I advise the overmodest to lay my book aside at once if he would not be scandalized, for ‘tis already clear there’s not much of the chaste in our plan, and we dare hold ourselves answerable in advance that there’ll be still less in the execution… And now, friend-reader, you must prepare your heart and your mind for the most impure tale that has ever been told since our world began, a book the likes of which are met with neither amongst the ancients nor amongst us moderns…
The Marquis de Sade, from the introduction to The 120 Days of Sodom
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