The Revolution has reached its peak of violence, the “Terror,” and the Marquis de Sade is back behind bars. Decidedly, no matter the government, all deem him suspicious.
Robespierre’s puritan regime, with its cult of the Supreme Being, cannot but brand the great aristocrat-turned-agitator, libertine, atheist and author of the scandalous Justine “an immoral enemy, unworthy of the people.”
De Sade is 50. After languishing in the Bastille and Saint-Lazare, the Picpus hospital – his present lock-up – seems like heaven on earth, “a select society, peopled with loveable women.” Picpus is a fake sanitarium where those aristocrats and businessmen who can still do so, save their necks by emptying their pockets…
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