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Charles Baudelaire Rosemary Lloyd. In nineteenth-century Paris, Charles Baudelaire provoked the excoriations of critics and was legally banned for corrupting public morality, yet he was a key influence on many later thinkers and writers, including Marcel Proust, Walter Benjamin, and T. The book traces the influence of these events and other political moments in his poems and essays and analyzes his works in this new light.

The book also documents his battles with syphilis and drug addiction, which ultimately resulted in his death. An engrossing and wholly readable biography, Charles Baudelaire will be essential for scholars and Baudelaire admirers alike. Table of Contents.


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One of the greatest French poets of the 19th century, often called "the father of modern criticism," who shocked his contemporaries with his visions of lust and decay. In his own time Baudelaire was largely ignored.

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Charles Baudelaire

The snobbish aesthete, the dandy, was for Baudelaire the ultimate hero and the best proof of an absolutely purposeless existence: he is a gentleman who never becomes vulgar and always preserves the cool smile of the stoic. Charles Baudelaire was born in Paris, where he lived most of his life. For some years Baudelaire was on good terms with his stepfather, Major Jacques Aupick, but in the late s they started to have difficulties.

Aupick, who became a senator, died in Baudelaire worshipped his mother and could not accept her second marriage. Baudelaire was sent to boarding school.

Charles Baudelaire - Les Fleurs du Mal (and Selected Poems) BOOK REVIEW

Probably at this time he became addicted to opium. He also contracted syphilis, which turned out to be lethal. During this period Baudelaire fell heavily into debt; he never finished his law studies. In , Baudelaire was sent on a voyage to India, but he stopped off at Maurius. On his return to Paris in , Baudelaire met Jeanne Duval, a woman of mixed race, who became his mistress and inspiration for his poem 'Black Venus'.

Other women, who inspired his poems, were Mme Sabatier, and the actress Marie Daubrun, but for most of his life Baudelaire maintained a relationship with Jeanne. Baudelaire lived some years on his inheritance from his father.


  1. Charles Baudelaire by Rosemary Lloyd from Reaktion Books;
  2. Essays on Charles Baudelaire;
  3. Charles Baudelaire - Author, Poet - Biography.
  4. Two years later Baudelaire was deprived, by law, of control over this income by the Counseil Judicaire. In the late s, Baudelaire became involved in politics. He fought at the barricades during the revolution of and in the same year he also cofounded the journal Le Salut Public. After this tumultuous period, Baudelaire remained aloof from politics and adopted an increasingly reactionary attitude. In the s he was involved with Marie Daubrun and Apollonie Sabatier Baudelaire published his first novel, the autobiographical La Fanfarlo , in From to he was occupied in translating Edgar Allan Poe 's writings.

    Especially the essays of the American writer influnced his aesthetic principles.

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    In Poe, Baudelaire found a kindred spirit, whose concept of beauty was closely connected with melanchly, lost happiness, and regret. Baudelaire said, that "every lyric poet by virtue of his nature inevitably effects a return to the lost Eden. Baudelaire was the first to equate modern, artificial, and decadent. Himself he saw as a fallen angel. But love is also the highest pleasure, doing evil intentionally is a source of lust.

    Charles Baudelaire - Wikipedia

    He felt sympathy for the prostitute, who revolts against the bourgeois family. Baudelaire once stated that "after examining scrupulously the depths of my past reveries, I realized that I have always been obsessed by the impossibility of understanding some of man's actions or thoughts save by the hypothesis of the intervention of some exterior evil force. The second edition of The Flowers of Evil , lacking the condemned pieces but with new poems was published in