Donatien Alphonse François de Sade, the infamous Marquis de Sade, noted for his erotic tales that glamorized cruelty and depravity, was born in Paris to a rich and noble family in 1740. Educated in a Jesuit college, he, nonetheless, pursued a military career and then married, took a mistress and consorted with prostitutes. After escaping the death penalty and fleeing to Italy, he fell into a corrupt life filled with orgies and hired sex slaves. Back in France, he was imprisoned in the Bastille when he wrote the first draft of "Justine." He finished it in 1791 after his release.
"Justine" (in full "Justine; or, The Misfortunes of Virtue") is an erotic novel by the Marquis de Sade, originally published in French as "Justine, ou les malheurs de la vertu". The novel is the tale of two orphaned sisters who are banished from a convent. Justine and Juliette travel to London with the hope of finding fortune and fame. Once they are in the city, the two sisters go their separate ways.
In de Sade's philosophy, God is evil, wickedness is the source of human activity, and the misfortunes suffered by the heroine result from her failure to recognize these truths. By contrast Justine's sister Juliette delights in evil and therefore thrives in the sequel, "Juliette, ou Les Prospérités du vice".