Charles Baudelaire



Charles Baudelaire is buried in the Cimetiere de Montparnasse, Paris, France, Europe.

Baudelaire Family Grave

In 1857 Baudelaire published his masterpiece Les Fleurs du mal - arguably the most significant collection of poetry to be published in Europe during the 19th Century. It contained 101 skilfully wrought lyrics - including many sonnets. When it was originally published,  six of the poems were banned as being offensive to public morals and Baudelaire received a fine.

In Les Fleur du mal Baudelaire sought to create beauty out of the ugliness and degradation that he saw in contemporary Paris life.

In 1842 Baudelaire came into his family inheritance - his father having died in 1827. However, he soon squandered large amounts of money on fine wine, fine foods and drugs. In 1844 his family took legal action to prevent him accessing his legacy which further exacerbated his financial difficulties.


                             Monument to Baudelaire

Throughout his adult life Baudelaire suffered from severe bouts of depression and isolation - a condition which he referred to as 'spleen'.

Much of Baudelaire's love poetry was inspired by his relationship with Jeanne Duval - a mulatto woman who possessed beautiful dark hair.

Baudelaire's poetry was a major  influence on the work of the symbolist poets who included Mallarmé, Verlaine, Laforgue and Arthur Rimbaud.

Baudelaire is also remembered for his collection of prose poems entitled Petit Poemes en prose (1869) and for his translations of the tales of Edgar Allen Poe.

Baudelaire died of venereal disease in 1867 - a condition which he contacted as a young man.

Souvent, pour s'amuser, les hommes d'équipage
Prennent des albatros, vastes oiseaux des mers,
Qui suivent, indolents compagnons de voyage,
Le navire glissant sur les gouffres amers.

From L'Albatros






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