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.