..I put my entire soul, my entire heart, my entire religion,
my entire hatred into that horrible book..
Charles Baudelaire wrote these words about his collection of poems, The Flowers of Evil
, in 1865.
The Flowers of Evil
were a work in progress all of his life. Even though some of the poems in this collection were published periodically from 1845, the first issue of 1320 copies of the Flowers of Evil didn't arrive in shops until 25 June 1857 and immediately caused a shock beyond the literary world. The entire printing of Flowers was removed from the shelves almost immediately, Baudelaire together with the publisher were accused of insulting religion and public morals, sentenced to a statutory fine and ordered to suppress several poems from the next publication of Flowers (these were however issued separately in Brussels in 1866 under the name The Wrecks
and were later included in another edition of Flowers).
Images of a vain lust for happiness and the pain from death stemming from it, weave through the provocatively open, brilliant verses of Charles Baudelaire. However they do not cause fear but bring peace to the soul; he praises female beauty and at the same time damns it; his unrestrained characters and bohemian life; disappointments in love; contempt of society, which rule Pretence and Evil...
Baudelaire not only made his name in the literary world with verse - thanks to him, or rather the translator, awareness was raised over the work of Edgar Allan Poe, who France had been practically unaware of until then.
Come on in and indulge in the world of Charles Baudelaire, the greatest poet of spoken maledictions...