Collection: Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire (1821–1867) was born in Paris. His father died when he was five years old, and his mother quickly remarried Jacques Aupick—a military man who later became an ambassador and the bane of his stepson’s existence. After studying law at the prestigious Lycée Louis-le-Grand, Baudelaire devoted himself to art, clothes, and the demimonde, contracting enough debt that Aupick arranged for him to go to India and become a businessman. Baudelaire allowed himself to be conveyed as far as the Île de Bourbon before arranging a return to Paris in 1842. By that time, he had already begun writing the poems that would become Les Fleurs du Mal, which appeared in 1857, provoking scandal and censorship and fundamentally altering the language of French poetry. With his verse, his prose poems, his art criticism, and his translations of Edgar Allan Poe, Baudelaire was one of the major writers of the nineteenth century.
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