Justine or the misfortunes of Virtue, Marquise De Sade, illus. Mahlon Blaine, trans. & ed. Harold Berman (The Risus Press, 1935 [later printing of the ’31 edition])
9.5″ X 6.5″, 265pp. Hardbound no DJ, grey boards, red decorations and titles on cover and spine. Top edge inked in red, other edges deckled, some pages roughly opened, Illustrations at start of each chapter fair condition, some bumping to corners, binding good.
The Marquis de Sade wrote the first version of Justine (Les infortunes de la vertu, “The Misfortunes of Virtue”) while imprisoned at the Bastille in 1787. In 1791 an expanded and more explicit version became Sade’s first published work. In 1797, an even more detailed version was published along with a story of Juliette (Justine’s sister) that comprised of 10 volumes and nearly 4000 pages. This final version, “La Nouvelle Justine”, departed from the first-person narrative of the previous two versions, and included around 100 engravings. Most editions are taken from that 1797 Holland edition. Napoleon Bonaparte ordered the arrest of the anonymous author of Justine and Juliette, and as a result Sade was incarcerated for the last 13 years of his life. Napoleon called the work “the most abominable book ever engendered by the most depraved imagination”. Justine was first published in English by Risus Press, New York, 1931.
English titles: Justine, or the Misfortune(s) of Virtue; The Misfortunes of Virtue; Justine, or Good Conduct Well Chastised; Justine or Good Conduct Will Be Chastised
This edition is newly translated and designed by Harold Berman with very famous illustrations by Mahlon Blaine. In 1923 Mahlon Blaine burst upon the art scene with striking works of imagination and vision. Within a short time his work was published in everything ranging from children’s books and mainstream magazines to erotic portfolios. The body of work he produced between 1926 and 1930 was nothing short of phenomenal but after 1931 his output became increasingly sporadic. Sadly like so many artists before him who have given us so much, Blaine died penniless and mostly forgotten in January of 1969.