Donatien Alphonse François, Marquis de Sade was a French nobleman, revolutionary politician, philosopher, and writer, famous for his libertine sexuality. His works include novels, short stories, plays, dialogues, and political tracts. In his lifetime some of these were published under his own name while others, which Sade denied having written, appeared anonymously. Sade is best known for his erotic works, which combined philosophical discourse with pornography, depicting sexual fantasies with an emphasis on violence (particularly against women and children), suffering, criminality and blasphemy against Christianity. He became infamous for his numerous sexual crimes and abuse against young men, women and children. He claimed to be a proponent of absolute freedom, unrestrained by morality, religion or law. The words sadism and sadist are derived from his name.
Sade was incarcerated in various prisons and an insane asylum for about 32 years of his life.