon declares before a notary public that, given the absence of the Marquis, the education of his children and the administration of their property shall be confided to the Marquise, who is appointed their guardian ad hoc.


January 1 – Commandant de Launay, in a letter to the Governor of Savoy, describes his prisoner as "unreliable as he is hot tempered and impulsive…capable of some desperate action" and suggests that Sade be transferred to a more secure prison. Over the ensuing weeks, de Launay reiterates this request and several times over disclaims responsibility for the security of Sade.

March 6 – The Marquise, having left Paris a week or so before, arrives by post chaise at Chambery, disguised in masculine clothing and accompanied by a friend and confidant, Alberet.

March 7-14 – Repeated attempts by the Marquise to see her husband, which de Launay, in constant contact with the Governor of Savoy, steadfastly refuses. Finally giving up all hope of seeing her husband, Madame de Sade leaves by post chaise for Lyons.

March 18 – Back at La Coste, the Marquise writes both to the Count de la Tour and to the King of Sardinia imploring each to intercede on behalf of her husband. To the latter she notes: "My husband is not to be classed with the rogues of whom the universe should be purged…Bias against him has turned [a misdemeanor] into a crime," which she dismisses as a "youthful folly that endangered no life nor honor nor the reputation of any citizen…."

April 30 – At approximately 8:30 P.M., Sade, the Baron de l'Alle (a fellow prisoner), and Latour climb out of the only un-barred window of the fortress and, aided by a local farmer, Joseph Violin, head for the French frontier.

May 1 – Walking all night, the fugitives reach the village of Chapareillant by sunup, but by the time a search party sent out by de Launay arrives at the French border Sade is well on his way to Grenoble. How long he remained in Grenoble and exactly where he hid out remain unknown, but sometime before the end of 1773 he returns clandestinely to join his wife at La Coste.

December 16 – Lady de Montreuil obtains a court order to have the Marquis incarcerated anew in Pierre-Encise prison.


January 6 – Inspector Goupil of the Paris police, armed with the court orders of December 16 and accompanied by four bowmen and a troup of mounted constables from Marseilles, force their way at night into La Coste castle, but find only the Marquise. Goupil searches the place, and especially the Marquis' study, whose papers he confiscates or burns.

March 25 – The Minister of the Royal Household, the Duke de la Vrilliere, in transferring the King's orders relative to the Marquis de Sade to the Governor of Provence, suggests that it would be best to arrest him not under his own roof but while he is out making rounds in the neighborhood.

April 12 – The Governor replies to the Duke de la Vrilliere that Sade is not at La Coste and promises to undertake a discreet investigation.

July 14 – At 3:00 A.M. Lady Anne writes to the Abbe de Sade to inform him of her sudden departure, together with her sister, for Paris.

November 17 – Lady Anne, in Paris, reproaches the Abbe for not having replied to her. About this same date, Madame de Sade returns to La Coste, whether or not in the company of the Marquis is not clear. But it is clear that they had been together in Lyons, and were together later at La Coste. Throughout the winter the Sades remain at La Coste, seldom venturing abroad and seeing very few people.


January – Very little is known of the "young girls' scandal" which dates from this winter. On their way back from Paris in November of the preceding year, the Marquise, either alone or in concert with the Marquis, hired seven new servants: one was a young maid named Nanon, five other girls fifteen years of age, and a secretary (male) a trifle older. Some of the parents claimed the girls had been taken without their consent, and in January at least three of the parents filed a complaint. Criminal proceedings were instituted at Lyons, and the Marquise voyaged there to try and quash the affair. One of the girls was secretly taken to the Abbe de Sade and another placed in a nunnery, whence she escaped several months later.

January 21 – Sade prepares a formal refutation of the accusations made against him by the girl presently with his uncle and also against the accusations made by the Abbe himself.

February 11 – Lady de Montreuil sends the first of a long series of letters to the notary Gaufridy of Apt, Sade's recently appointed legal advisor. She entreats him to assume the responsibility for promptly returning, in person and with all guarantees, these girls to their parents in Lyons and Vienne, including the girl presently at the Abbe de Sade's at Saumane.

February 15 – The Marquise does not want to return the girls until they have first been examined by a doctor who will furnish them with an appropriate medical certificate. She begs Abbe not to let the girl in his charge be seen.

May 3 – From Aix-en-Provence, the President Bruny d'Entrecastaux simultaneously informs the heads of both junior branches of the family, the Count de Sade-Eyguieres and Count Sade-Vauredone, the provost of Saint-Victor of Marseilles, that he has it first-hand that the Marquis de Sade is at La Coste, where he indulges in excesses of every kind with young people of both sexes whom he kidnaps especially from Lyons, in which city charges have been deposed against him.

May 11 – Anne Sablonniere, known as Nanon, chambermaid at La Coste, gives birth at Courthezon to a baby girl, Anne Elizabeth, the certificate of baptism attributing the paternity to her husband Barthelemy Fayere, but "some people maintain it was conceived by the work of the Lord of the Manor."

May 18 – The Abbe de Sade requests the capture of his nephew, who is presently at La Coste, and demands that he be incarcerated as a madman.

June 20 – Alexandre de Nerclos, Prior of the Jumiege convent, informs the Abbe de Sade that he has lately opened his door to a young girl who has escaped from La Coste, whence three servants of the Marquis have come to seize her on the pretext that she had stolen forty livres. He turns her over to the Abbe's confidant so that he can place her under his protection as he has with the others from the manor.

June 21 – The Marquise brings a complaint against Nanon, charging her with the theft of some household silver. This is merely a maneuver to hold Nanon in check pending the arrival of a Royal letter de cachet which Lady Montreuil has said was forthcoming, for the Sades now consider Nanon the source of all their trouble with the other girls and are apprehensive lest she go to Lyons and stir up the whole business again.

June 22 – The Prior de Nerclos assures the Abbe de Sade that he believes he has stifled any unfortunate rumors, but adds that the Marquis must be shut up for the rest of his days. He is also convinced that "the Marquise is no better than her husband, for he knows that no one in their house went to confession on Easter Sunday and Lady de Sade allows her servants to have dealings with a married Lutheran woman."

July 5 – The Minister of the Royal Household informs Madame de Montreuil that he has just issued the necessary Royal Orders for Nanon to be imprisoned as Arles.

July 30 – Nanon's daughter, Anne Elizabeth, dies at La Coste, her wet nurse, being six months pregnant, having no more milk.

August – Sade is traveling incognito in Italy under the name of the Count de Mazan. In Florence, he steeps himself in the works of art of the Grand Duke's "superb gallery."

September 29 – The Marquis arrives in Rome.

October 6 – One of Sade's bailiffs is instructed to visit Nanon in the house of constraint at Arles. She threatens to kill herself if she is not set free, and relates to the bailiff "a thousand horrors."

October 17 – The Marquise thanks the Abbe for persuading the Isle-sur-Sorgue hospital to accept the girl he had been keeping in his charge. She agrees to pay the expenses but asks that the girl not be allowed to speak to anyone.

November 10 – The Abbe de Sade reports to the notary Gaufridy that the girl is completely well again and that he intends to take her out of the hospital and give her to the care of one of the Marquis' farmers in Mazan, Ripert by name, where she will be better off than at Saumane and less likely to talk to strangers.


End of January – The Marquis is at Naples, where the French charge d'affaires, M. Beranger, mistakes him for a certain M. Tessier, cashier of a Lyons store who has absconded with eighty thousand livres. To exculpate himself, he is obliged to reveal his real identity, produce supporting documents and agree to be predented at court in his colonel's uniform. He writes both to Gaufridy and to his wife asking whatever he would do if, because of his reputation, he was recognized and attacked.

March 15 – The Marquise learns that one of the girls involved in the La Coste scandal has left the Caderousse convent for Lyons, in the company of two young men who have come for her, one of whom declares he is her godfather. About the same time, Sade writes to his wife proposing to return to La Coste, but she dispatches Sade's valet Carteron, known as La Jeunesse, to Naples, to dissuade him from such a risky undertaking.

May 4 – M. de Mazan leaves Naples, and on June 1 arrives at Rome.

End of June – Sade reaches Grenoble, via Bologne and Turin; from Grenoble he sends Carteron ahead to La Coste to prepare his return in mid-July.

July 26 – Sade is now at home, and rumors circulate that he has turned religious – one rumor even has it that he had been received by the Pope – none of which the Marquise tries to quash. Meanwhile, the girl placed in farmer Ripert's care also flees, but before returning to Vienne she spends a week at Orange making a deposition there to the local magistrate.

November 2 – Father Durand, recollect monk, is charged by Sade, who is in Montpellier, to find him a cook for La Coste. Catherine Trillet (or Treillet) is suggested, and the monk vouches to her father, a coverlet weaver, for the standing of La Coste and assures him that, as far as morals go, it is "like a nunnery." Her father consents, and the twenty-two year-old Catherine, who is described as "very pretty," is driven to La Coste by Father Durand.

November 4 – The Marquis is back at La Coste. Money is an increasingly serious problem: the forty thousand livres due the Marquis as Lt.-General of Bresse are under sequester. At her daughter's request, Lady Montreuil sends 1200 livres not directly to her daughter but to the lawyer Gaufridy, with strict orders for him to spend it inly on pressing domestic needs.

Mid-December – Sade has written to Father Durand to engage four servants for La Coste. On December 13 or 14, there arrive a secretary named Rolland, a wigmaker, a chambermaid named Cavanis and a kitchenmaid "of foreign origin." The following morning three of the four – all but the kitchenmaid – return to Montpellier where the inform M. Trillet what has transpired at the manor. Trillet, worried about his daughter, demands that Father Durand write to Sade requesting thar he return Catherine to her father.

Late December – Gaufridy receives an anonymous letter notifying him that an officer and ten horsemen have been ordered to go to the Ste.-Clair fair at Apt and arrest the Marquis. Thus forewarned, Sade avoids the fair.


January 14 – Marie-Eleonore de Maille de Carman, Dowager Countess de Sade, dies at the Carmelite convent in the rue Enfer in Paris, aged sixty-five.

January 17 – Toward one o'clock M. Trillet comes to La Coste to claim his daughter, who is known in the chateau as Justine. During an argument with the Marquis, Trillet fires a pistol shot at him almost point blank, but misses. He runs off to the La Coste township where he babbles about what has happened. At about five o'clock Catherine sends someone to find her father, who returns to the chateau. There she tries to calm him, but Trillet, who has brought four other men back with him, flies into another rage and fires a second shot into a courtyard where he thinks Sade to be. All five men then flee.

January 18 – The junior magistrate at La Coste, learning of the attempted murder the previous day, begins to hear witnesses.

January 20 – Trillet leaves La Coste, after professing to Messrs. Paulet and Vidal that he feels "the sincerest emotions of friendship and attachment for the Marquis."

Late January – In Aix, Trillet enters a charge, backed by a statement outlining what had transpired a month before at La Coste with the newly hired servants. Upon their return to Montpellier, according to Trillet, the three domestics had told him that the Marquis had, during the night, "tried to have his way with them by offering them a purse of silver." His decision to take back his daughter, Trillet adds, was reinforced by the fact that the superior of Father Durand's monastery, having learned of the affair, expelled Durand from the monastery. In his denial, Sade claims that he never asked Father Durand to hire these servants for him, having no need of them, and it was for this reason he had them returned the following day to Montpellier. Sade adds that he found all "these people frightfully prepossessing" and notes that one would have to be an "arch fool" to have aggravated "their ill humor brought about by their pointless trip" by trying to "outrage them during the night." Moreover, he notes, how could he have tried to bribe them with money, since he had none?

January 30 – The Attorney General of Aix makes known, through the intermediary of the Aix lawyer Mouret, his opinion as to the Trillet affair, which is that the father should be given immediate satisfaction. After so many other perfectly quashed affairs, the consequences of the present one might become most serious.

February 1 – Sade, en route for Paris, reaches Tain, near Valence. Sade is traveling with La Jeunesse, while the Marquise is with Catherine Trillet, who has begged Madame to take her along and not send her back to Montpellier.

February 8 – The Sades reach Paris and learn of the Dowager Countess' death in mid-January. Sade puts up at his former tutor's, Abbe Amblet, who gives him a warm reception.

February 10 or 12 -Madame de Sade decides that the time has come for her to inform her mother that her husband is in Paris.

February 13 – The Marquis de Sade is arrested by inspector Marais at the Hotel de Danemark, on the rue Jacob and taken to Vincennes fortress where, at 9:30 that night, he is formally entered as a prisoner.

Late February – Sade writes his wife his first letter as a prisoner (she does not know in which prison he has been incarcerated): "I feel it completely impossible to long endure a condition so cruel. I am overwhelmed with despair…My blood is too hot to bear such terrible restriction…If I am not released in four days, I shall crack my skull against these walls." All Lady Sade's applications to see her husband are denied.

April 18 – Sade to his wife: "I am in a tower closed in by nineteen iron doors, with light reaching me only through two little windows, each with a score of iron bars." He complains that in over the two months he has been in prison he has been allowed only five walks of one hour each, "in a sort of tomb about forty feet square surrounded by walls more than fifty feet high."

June 24 – Madame de Sade is now aware that her husband is being held at Vincennes.

September 1 – Sade, in a letter to his wife, expresses the horror of his situation and says that, before experiencing it, he would never have believed it. Such cages should be reserved for savage beasts, he notes, not for human beings.

September 23 and 24 – Both Lady Montreuil and Lady de Sade write to the Minister of the Royal Household in favor of the quashing of the sentence of 1772 and requesting that this be formally submitted to the King in his Council of Dispatches of the 26th inst.


Early February – Nanon is set free, on the condition that she not come within three leagues of Lyons or Vienne.

April 30 – Jean-Baptiste-Joseph-David, Comte de Sade d'Eyguieres, obtain from the King the post of Lt.-General of the provinces of Bresse, Bugey, Valromey and Gex formerly held by the Marquis de Sade, which has been in suspense for the past five years.

May 23 – Faced with the choice of having recourse to the plea of insanity or of personally appearing before the High Court of Provence (in connection with the Marseilles affair of 1772), Sade opts for the second choice.

May 27 – The King grants the Marquis de Sade papers of ester a droit to appeal the sentence of the High Court of Provence, despite the expiration of the legal period of five years.

June 14 – Escorted by Inspector Marais, Sade leaves Vincennes to journey to Aix, arrivinf there on the evening of Saturday, June 20.

June 30 – A crowd of 200 gathers at the door of Jacobin monastery where the High Court holds its sessions, in anticipation of seeing the Marquis de Sade, but the prisoner both arrives and departs in a sedan chair with curtains drawn, thus thwarting their curiosity. Plaintiff's Council Joseph-Jerome Simeon and the Royal Attorney, General d'Eymar de Montmeyan, both speak eloquently in Sade's behalf, and the Court, after deliberation, declares the Marseilles trial null and void for absolute lack of evidence of any poisoning. The Court also orders a new investigation of the allegations of libertinage and pederasty alone, and hearing of witnesses.

July 7-10 – Cross-examination of Sade. The following day the Court issues a decision ordering a special trial. On July 10 there is a re-examination of witnesses and confrontation with the accused.

July 14 – The Marquis is cross-examined publicly in the High Court chambers, returning shortly thereafter for the judgment, which finds Sade guilty of acts of debauch and excessive libertinage. The Court orders that "Louis-Aldonse-Donatien de Sade be admonished behind the bench in the presense of the Attorney General in future to be of more seemly conduct," and prohibits him "to live in or frequent the city of Marseilles for three years." Further, he is condemned to pay fifty livres applicable to the prison fund and the cost of justice.

July 15 – Sade leaves Aix, escorted bt Marais, Marais' younger brother Antoine and two junior guards, on his way back to Vincennes where, in spite of his legal victory, he is still a prisoner of the King's virtue of the lettre de cachet of February 13, 1777.

July 16 – At Valence, where the party has stopped as an inn overnight, the Marquis makes his escape. In spite of a thorough search of the immediate vicinity, no trace is found of Sade, who described what happened in his "Story of My Imprisonment": "I had taken refuge about half a mile out of town in a shanty near a farmer's threshing floor. Then two local countrymen guided me. We first went toward Montelimar, but after a league we changed our minds and returned to the Rhone, intending to cross it, but we could not find a boat. Finally, just as the day was breaking, one of us crossed the river to Vivarais where he found a boat that was suitable and this, for a louis, took me down to Avignon." At Avignon, Sade goes to a friend's house, has supper, and orders a carriage to take him that same night to La Coste.

July 18 – Sade reaches La Coste, where he spends a quiet month, with Mlle. Dorothee de Rousset acting as housekeeper.

July 27 – Madame de Sade has only recently learned from her mother of the verdict of the High Court of Aix (but she has not yet learned of Sade's escape). Upon being informed that her husband, although cleared at Aix, must nevertheless return to his cell at Vincennes, she "completely loses control of herself" in the course of a terrible scene with her mother.

August 19 – Warned of the presense of suspicious characters in the region, the Marquis takes to hiding out at various places in the neighborhood of La Coste.

August 23 – Sade, in spite of strong pleas by his friend Canon Vidal, returns to take up residence at La Coste.

August 26 – At 4:00 A.M. the door to Sade's chamber is forced by a group of armed men, whose leader covers the culprit, before witnesses, with the foulest insults.

September 7 – After thirteen days' travel by post chaise then further travel by stage coach, Sade arrives at 8:30 P.M. at Vincennes, where he is locked in cell No. 6.

November 6 – Mlle. De Rousset arrives in Paris to stay with the Marquise.

December 7 – After three months' solitary confinement, Sade is allowed to have pen and paper and to write as he please, and is given permission to exercise twice a week.


January – Sade sends season's greetings in verse to Mlle. De Rousset, whom he now addresses as "Saint" Rousset, because of her boundless goodness toward him.

March 29 – Sade's exercise periods are increased to three a week.

July 15 – He now enjoys five exercise periods a week.

November 9 – Mlle. de Rousset, to whom Sade has been writing letters full of unjust reproaches and complaints, breaks off her correspondence with him, although she remains devoted to him and continues her unflagging efforts on his behalf.


April 21 – Sade is visited by M. Le Noir who informs him that he will soon be permitted to receive a visit from his wife.

April 25 – Sade's exercise periods become daily.

June 26 – An altercation with a jailer, whom Sade maintains was extremely insolent to him, results in the suspension of his daily exercise periods.

June 28 – The Captain of the Guard, M. de Valage, who comes to inform the prisoner officially of the supression of his walks, is threatened and berated by Sade. According to the report of the warden, M. de Rougemont, Sade then begins to shout at the top of his voice trying to arouse the other prisoners. Spying a fellow prisoner whom he detested, Mirabeau, down below in the prison yard taking exercise, Sade shouts at him out of his cell window, calling him the Commandant's (i.e. de Rougemont's) catamite, blaming him for his, Sade's, being deprived of his walks, suggesting he might go kiss the warden's ass. Sade dares him to answer, adding for good measure that he intends, once free, to lop off Mirabeau's ears. To which Mirabeau replies: "My name is that of a man of honor who has never either dissected or poisoned any women, a man who will be only too pleased to write his name on your shoulders with a razor, if only you're not broken on the wheel before I have a chance to do so, a man you inspire with one fear only, and that is that you might put him in mourning a la Greve" (The square where executions are taking place.)

July 24 – The motives for holding Sade prisoner are debated at Versailles, and the First Minister orders that all information relating to the Marquis' case be gathered and given him for examination.

December 13 – Mirabeau, leaving Vincennes prison endorses his official discharge on the back of the record of Sade's arrival there on February 13, 1777.


March 9 – After thirty-six weeks, the prisoner's exercise periods are restored.

May 10 – Lady Anne de Launay, Sade's sister-in-law, falls ill with smallpox, the first signs of the disease appearing on Thursday evening.

May 13 – Lady Anne dies at 1:00 p.m.

June – Mlle. de Rousset is back at La Coste, where she once again corresponds with the Marquis.

July 13 – Sade receives his first visit from his wife, after a separation of four years and five months. They are allowed to meet only in the presence of a witness.

Early October – M. Le Noir suspends the visits of the Marquise because of the violent attacks of husbandly jealousy to which Sade was subject. To counter Sade's suspicions – most probably completely without foundation – Lady de Sade moves from her apartment on the rue de la Marche and withdraws into the convent of Sainte-Aure.


July 12 – Sade completes the manuscript of his Dialogue between a Priest and a Dying Man.

August 6 – Sade is deprived of all books because they "over-heated his head" and led him to write "unseemly things."

September 25 – Resumed after January, the Marquise's rare visits are again suspended because of the prisoner's poor conduct.


February – Sade, suffering from eye trouble, is treated by the oculist Grandjean.

April 1 – Madam de Sade informs her husband of the marriage of her younger sister, Francoise-Pelagie, born October 12, 1760, to the Marquis de Wavrin, the wedding having taken place toward the end of January.

…. – Louis-Marie de Sade, the Marquis' eldest son, is named sub-lieutenant in the Rohan-Soubise Regiment. Sade, wanting him to wear the same calvary uniform he had worn, is furious and writes his wife, categorically objecting to the appointment.


January 25 – Mlle. de Rousset, who has long been suffering from tuberculosis, dies at La Coste, aged forty years and nineteen days.

February 29 – Excerpt from the Repertoire ou Journalier du chateau de la Bastille: "M. Surbois, indpector of police, has taken the Marquis de Sade from Vincennes at nine o'clock in the evening. The Royal Order, counter signed by Breteuil, is dated January 31: he is lodged in second Liberty.

March 3 – M. Le Noir wites to the Governer of the Bastille recommending that Sade, like two other noblemen recently transferred from Vincennes to the Bastille, be allowed to take periodic walks at the latter prison.

March 8 – Sade, in a letter to his wife, complains of conditions at the Bastille, maintaining they are far worse than at Vincennes.

March 16 – Madame de Sade pays her first visit to the Bastille, bringing him six pounds of candles. She is allowed to visit him twice monthly.

July 16 – Le Noir authorizes Grandjean, the oculist, to attend to the Marquis.


October 22 – The Marquis begins the final revision of his draft of a major work, The 120 Days of Sodom or The School for Libertines.

November 12 – In twenty evenings of work, between seven and ten, he covers one side of a twelve-meter-long roll of paper which he has prepared for this purpose.

November 28 – After thiry-seven days of work Sade completes the second side of the famous manuscript of The 120 Days in the form which it has come down to us.

…. – Cardinal de Rohan is imprisoned in the Bastille. The presence of the Church dignitary stops all private visits to all prisoners.


July 13 – Madame de Sade's visits, at the rate of one a month, are reinstated.


May 23 – The prisoner, who hitherto has been allowed a one-hour walk only every second day, is now provisionally given an hour's walk daily.

May 25 – Madame de Sade writes to Gaufridy that M. Sade is in fair health but getting "very fat."

June 21 – A simple decree of the Chatelet in Paris provides for the administration of the properties of the Marquis de Sade, he "being absent for the past ten years."

July 8 – Sade completes Les Infortunes de la Vertu, a philosophical story 138 pages long which he wrote in two weeks, in spite of the fact that, as he pencils in the margin of the last page, "All the time I was writing this my eyes bothered me."

October 7 – Owing to the arrival of a prisoner just as he was supposed to begin his walk, Sade's exercise hour is suspended, and he has what the official report describes as a "violent outburst."

October 10 – Sade berates the Governor and his aide who come to announce to him the suspension of his exercise periods.

October 23 – Sade's exercise right is restored.


March 1 – Sade begins work upon his short novel Eugenie de Franval, which he completes in six days.

June 5 – Sade's exercise period again having been suspended "for impertinence" and he having so been informed in writing, the prisoner nonetheless attempts to descend at his regular hour to the yard and, according to Losme, "it was only when the officer [stationed at his door] pointed his gun at him that he retreated, swearing loudly."

October 1 – Sade draws up the Catalogue raisonne of his writings. By now, apart from his clandestine works, he has the contents of fifteen octavo volumes.

October – At Madame de Sade's request, the Lt.-General of police authorizes the prisoner to read magazines and newspapers.


January-June – Authorized on November 24 of the preceding year to visit her husband weekly rather than bi-weekly, Madame de Sade pays her husband twenty-three visits during the first half of 1789.

July 2 – The Bastille logbook notes that "The Count de Sade shouted several times from the window of the Bastille that the prisoners were being slaughtered and that the people should come to liberate them."

July 4 – At 1:00 a.m., as a result of a report made to Lord de Villedeuil on the Marquis' conduct on July 2, he is transferred to Charenton Asylum by Inspector Quidor.

July 9 – Sade signs the authorization requested by Commissaire Chenot to have his Bastille cell, which was placed under seals on July 4, opened in the presence of his emissary, Madame de Sade.

July 14 – Awakened by the quickening pace of events, Madame de Sade, who has not yet carried out her commission relative to Sade's personal belongings left behind in the Bastille, sends her authorization to Commissaire Chenot and then leaves town for the country. The Bastille is stormed and Sade's cell sacked, his furniture, his suits, linen, his library and, most important, his manuscripts, are "burned, pillaged, torn up and carried off."

July 19 – Madame de Sade informs Commissaire Chenot that, for personal reasons, she cannot consider herself responsible for the papers and effects of the Marquis de Sade.

October 5 – Madame de Sade escapes from Paris, accompanied by her daughter and a maid, to avoid being "dragged out by the women of the lower classes who are forcing all the women in the town houses to march with them through the rain and mud to Versailles to seize the King." She then relates that the King has been brought from Versailles to Paris, "the heads of his two bodyguards set on pikes before him," and that "Paris is in a state of intoxication."


March 13 – The Constituent Assembly adopts a projected decree concerning the letters de cachet stipulating that all prisoners detained by such Royal Orders will be released save for those condemned to death, indicted or judged insane.

March 18 – Sade is visited at Charenton by his two sons, whom he has not seen in fifteen years and who have come to inform him of the decree of the Assembly.

April 2 – On this day, Good Friday, Sade recovers his liberty and leaves Charenton, without a penny. He goes directly to see the man who is handling his affairs, M. de Milly, attorney at the Chatelet Court, who provides him with a bed to sleep in and six louis.

April 3 – Madame de Sade, a resident of the convent of Sainte-Aure, refuses to see her husband from whom she has decided to separate.

April 28 – Madame de Sade formally applies to the Chatelet Court for a separation order. Sade, who claims he has already seen her attitude changing toward him, tends to blame it upon the influence of her Father Confessor.

June 9 – The Chatelet Court issues a separation order and instructs the Marquis de Sade to restore to his wife 160,842 livres received as a marriage settlement.

July 1 – Sade obtains an identity card as "an active citizen" of the Place Vendome Section, later to be known as the Piques Section.

August 3 – The Theatre Italien accepts his one-act verse play, Le Suborneur.

August 17 – Sade gives a reading at the Comedie-Francaise of his one-act play in free verse, Le Boudoir ou le mari credule. A week later the play is rejected, but a second reading agreed to, providing the author makes some changes.

August 25 – Sade forms a liaison with a young actress, Marie-Constance Renelle, her husband Balthazar Quesnet having deserted her and left her with their one child. This liaison, which Sade will describe many times as "less than platonic," but founded on mutual love and attachment, will last the rest of his life.

September 16 – Sade's five-act play, Le Misanthrope par amour ou Sophie et Desfrancs, is "unanimously accepted" by the Comedie-Francaise.

November 1 – Sade moves into a house with garden at No. 20, rue Neuve-des-Mathurins, off the Chaussee d'Antin.


March 5 – Sade writes to Reinaud telling him that he will send the four volumes of his novel, Aline et Valcour, which are to be printed by Easter. He also remarks that he now has five plays accepted by various theaters.

June 12 – Sade notes, in a letter to Reinaud, that his novel Justine ou les Malheurs de la Vertu is being printed, adding that it is "too immoral a work for so religious and modest a man as yourself."

October 22 – First performance, at the Theatre Moliere on the rue Saint-Martin, of Sade's Le Comte Oxtiern ou les effets du libertinage. A second performance is given two weeks later, on November 4, which gives rise to a disturbance and causes Sade to suspend further perforances.

November 24 – Sade gives a reading to the Comedie-Francaise of his Jeanne Laisne ou le Siege de Beauvais, which is rejected by an eight-to-five vote.


March 5 – At the Theatre Italien, a Jacobin cabal, all wearing red bonnets with the point forward, makes so much noise that Le Suboneur cannot be completed and the performance is halted after the fourth scene. The reason given for the demonstration: the author was an aristocrat.

May – Sub-Lieutenant Donatien-Claude-Armand de Sade, aide-de-camp of the Marquis de Toulongeon, deserts.

August 18 – Sade solemnly disavows his sons' emigration, a necessary step taken to save himself, the Republic having issued a decree making parents responsible for the actions of their children.

September 3 – During the massacres, Sade is for the first time the secretary of his section.

September 17-21 – A crowd of people from La Coste – men, women and children – force their way into the chateau and ransack it, destroying or carting away most of the furniture. The municipal guard is helpless to cope with the mob, but the municipality does its best to save what remains of Sade's furniture and effects and has them housed in the vicarage, until they are carted away a week later by two bailiffs from Apt who arrive with a requisition order and abuse their limited authority to load all pieces of value onto four wagons, over the protests of the La Coste municipal council.

October 17 – Sade is a soldier in the 8th Company of the Piques Section and commissaire for the organization of the calvary in that section.

October – Sade in possession of the first copies of his political pamphlet Idees sur le mode de la sanction des Loix, which is published by his own section and sent to the other forty-seven sections of Paris for their study and opinion.

November 4 – Sade is called by the Piques Section to do twenty-four hours' guard duty commencing at 9:00 a.m.

December 13 – Under the name Louis-Alphonse-Donatien Sade, the Marquis' name is entered – whether by error or willful malice – on the list of emigres of the Bouches-du-Rhone department.


January 21 – "Louis Capet, thirty-nine, profession: last King of the French" is guillotined on the Place de la Revolution at 10:22 a.m.

February 26 – Together with Citizens Carre and Desormeaux, Sade signs the report he has drawn up concerning their inspection of five hospitals which the Hospital Commission had entrusted them with on January 17.

April 13 – In a letter to Gaufridy, Sade announces that he has been appointed court assessor. "I have two items of news which will suprise you. Lord Montreuil has been to see me! And guess the other! I would give you a hundred guesses! I am appointed magistrate, yes, magistrate! By the prosecution! Who, my dear lawyer, would have told you that fifteen years back? You see how wise my old head is becoming in its old age…."

June 15 – Citizen Sade, secretary of the assembly of the sections of Paris, is appointed one of the four delegates who the following day are to present an address to the Convention calling for an annulment of the decree which established a Parisian army of six thousand men at forty sous a day.

June 26 – A new department, the Vaucluse, is created out of the former Bouches-du-Rhone department, but in submitting the list of emigres to the new department Sade's name, which has been ordered from the list, still appears there, a fact which is later to have grave consequences for him.

July 23 – Sade has been appointed chairman of the Piques Section, and he announces the news with elation to Gaufridy.

August 2 – At a stormy session of the Piques Section, Sade gives up the chair to the vice-chairman, refusing to act as chairman for a proposal he deems "horrible…utterly inhuman."

September 29 – The General Assembly of the Piques Section, "approving the principles and vigor" of Sade's pamphlet entitled Discours aux manes de Marat et de Le Peletier, decides to print it and send it to the National Assembly.

November 15 (25 Brumaire, Year II) – Sade is the leader of seven other delegates who appear before the bar of the National Convention to read the Petition of the Piques Section to the Representatives of the French People, of which Sade is the author.

December 8 (18 Frimaire, Year II) – A warrant is issued for Sade's arrest based on a letter Sade had written two years earlier, and he is arrested at his house on the rue Neuve-des-Mathurins and taken to Madelonnettes prison.


January 13 (23 Nivose, Year II) – The police department of Paris orders the transfer of the prisoner Sade to the Carmelite convent on the rue de Vaugirard.

January 22 (3 Pluviose, Year II) – By order of the police departent dated 1 Pluviose, Sade is transferred to the Sainte-Lazare prison.

February 12 (24 Pluviose, Year II) – Sade's name is again (by error?) placed on the list of emigres, under the Christian names of Louis-Alphonse-Donatien, with the mention "Vaucluse, Apt, December 13 1793."

March 8 (18 Ventose, Year II) – Sade subits a report in his defense to the Commitee of Public Safety defending his conduct since 1789. In it he maintains he was overjoyed when the King ("the most immoral rascal and the most outrageous tyrant") was beheaded and draws attention to his many activities and increasing responsibility in the Piques Section. He further denies that he or his family before him were ever aristocrats, claiming they were either in business or cultivating the land.

March 27 (7 Germinal, Year II) – For reasons of illness, Sade is transferred to Picpus Hospice, a prison hospital only recently opened.

July 27 (9 Thermidor, Year II) – Sade's name appears eleventh on a list of twenty-eight prisoners to be brought to trial. For some reason not wholly explained, the court bailiff fails to take Sade and returns with only twenty-three of the twenty-eight. All but two are guillotined the same day on a square only a few hundred yards from the Picpus prison where Sade was held.

July 28 (10 Thermidor, Year II) – Beginning at 7:30 p.m., Robespierre and twenty-two other terrorists are executed; thunderous cheering from the crowd.

October 13 (24 Vendemiaire, Year III) – The Committee of General Safety signs the order freeing Citizen Sade immediately.

October 15 (24 Vendemiaire, Year III) – After 312 days of detention, Sade is released and authorized, in spite of his being a former nobleman and in view of his patriotic work, to reside in his house on the rue Neuve-des-Mathurins.


January ( Nivose-Pluviose, Year III) – Death of the former President de Montreuil about six months after his release from the prison where he and his wife had been kept during the Reign of Terror.

May (Floreal-Prairial, Year III) – Sade's son, Louis-Marie, is back in Paris. Since neither he nor his brother has ever appeared on any list of emigres, a story is concocted according to which Louis has been traveling through France studying botany and gravure; as for Donatien-Claude-Armand, he is in Malta where he is on duty with a foreign power allied to France.


October 13 (22 Vendemiaire, Year V) – Sade sells La Coste, "both buildings and furniture," to the representatives of M. and Mme. Rovere for 58,400 livres, which sum will never be paid to him in its entirety.

October (Vendemiaire, Year V) – Sade is living in the town of Clichy.

December 1 (11 Frimaire, Year V) – Sade gives as his new address the house of Citizeness Quesnet, 3, Place de la Liberte in Saint-Ouen.

1797. Aet. 57

May – June ( Floréal-Prairial, Year V ) – Sade, together with Mme. Quesnet, visits Provence, paying calls on Gaufridy in Apt, and going to La Coste, Bonnieux and Mazan.

October ( Brumaire, Year VI ) – Sade and Mme. Quesnet return to Saint-Ouen.

November ( Brumaire, Year VI ) – Having learned that he is listed in Vaucluse as an émigré and thus not only liable to arrest but subject to having his property and possessions confiscated, Sade sets about filing a protest with the police, complete with substantial documentation.

1789. Aet. 58

September 10 ( 24 Fructidor, Year VI ) – Sade and Mme. Quesnet are, for lack of funds, compelled to leave Saint-Ouen: she puts up with friends and he finds refuge in Beauce with one of his farmers.

November ( Brumaire, Year VII ) – The sellers of the properties at Malmaison and Granvilliers, which Sade has purchased with money realized from the sale of La Coste, having not yet been paid in full, secure an injunction on the transfer of said properties. Sade's farmer thus refuses to lodge him any longer and he is obliged to move from place to place, wherever he can find a bed or a meal.

1799. Aet. 59

January 24 ( 5 Pluviôse, Year VII ) – Sade goes to live with Mme. Quesnet's son for the winter, their residence being an unheated attic. ( Sade to Gaufridy: "My dear one's [Mme. Quesnet's] boy and I live here at the back of a barn, subsisting on a few carrots and beans and warming ourselves (not every day but whenever we can) with some kindling which we generally buy on credit…" )

February 13 ( 25 Pluviôse, Year VII ) – Sade earns forty sous a day working as an employee in a Versailles theatre, with which miserable sum he is supporting not only himself but "feeding and raising" Madame Quesnet's son.

June 28 ( 10 Messidor, Year VII ) – A decree forbidding the names of ex-nobles to be stricken from the list of émigrés reduces Sade to despair: "Death and misery, this then is the recompense I receive for my everlasting devotion to the Republic."

August 5 ( 18 Thermidor, Year VII ) – The municipal administration of the canton of Clichy issues Sade a certificate of residence and citizenship, countersigned by Commissioner Cazade, who is in charge of his security.

December 10 ( 19 Frimaire, Year VIII ) – Following the example of the Vaucluse authorities, who had earlier lifted the sequester on Sade's properties, the Bouches-du-Rhône department does likewise.

December 13 ( 22 Frimaire, Year VIII ) – Revival of Sade's play Oxtiern ou les malherus de libertinage on the stage of the Société Dramatique of Versailles, the author playing the role of Fabrice. This is the same play performed eight years earlier at the Théâtre Molière, but Sade slightly revised the title.

1800. Aet. 60

January 26 ( 6 Pluviôse, Year VIII ) – Sade is in the public infirmary of Versailles, "dying of cold and hunger" as he writes Gaufridy in an attempt to elicit some money from him.

February 20 ( 1 Ventôse, Year VIII ) – Commissioner Cazade comes to Versailles to inform Madame Quesnet and Sade that two bailiff's men at twelve francs a day have been placed in their Sain-Ouen house, since they had failed to make their payments. That same day Sade is threatened with debtors' prison if he fails to pay two outstanding bills before the 9 Ventôse. Fortunately for Sade, Cazade is most helpful and solicitous, and maintains that since Sade is in his care, he cannot be taken to jail unless he, Cazade, takes him.

April 5 ( 15 Germinal, Year VIII ) – Sade is back at Saint-Ouen, and Commissioner Cazade writes to Gaufridy, whose indifferent manner of running Sade's business affairs and his slowness in replying to letters is characterized as criminal by the Marquis.

May ( Floréal-Prairial, Year VIII ) – Sade has previously accused Gaufridy of accepting bribes and threatened him with legal action. Gaufridy now resigns his post as Sade's steward.

June ( Prairial-Messidor, Year VIII ) – Mme. Quesnet, armed with legal powers to inspect the Sade estates and examine his accounts, goes to Provence to investigate the situation. "It is impossible after thirty years of stewardship, for things to be in more of a mess."

June (Messidor, Year VIII ) – The publication of Zoloé, a pamphlet, unsigned, attacking Josephine, Mmes. Tallien, and Visconti Bonaparte, Tallien and Barras. It was long thought that Sade was the author of Zoloé, and this pamphlet has often been cited as the reason for Sade's arrest in 1801. It has now been clearly established that Sade was not the author.

October 22 ( 30 Vendémiaire, Year IX ) – In the Journal de Paris, an article by the critic Villeterque appears, violently attacking Sade's Les Crimés de l' Amour, which has just been published. In the article Villeterque refers to Sade as the author of Justine.

1801. Aet. 61

January 16 ( 26 Nivôse, Year IX ) – The Minister of Police issues a certificate of amnesty making it possible to raise the sequester on Sade's property. ( His name has still not been struck from the list of émigrés, however, a fact which his family will continue to use against him. )

March 6 ( 15 Ventôse, Year IX ) – Sade, along with his publisher Nicolas Massé, is arrested in the latter's office, Sade just happening to be there when the police arrive. They make a search of Massé's premises and find various manuscripts and printed works either in Sade's hand or, in the case of the printed works, annotated by him, including Juliette and La Nouvelle Justine. Simultaneously, two other searches are made, one at the house of a friend of Sade's which uncovers nothing, and the other at the house in Saint-Ouen where Sade possesses a secret study where there was hung a piece of tapestry depicting "the most obscene subjects, most of which were drawn from the infamous novel Justine." The tapestry is taken to the Prefecture.

March 7 ( 16 Ventôse, Year IX ) – Sade and Massé are interrogated. The latter, upon the promise of liberty, reveals where the stock of Juliette is held and turns it over, almost in its entirety to the police. Sade admits to knowing of the manuscript, but claims he is only the copyist.

April 2 ( 12 Germinal, Tear IX ) – Prefect Dubois, in agreement with the Minister of Police, decides that a "trial would cause too much of a scandal which an exemplary punishment would still not make worthwhile." It is therefore decided to "place" Sade in Sainte-Pélagie prison ( A former convent founded in 1662, Sainte-Pélagie became a political prison during the Revolution. ) as "administrative punishment" for being the author of "that infamous novel Justine" and of that "still more terrible work Juliette."

April 5 ( 15 Germinal, Year IX ) – Sade is incarcerated in Sainte-Pélagie.

1802. Aet. 62

May 20 ( 30 Floréal, Year X ) – From Sainte-Pélagie, where he is still held, Sade writes to the Minister of Justice saying that as a captive in the "most frightful prison in Paris," he demands to be freed or tried. He swears he is not the author of Justine.

1803. Aet. 63

March 14 ( 23 Ventôse, Year XI ) – Sade is transferred to Bicêtre prison.

April 27 ( 7 Floréal, Year XI ) – At the instigation of Sade's family, the prisoner is transferred from Bicêtre ("a frightful prison") to the Charenton Asylum, under the escort of a police-man. His family agrees to pay his board at Charenton, which is set at 3000 francs annually. ( Sade had already spend some time in Charenton, having been transferred there out of the Bastille ten days before the latter was stormed. Closed in 1795, the Directory ordered it rehabilitated and reopened in 1797 as an asylum for the care and treatment of the insane of both sexes. It was under the direct control of the Ministry of the Interior.)

1804. Aet. 64

May 1 ( 11 Floréal, Year XII ) – The Prefect orders an examination of Sade's papers and has the prisoner informed that if he continues to show himself rebellious he will be sent back to Bicêtre.

June 20 ( 1 Messidor, Year XII ) – Sade sends the newly constituted Senatorial Commission for Individual Liberty a strong protest against his arbitrary detention, noting that he has now spend four years in prison without coming to trial. Six weeks later (on August 12 (24 Thermidor, Year XII). "The laws and regulations concerning individual liberty have never been as openly defied as in my case," wrote Sade, "since it is without any sentence or any other legal act that they persist in keeping me under lock and key." ) he repeats the plea in a letter to M. Fouché, Minister of Police.

September 8 ( 21 Fructidor, Year XII ) – The Prefect of Police Dubois submits a statement to the Minister of Police in which he describes Sade as an "incorrigible man" who was in a state of "constant licentious insanity" and of a "character hostile to any form of constraint." His conclusion is that there is good reason to leave him in Charenton where his family pays his board and where they desire he remain, to safeguard the family honour.

1805. Aet. 65

April 14 ( 24 Germinal, Year XIII ) – On this Easter Sunday, Sade takes communion and takes up the collection in the parish church of Charenton-Saint-Maurice.

May 17 ( 27 Floréal, Year XIII ) – Prefect Dubois, learning of this liberty granted Sade, reprimands the director of Charenton, M. de Coulmier, warning him that Sade is a prisoner who must "under no circumstances be allowed out without express authorization from me" and asking: "Moreover, did it not occur to you that the presence of such an individual [in church] could not fail to inspire a feeling of horror and cause public disturbances?"

August 24 ( 6 Fructidor, Year XIII ) – Sade draws up and signs a memorandum outlining the final conditions to which he will agree to his family's proposed purchase of all his property (save Saumane) in return for a life annuity.

1806. Aet. 66

January 30 (The Gregorian calendar was re-established on January 1, 1806.) – Sade draws up his last will and testament.

March 5 – He begins the final draft of his Histoire d'Emilie.

July 10 – He completes the first volume which he entitles Memoires d'Emilie de Valrose, ou les Egarements de libertinage.

October 14 – Louis-Marie de Sade takes part in the battle of Jena, on the staff of General Beaumont.

1807. Aet. 67

April 25 – After thirteen months and twenty days work, Sade completes the revision of Histoire d'Emilie, which occupies seventy two notebooks and forms the four final volumes of a large ten-volume work, the general title of which, "definitively decided upon today," is: Les Journées de Florbelle, ou la Nature dévoilée, suivies des Mémoires de l'abbé de Modose et des Aventures d'Emilie de Volnange.

June 5 – The police seize several manuscripts in Sade's room at Charenton, presumably Les Journées de Florbelle which Sade is never to see again and which will be burned shortly after his death.

1808. Aet 68

June 14 – Louis-Marie de Sade is wounded at Friedland. His valorous conduct earns him mention in the military dispatches.

June 17 – Sade writes to Napoleon, describing himself as the father of a son who has distinguished himself on the battlefield and requesting liberation.

August 2 – The Chief Medical Officer of Charenton, Antione-Athanase-Royer-Collard, describes to the Minister of Police all the disadvantages that the presence of "the author of that infamous novel Justine" entails. "The man is not mad," Royer-Collard notes. "His only madness is that of vice….Finally, it is rumoured that he is living in the asylum with a woman (Mme. Quesnet, who has on her own initiative moved into Charenton to be with Sade.) whom he passes off as his daughter." He recommends the suppression of the theatre which Sade has organized at Charenton, maintaining it is dangerous for the patients, (With Charenton inmates as the actors, Sade staged and directed his own plays in an improvised theatre in the asylum.) and requests that Sade be transferred to some prison or fortress.

September 2 – In spite of Coulmier's intervention on Sade's behalf,(M. de Coulmier is described as "a man of intelligence and influence." wrote Dr. Ramon, a Charenton doctor during the period of Sade's incarceration there. "[He] ruled despotically, though there was never anything rigorous or austere about his rule." Except for the early months of Sade's detention, when he was inclined to be demanding and difficult, M. de Coulmier generally took his part against the harsh interdictions of the authorities. When in September, 1808, the Prefect of Police wrote the Minister of the Interior concerning Sade's involvement with the theatrical events at Charenton, he noted that M. de Coulmier "says that in this matter he is much obliged to de Sade, for, seeing in light drama a therapeutic method for the deranged, he thinks himself fortunate to have in the asylum a man capable of giving stage training to those he wishes to treat by this therapy." It is obvious from the above observation that the Director of Charenton was will ahead of his era in the treatment of the insane.) the Minister decides to transfer the Marquis to Ham prison.

September 12 – M. de Coulmier pays a personal call upon the Minister to appeal against the decision to transfer Sade out of Charenton, at least until such time as Sade's family makes up the back payments due for Sade's board and keep. (Knowing Coulmier's sympathetic attitude toward and understanding of Sade, it would appear that his request for a dely of transfer on the grounds of delinquent back payments was but a thinly veiled pretext to keep his patient at Charenton.)

September – Dr. Deguise, the Charenton surgeon, states that in Sade's plethoric condition, to transfer him would endanger his life.

November 11 – Sade's family requests a postponement of his transfer and the Minister agrees to defer it to April 15, 1809.

1809. Aet. 69

April 21 – The transfer is postponed indefinitely.

June 9 – Louis-Marie de Sade, Lieutenant in the 2nd Battalion of the Isembourg Regiment is ambushed near Mercugliano on the road to Otranto, where he is on his way to rejoin his regiment, and is killed.

1810. Aet 70

July 7 – At about 10:00 a.m., Madame de Sade, who has been blind for some time, dies at Echauffour Castle.

August 28 – Sade sells his Mazan estates to Calixte-Antione-Alexandre Ripert for the sum of 56,462 francs 50 centimes, which is collected by Sade's children as their mother's heirs.

October 18 – The Count de Montalivet, Minister of the Interior, issues a harsh order: "Considering that M. de Sade….is suffering from the most dangerous of insanities, contact between him and the other inmates poses incalculable dangers, and for as much as his writings are no less demented than his speech and conduct….I therefore order the following: That Monsieur de Sade be given completely separate lodging so that he be barred from all communication with others….and that the greatest care be taken to prevent any use by him of pencils, pens, ink, or paper. The director of the asylum is made personally responsible for the execution of this order."

October 24 – M. de Coulmier acknowledges receipt of the Minister's order and, noting that he does not have at his disposal at Charenton an isolated area such as the Minister requests for Sade, asks that Sade be transferred elsewhere. He further points out to Count Montalivet that "he credits himself with being the head of a humanitarian establishment" and would find it humiliating to see himself become "a jailer" or one given to the persecution of a fellow creature.

1811. Aet. 71

February 6 – A police report against two booksellers, Clémendot and Barba, who are selling Justine both in the provinces and in Paris, and against the former who is accused of secretly printing and distributing a set of one hundred engravings for Justine that had come into his possession.

March 31 – Sade is interrogated at Charenton.

July 9 – Napoleon, sitting in Privy Council, decides to keep Sade in detention at Charenton.

November 14 – Sade is again questioned at Charenton, this time by Count Corvietto; in contrast to the March interrogation, when he was treated very rudely, Corvietto is "very gentle and decent."

1812. Aet. 72

June 9 – The Minister of Police informs M. de Coulmier that he may inform the interested party that the Emperor, in meetings of the Privy Council of April 19 and May 3, has decided to continue Sade's detention.

October 6 – Some occasional verses, of which Sade is the author, are sung to His Eminence Cardinal Maury, Archbishop of Paris who is visiting the Charenton Hospice.

1813. Aet. 73

March 31 – Sade is subjected to a third interrogation, "very severe but very short."

May 6 – A ministerial order prohibits any further theatrical spectacles at Charenton.

May 9 – Sade begins to put the finishing touches on his Histoire secrète d'Isabelle de Bavière, which he completes four months later.

…….. – Publication of the two-volume work La Marquise de Gange, of which Sade is the anonymous author.

1814. At. 74

April 11 – Napoleon abdicates.

May 3 – Solemn entry into Paris of Louis XVIII.

May 31 – M. de Coulmier is replaced as Director of Charenton by M. Roulhac de Maupas.

September 7 – M. Roulhac de Maupas calls the attention of the Minister of the Interior, Abbé de Montesquiou, to the necessity of removing from Charenton the Marquis de Sade who cannot be properly guarded and whose age and state of health do not permit seclusion. He further notes that, in spite of his commitments to pay for his father's board undertaken at the time of his transfer from Bicêtre to Charenton, M. de Sade fils has refused to pay arrears on the board amounting to 8934 francs, although he has acquired his father's properties which guaranteed the dowry of his late mother, and denies that he owes his father's creditors anything, maintaining all these debts antedated his own mortgage.

October 21 – The Minister of the Interior invites Count Beugnot, Director-General of the Police, to make a decision concerning M. de Sade, who cannot remain at Charenton without grave consequences and who should be removed to a State prison.

December 1 – Sade, whose health has been failing for several months, ceases to be able to walk.

December 2 – This day, a Saturday, Sade's son Donatien-Claude-Armand, comes to visit his father and asks the newly appointed student-doctor, L. J. Ramon, to spend the night with him. On his way to the appointment, Dr. Ramon meets Abbé Geoffrey on his way out of Sade's room, Sade having made an appointment with the Abbé for the following morning, Ramon reports Sade's breathing as "noisy and laboured" and he helps him take a few sips of herbal tea to help ease the pulmonary congestion from which Sade is suffering. Shortly before tea, the old man dies without a murmur, either from the above-named pulmonary congestion or from an "adynamic and gangrenous fever," according to the official report made to the director and to the police.
In spite of the strict instructions to the contrary in his will, Sade is buried in the Charenton cemetery. The burial costs sixty-five livres, of which twenty for the cross, ten for the coffin, six for the chapel, nine for candles, six for the chaplain, eight for the bearers, and six for the gravedigger.

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