Self Portrait by Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire's
Fleurs du mal / Flowers of Evil

Les Épaves / Scraps


Although Baudelaire had become increasingly successful as a writer, his success brought him more notoriety than income. In 1864 he moved from Paris to Brussels, largely to evade creditors. Earlier his friend and publisher Auguste Poulet-Malassis had also moved to Brussels to escape legal trouble, so together the two decided to put out another book of Baudelaire's verse.

This new work was not intended to be a comprehensive collection. It was, instead, a collection of incidental and recent verse — hence the title "épaves" or scraps. It also included the six poems censored from the first edition of Les Fleurs du mal. Published in February 1866 in an edition of only two hundred and sixty copies (plus ten hors commerce), Les Épaves contained twenty-three poems, an introduction by Poulet-Malassis, and a frontispiece of the author by Félicien Rops.

It was the last book overseen by Baudelaire himself, who suffered a debilitating stroke in March 1866 and died the following year back in Paris.

Table of Contents

» Le Coucher du soleil romantique

The Sunset of Romanticism

Pièces condamnées / Condemned Poems

» Lesbos


» Femmes damnées (À la pâle clarté)

Women Doomed (In the pale glimmer...)

» Le Léthé


» À celle qui est trop gaie

To She Who Is Too Gay

» Les Bijoux

The Jewels

» Les Métamorphoses du Vampire

The Vampire's Metamorphoses

Galanteries / Gallantries

» Le Jet d'eau

The Fountain

» Les Yeux de Berthe

Berthe's Eyes

» Hymne


» Les Promesses d'un visage

The Promises of a Face

» Le Monstre

The Monster

» Franciscae meae laudes

In Praise of My Frances

Épigraphes / Epigraphs

» Vers pour le portrait d'Honoré Daumier

Verses for the Portrait of Honoré Daumier

» Lola de Valence

Lola de Valence

» Sur Le Tasse en prison d'Eugène Delacroix

On Eugene Delacroix's Tasso in Prison

Pièces diverses / Miscellaneous Poems

» La Voix

The Voice

» L'Imprévu

The Unforeseen

» La Rançon

The Ransom

» À une Malabaraise

To a Lady of Malabar

Bouffonneries / Buffooneries

» Sur les Débuts d'Amina Boschetti

On the Debut of Amina Boschetti

» À M. Eugène Fromentin

To M. Eugène Fromentin

» Un Cabaret folâtre

A Jolly Cabaret


Two editions of Fleurs du mal were published in Baudelaire's lifetime — one in 1857 and an expanded edition in 1861. "Scraps" and censored poems were collected in Les Épaves in 1866. After Baudelaire died the following year, a "definitive" edition appeared in 1868.