Photograph of Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire

(1821 - 1967)

After his expulsion from a school for his lack of discipline in 1839, Charles Baudelaire in his late teens embarked upon a literary life in Paris’ Latin Quarter and soon contracted syphilis—most likely from a prostitute nicknamed Squint-Eyed Sarah, whom he immortalized in early poems. In 1848 he began translating writing by Edgar Allan Poe, whose life and works he found to be “stamped with an undeniable seal of melancholy.” Baudelaire published The Flowers of Evil in 1857 and was promptly tried for public indecency.

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A frenzied passion for art is a canker that devours everything else.

- Charles Baudelaire,1852

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