Marquis de Sade, or Donatien-Alphonse-François de Sade, was born in 1740 into an aristocratic French family. Infamous for his libertine ways and volatile temper, he spent half his adult life behind bars under five different regimes. In prison, he became a writer—though he is most famous for his often censored erotic works, his political criticism influenced twentieth-century philosophers such as Barthes, Derrida, and Foucault.
Richard Seaver was a publisher, editor, and translator. He passed away in 2009.