The article shows the wider literary context of the epoch and deﬁnes the creative inspirations of the author in past and historic events. An Essay on Novels, servings as the introduction to the collection of short stories The Crimes of Love (1800), is discussed in a broader, holistic context of a publication containing 11 titles. Sade’s deﬁnition of the novel is presented and analyzed, from an outline developed by him of the history of literature from ancient Egypt to the present and his prediction of the future, and the most important motives and attributes of ﬁctional works through-out history were enumerated in accordance with his guidelines. The rules of writing that Sade formulated in relation to the works of Samuel Richardson and Henry Fielding are another subject discussed here. De Sade’assessment of the work by contemporary writers and his literary forecasts were juxtaposed with the romantic features of the coming era: the desire for freneticism and horror caused by the French Revolution. The text is presented in a broader historical context of the 1800s (M. Milewska, Vinegar and Tears) and a comparative one with references to the works and literary thought of Polish writers (M. Janion, Romantyzm, rewolucja, marksizm. Colloquia gdańskie). The article also draws attention to footnotes penned by de Sade and his reﬂections on the contemporary book market. The aim here is to gain a deeper understanding of the writings of the Marquis and show his deep knowledge of literature.