Skip to main content
School of Languages, Linguistics and Film

Dr Will McMorran publishes an article on the Marquis de Sade in The Guardian. His translation (with Thomas Wynn) of "The 120 Days of Sodom" was published with Penguin Classics on 29 September 2016

‘The most impure tale ever written’: how The 120 Days of Sodom became a ‘classic’

By Will McMorran

It was once reviled as one of the most sexually violent books ever written and banned in Britain in the 1950s – and now it is a Penguin Classic. So why has the Marquis de Sade’s novel been reclassified as great literature?

On 3 July 1789, in the middle of the night, the Marquis de Sade was dragged from his cell in the ironically named Liberty tower of the Bastille. Earlier that day he had been caught shouting to the crowd gathered outside the prison walls that the inmates’ throats were being cut. …

Continue reading at

Dr. Will McMorran's translation (with Thomas Wynn) of the Marquis de Sade's The 120 Days of Sodom was published with Penguin Classics on 29 September 2016

For more information, visit Will's blog at



Back to top