1999, Penguin Books
Scant attention has been paid to the women closest to the
Marquis de Sade: Renee-Pelagie de Sade, his adoring wife, and
his powerful mother-in-law, Madanme de Montreuil. Now, in a
groundbreaking account of the scandalous life and the violent
times of the Marquis de Sade, Francine du Plessix Gray brings
to life these women and their complex relation to Sade as they
dedicated themselves to protecting him from the law, curbing
his excesses, and ultimately confining him. With immediacy,
irony, and verve, At Home with the Marquis de Sade also conjures
up the extravagant hedonism of late-eighteenth-century France,
the ensuing terror of the French revolution, and the oppression
of the Napoleonic regime under which Sade spent his last decade.
"In Gray's boldly imaginative retelling, Madame de Sade
- the long-suffering spouse of history's most infamous rake
- becomes a praiseworthy enabler of greatness."
-The New York Times Book Review
"Vivid, stylistially fluid, discriminating, and historically
-The New York Times
"A splendid, scholarly page-turner of a biography."
-The Hartford Courant
Gray "gives us a Sade for the 1990s...that may especially
appeal to women, because it puts them at the heart of it and
celebrates the quiet heroism of their attempts to save him from
-Los Angeles Times
"A gripping tale...this book beautifully explains the
nature of obsession, both sexual and social. It is relevant
at the dawn of the twenty-first century despite it's framework
of late eighteenth-century lives."
"Not the first full-length biography of Sade, but it is
most likely to remain the best...What Gray has done is give
coherence and direction to Sade's outrageously eventful life."