Charles-Pierre Baudelaire was born in Paris in 1821. He travelled to the Indian Ocean but returned prematurely and never again travelled far from Paris, until his journey to Belgium the year before his death, where he suffered a stroke. He lived a bohemian lifestyle, writing, publishing and lecturing to raise money for his rather lavish tastes. His collection of poetry Les Fleurs du Mal (1857) was prosecuted for indecency.
Carol Clark is a Fellow and Tutor in French at Balliol College, Oxford.