Charles Baudelaire

Born in Paris, France in 1821, Charles Baudelaire grew to be a major innovator in French literature. Inspired by the earlier writings of the Romantics, Bausdelaire’s creations, while slow to be produced, were as revolutionary and controversial as the man himself.

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A frequenter of prostitutes, a dandy and a spender, Baudelaire was known for his extravagance and wastrel ways. Yet his literary genius is undisputed, and while he is known for his reviews and political papers, it is his poetry that received the greatest attentions.

La Fleur Du Mal, “The Evil of Flowers” was his first published work, and while they received a small, appreciative audience, it was the controversial subject matter and their influence on the literati of the times that catapulted Baudelaire into the spotlight.

Principal themes of sex and death were considered scandalous, yet the mixture of lust and macabre provides undertones of the Gothic. However, if his poetry was shocking, enough so for six of his pieces to be banned by the French courts, Baudelaire’s life of drug abuse and debauchery inspired titillation and censure in equal measure.

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As well as being known to have a taste for Absinthe, he used laudanum and other opiates to reach his muse, though by his later life these drugs may have been medically viable as his health deteriorated.

Yet he continued to find literary merit with his works, which included translations of the quintessential Gothic works of Edgar Allen Poe, and after his death at the age forty-six, his fame continued to rise.

It is for both sides of his persona, the talented artist and the sinful man, which Alchemy remembers him with their stunning La Fleur De Baudelaire pieces. For although he took much from the world by way of his spending and sexual inclinations, he gave back a wealth of poetry and literary prose, as well as a plethora of inspiration and philosophy to the other artists of his time.

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