Soon after the publication of The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman in 1972, Angela Carter encountered Xavière Gauthier’s Surréalisme et sexualité, which had been published in October 1971, and began translating it. Surréalisme et sexualité was to become integrated in Carter’s subsequent writing in multiple ways. It at once confirmed and consolidated the issues relating to surrealism, representation, gender and desire with which she had been concerned in Doctor Hoffman and aided her formulation of a new critical language with which to confront and deconstruct myths of femininity. Surréalisme et sexualité also, I suggest, prompted Carter to embark on a more sustained interrogation of the work of the Marquis de Sade, which had been an influence on her writing of Doctor Hoffman. As I have argued, Carter had found surrealist representations of passive objectified women at odds with the surrealist quest to liberate the erotic imagination. Working through Sade’s literary perversions presented new possibilities for Carter of imagining how such liberation might be achieved, within a broader feminist project. The result of this intellectual undertaking was Carter’s theoretical polemic, The Sadeian Woman: An Exercise in Cultural History (1979).