Marquis de Sade: Originally christened Donatien Alphonse François, the Marquis de Sade revelled in debauchery and his name even gave rise to the term ‘sadism’. A French revolutionary, aristocrat and lover of the hedonistic lifestyle, de Sade wrote many short stories and plays, often violent, pornographic and outrageously blasphemous towards the Catholic Church.
He was renowned for employing prostitutes and then poisoning them, and for engaging his wife’s sister in an affair. For thirty-two years of his life, the Marquis was imprisoned in various institutions and insane asylums throughout France, including the Bastille and the Conciergerie, before dying in 1814, shortly after the beginning of an affair with a thirteen year old girl. To this day, he is still known as one of the most notorious libertines to have lived.