chapter  5
Third Person Singular: the Liberation of the Marquise de Sade, 1789-1790
ByDavid McCallam
Pages 12

Donatien-Alphonse-François Marquis de Sade walked free from the prison-cum- madhouse of Charenton on 2 April 1790. It was Good Friday, an irony not lost on the Marquis, an inveterate blasphemer and self-professed atheist, who declared to the family lawyer in a letter of 12 April: ‘The better the day, the better the deed! It is on that day that I regained my freedom; thus I am determined to sanctify it for the rest of my life’. 1 His subsequent publications, such as Justine ou les malheurs de la vertu (1791) and La philosophie dans le boudoir (1795) give ample evidence of exactly how he intended to ‘sanctify’ this religious festival. 2