Someone has been hoarding a copy of Les Fleurs du Mal in which Charlie himself added an extra verse to an “erotic” poem within. The book is now on auction, so let’s just spread it wide open under some bright lights to bring it into line with what the 21st century considers “erotic”. We’ll probably need a razor and spray tan, too.
Baudelaire wrote the additional verse into a first edition of the book, sending it to his friend, the journalist and literary critic Gaston de Saint-Valry, as a “testimony of friendship”. According to auction house Drouot, the verse was only previously reported by Baudelaire expert Yves Le Dantec in 1928, who tried and failed to persuade the book’s former owners to make it public. Due for sale on 22 November, its estimated price is €60,000-€80,000 (£51,000-68,000).