First Edition Of Baudelaire's "Les Fleurs Du Mal" In the Original Wrappers
BAUDELAIRE, Charles. Fleurs du Mal. Paris: Poulet-Malassis et de Broise , 1857.
First edition, first printing with the six suppressed poems. In second state wrappers, with the back wrapper announcing Les Fleurs du Mal. Octavo (7 5/8 x 5 inches; 194 x 127 mm). [4], [1]-248, [4, table] pp. This copy contains the running title misprint "Feurs" on page 31 and 108 and page 45 is misnumbered 44.Title printed in black and red.

Original light yellow printed wrappers. Uncut, as published, perfectly pure, without spots. Some professional restoration to spine. Front wrapper with a small crease along fore-edge and half-title also a bit creased. A beautiful copy. In glassine dust jacket and with a custom full morocco clamshell.

The first issue contains the six “notorious” poems for which Baudelaire was prosecuted and fined for offenses to public morals. The poems that were suppressed in the second issue are: “Les Bijoux” (pp. [52]-53), “Le Léthé” (pp. [73]-74), “A celle qui est trop gaie” (pp. [91]-93), “Lesbos,” (pp. [187]-190), “Femmes damnées” (pp. [196]-197), and “Les Métamorphoses du vampire” (pp. [206]-207). The French ban on these poems was not officially lifted until 1949, although they were commonly printed as an appendix in posthumous editions of Les Fleurs du mal.

“Baudelaire was said by Hugo to have introduced a frisson nouveau into poetry, an essentially modern form of exacerbated sensibility which will quicken only to a beauty that contains the elements of corruption. His prosody was classical in its perfection, but he was a precursor of modern poetry by his perception of the symbolic correspondences of colours, scents, and sounds...; by his exploration of the musical possibilities of the French language; and above all by his evocative power: with one phrase, or one word, he could suggest an infinity of passion, melancholy or aspiration” (– Oxford Companion to French Literature).

Charles Baudelaire: Souvenirs–Correspondances–Bibliographie (Paris: 1872), p. 151ff.

HBS # 65197 $30,000