Name: Baudelaire, "Les Fleurs du Mal"

Date:  1851 - 1899

Location:  Europe

SubjectExplicit Sexuality , Religious


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Artist: Charles Pierre Baudelaire

Confronting Bodies: Government

Date of Action: 1857

Specific Location: France, Paris

Description of Artwork: "Les Fleurs du Mal": (English: "The Flowers of Evil" (1909)). Collection of poems, consisting largely of poems of decadence, eroticism and spiritual revolution. Further editions of the collection prepared by Baudelaire were published in 1861 and posthumously in 1866. Each were greatly enlarged but omitted the banned poems. These were published however in 1866 in Belgium in a collection entitled "Les Epaves" ("The Waifs"). In France the ban of the six poems was not lifted until 1949.

Description of Incident: The author, publisher and printer were prosecuted under the Second Empire for an "outrage aux bonnes moeurs" (outrage to public decency).

Results of Incident: Baudelaire was arrested and fined 300 francs. In 1866, in Brussels, Belgium, six poems suppressed from Les Fleurs du Mal were published under the title of Les Epaves, and were widely circulated in France. In 1949, the ban was lifted in France.

Source: Banned Books 387 B.C. to 1978 A.D., by Anne Lyon Haight, and Chandler B. Grannis, R.R. Bowker Co, 1978.

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