Charles Baudelaire Biography

Charles Pierre Baudelaire (9 April 1821 – 31 August 1867). Better known simply as Baudelaire, he was a Poet, Writer, Translator, Playwright and Art Critic of French origin, regarded by the world of letters as one of the “cursed poets”, as well as one of the romantic isepers that had the most influence on the French symbolism.

At the same time, Baudelaire is considered to open the path to modernity in his work. He popularized The Spleen and is considered the father of Decadentism. He is also credited with implementing the term “modernity” to refer to life in the metropolises that were born in the midst of an industrial revolution. He also called art’s responsibility for capturing and denouncing this urban phenomenon as “modernity.”

Charles Baudelaire was born on 9 April 1821 in Paris, France, to Joseph Francois Baudelaire and his wife Caroline Archimbaut-Dufays, who was more than thirty years old. Initial education came at home. His father taught him the first letters, while his mother, a descendant of immigrants from London, taught him English.

Also during his childhood he received the care of Meriette, the maid of his house, whom the poet remembers in one of the verses of his famous work The Evil flowers. However, when Budelaire turned six, he lost his father, who died that 1827.

His mother used the little inheritance he left to change houses. Two years after Joseph Baudelaire’s departure, he married Jacques Aupick, a neighboring military man, whom he is suspected of having an extramarital affair beforehand.


The new union greatly affected Baudelaire, who was to be eight years old. Since then the relationship with his mother has distanced himself, while with his stepfather he simply didn´t prosper. In 1832, Lieutenant Colonel Jacques Aupick was appointed Chief of Staff, so the family moved to the city of Lyon.

In this French city, Baudelaire enters the Royal College of Lyon, in order to continue his studies. However, soon he escapes. Four years later, in 1836, the family returned to Paris, following a further promotion from his stepfather to General of the General Staff.

In the French capital, Baudelaire is sent by his mother and stepfather to the boarding school of The City of Louis-le-Grand. Two years later, in 1838, he managed to pass his studies and obtain a bachelor’s degree, however he was expelled from the institution for misconduct.

Life in Paris

After two years, Baudelaire decided to continue his university studies, so in 1840 he entered the Faculty of Law. He also begins to visit the Latin Quarter assiduously, where he has the opportunity to meet several artists and writers such as Louis Ménard. From this time the relationship with his family will worsen as he enters bohemian life and vices.

At the time, he entered into a romantic relationship with a prostitute named Sarah, who is believed to be the one that contagion syphilis. Alarmed, his stepfather decides to take him away from Paris, in order to put him to safety. They then decide to send him to Bordeaux, so that there he would board a paquebote that would take him to Calcutta, after an eighteen-month voyage.

Baudelaire reluctantly accepts and part travel. During the voyage he wrote one of his most recognized poems “El Albatros”. However, upon arriving on Mercury Island, Baudelaire decides to leave the ship and set out on his return to Paris.

Once in his city, he returns again to the old friendships and vices of prostitution and drugs. He also begins a romantic relationship with Jeanne Duval. He also dabbles quite successfully in the craft of art critic.

In 1845 he published his first work in this area, entitled The Salon. Likewise, during this time he devoted himself to translating widely authors such as Edgar Allan Poe and Hoffmann. In 1847 he published his first and only novel La Fanfarlo, in which he pursued an avant-garde form, which deviates from the already known.

Ten years later, he would revolutionize the Parisian scene with the publication of his play The Flowers of Evil, which would be branded immoral, being banned. However, four years later, he would reissue by adding new verses.

Final years

During 1864 and 1866 he lived in Brussels, Belgium, where he tried to exercise without any success the trade of art speaker. He also tries to publish his work, but receives no positive response from any publisher.

Scorned, write some grueling lines, titled Poor Belgium! In March 1866 he collapsed in the Church of Saint Loup de Namur, as a result of the syphilis he suffered for years. His mother quickly moved him to a clinic in Paris.

As a result of this attack, he remains aphase and hemiplegic, unable to recover, despite being totally lucid. Finally, on 31 August 1867 he died at the age of 46. His remains lie in the Cemetery of Montparnasse, France.

Major works

Among his main literary works are The Salon (1845); The Salon (1846); La Fanfarlo (1847); Du vin et du haschisch (1851); Fusées (1851); L’Art romantique (1852); Morale du joujou (1853); Exposittion universelle (1855); The Flowers of Evil (1857); The Hall of 1859 (1859); Artificial Paradises (1860); La Chevelure (1861); Réflecions sur quelques-uns of month contemporains (1861); Richard Wagner et Trannhauser ‘ Paris (1861); Small poems in prose or Spleen of Paris (1862); The Painter of Modern Life (1863); L’uvre et la vie d’Eugne Delacroix (1863); Mon c’ur mis a (1864); The offal (1866). As well as posthumous works Aesthetic curiosities (1868); Journaux intimes (1851-1862).

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Charles Baudelaire Biography
Source: Education  
August 22, 2019

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