Charles Baudelaire
Les Fleurs du Mal
Bibliothèque nationale, En français dans le texte, 1990, n° 276 ; Bogousslavsky, Les Exemplaires avec envoi de l’édition originale des Fleurs du Mal, in Histoires littéraires nº 64, 2015, pp. 7-39: l’exemplaire est décrit sous le numéro 49 ; Pichois, Dictionnaire Baudelaire, pp. 217-218.
Large 12mo ((188 x 123 mm) ; blue morocco backed boards by Lortic, spine with raised bands, gilt edge.
Prix sur demande
Poulet-Malassis & de Broise, Paris, 1857.

First edition. 


One of 1 300 copies on Angouleme wove paper including approximately 200 author’s copies, plus approximately 20 large paper copies on laid Holland paper.


Copy of the first issue, with the misprint ‘Feurs’ on pages 31 and 108, and the error “captieux” for “capiteux” on page 201; it contains the 6 poems supressed after the law-suit against Baudelaire. 


It took Baudelaire about 20 years to finish the Fleurs du mal, after multiple revision and reworking mainly of the poems. After its successful launch the book was quickly condemned as its poems were against current morals. A lawsuit followed after which the remaining 200 copies, still available at the distributors, had to be censored and 6 poems were physically removed. 


A magnificent copy, inscribed on the half-title in crayon: 


« à M. Grandguillot, Charles Baudelaire »


Baudelaire also noted on the fly-leaf before the half-title the suppressed poems after the law-suit on 20 August 1857 :

« Poèmes condamnés par jugement du 20 aout 1857./Les Bijoux/Le Léthé/à celle qui est trop gaie/Lesbos /

Femmes damnées: à la pâle clarté…/Les métamorphoses du Vampire. »


This copy also has 5 autograph corrections (on the dedication leaf, and on pages 29, 43, 44 et 110).


Important provenance. 


Editor in chief for the Constitutionnel and the Pays, Alcide-Pierre Grandguillot (Rouen, 1829-1891) occupied an important position in the small world of journalism. Baudelaire has sent multiple articles to Grandguillot hoping the journal would publish some of them and the name of the journalist and editor is frequently mentioned in the poet’s note books between 1860 and 1863. Although Granguillot did not accept any of the works to be published in his journal, he conceded a small fee to the poet who was always short of money.


This copy contains an added portait of the author, printed in thin China paper, drawn and etched by Bracquemond for the second edition published in 1861.