Journey to Italy
Published: May 2020© 2020
832 Pages, 7.45 x 10.20 x 1.75 in, 8 colour illustrations, 22 b&w illustrations
In 1775, the young Count de Sade decided to turn a flight from legal trouble into an opportunity to undertake the "grand tour." He transformed his sojourns in Florence, Rome, Naples, and their environs into a philosophical travelogue; alongside advice on where to go and what to see, his Journey to Italy would include analyses of local customs and institutions, history and politics, natural phenomena, and the development of the arts.
For today’s readers, Journey to Italy provides remarkable portraits of major Italian cities and the surrounding countryside, vivid accounts of aristocratic and popular entertainments, and a clear sense of what it was like to be a tourist in eighteenth-century Italy – from scams, rough roads, and unreliable guidebooks to learned interlocutors, balls, and nights at the opera. We witness Sade learning about the lives of Roman emperors, the machinations and misdeeds of pontiffs, the power struggles of the Medici, the ancient libertine world revealed by the excavations of Herculaneum and Pompeii, and a host of artistic examples and cultural practices – the material he would soon metamorphose into trenchant satire, gothic horror, and violent sexual fantasy.
This book presents the first English translation of Sade’s unfinished and unpolished Journey to Italy along with his extensive dossiers of notations, sketches, plans, and correspondence. The translation is accompanied by extensive explanatory annotations and preceded by a critical introduction that provides biographical, artistic, historical, and intellectual context for Sade’s fascinating project, connecting his travels in and writings about Italy to his later famous and controversial works.
Introduction: Marquis de Sade’s Grand Tour
I. Florence and the Start of the Journey from La Coste
III. Environs of Rome: Journey to Frascati, Grotta Ferrata, Marino, Castel Gandolfo, Albano, and Ariccia
V. Environs of Naples
VI. Route from Rome to Naples or from Naples to Rome
I. General Material
"The rigorous scholarship evident in Journey to Italy makes it clear that Sade is a writer of great breadth. Journey to Italy deepens, enriches, and reinvigorates our understanding of Sade as a thinker and creative writer. Steintrager’s substantial work has the potential to bring to a new generation of English-speaking readers and scholars fresh insights into the development of this important figure, as well as into late 18th-century aesthetics, politics, and perceptions of Italy."Thomas Wynn, School of Modern Languages and Cultures, Durham University
"The quality of scholarship on display in this edition is simply outstanding. We see a side to Sade here that has largely been overlooked in both French and English scholarship. Steintrager’s introduction alone constitutes an important intervention in Sade studies."Will McMorran, Reader in French & Comparative Literature, School of Languages, Linguistics and Film, Queen Mary University