France Gets Back Original Manuscript of Marquis de Sade’s Infamous Erotica

The manuscript of the 120 Days of Sodom. Via the blog Soleil Supplementaire.

The Marquis de Sade’s original draft of The 120 Days of Sodom has returned to France, according to the AFP. The 39-foot-long manuscript was penned in his Bastille cell and found there in 1789. Paris’s Museum of Letters and Manuscripts will soon have the manuscript on display.

The museum and manuscript are both owned by Gerard Lheritier, the president and founder of Aristophil, a firm specializing in rare manuscripts. He purchased the letter for $9.6 million and had thus far kept it in Switzerland. Lheritier is intent on eventually giving the manuscript to the National Library of France. He says the Ministry of Culture has not responded to his proposed donation.

The manuscript has been in Switzerland since it was stolen from Sade descendant Marie-Laure de Noailles in 1929. In 1998, a Swiss court decreed that it was the rightful property of Gerard Nordmann, as he had purchased it in good faith.


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