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:The Charenton Journals, Notes & Letters

The secret and scandalous journal which the Marquis de Sade risked severe punishment in order to maintain, even when ill and ageing at Charenton asylum, reveals the shadowy life of an exceptional, complex man whose philosophies and works are legendary. This book contains the living, everyday presence of Sade as an old man, almost 67 years old when the “first notebook†begins of his once-lost journal. In the “hospital-prison†of Charenton, under a liberal regime of surveillance, Sade’s days were slow and grim, full of mundane preoccupations, worries about money, quarrels with the people around him – but were also lit up by the sordid, secret episodes of a final erotic adventure: the last flames of his passion for a teenaged serving-girl, an affirmation of life even as death approached, darkening the colours of his life and tearing apart his feelings. Only the first (1807-8) and fourth (1814) of these notebooks have been rediscovered, out of a series of four; they are now presented in English for the very first time.