'Senneval, you see in me your sister, the girl you seduced at Nancy, the woman who murdered your son, the wife of your own father and the ignoble creature who sent your mother to the gallows...' Who but the Marquis de Sade would write, not of the pain, tragedy, and joy of love but of its crimes? Murder, seduction, and incest are among the cruel rewards for selfless love in his stories; tragedy, despair, and death the inevitable outcome. Sade's villains will stop at nothing to satisfy their depraved passions, and they in turn suffer under the thrall of love. Psychologically astute, and defiantly unconventional, these stories show Sade at his best. A skilled and artful storyteller, he is also an intellectual who asks questions about society, about ourselves, and about life, for which we have yet to find the answers. This new selection includes 'An Essay on Novels', Sade's penetrating survey of the novelist's art.