Baudelaire and the Second Republic: Writing and Revolution

Baudelaire and the Second Republic is the first fully comprehensive study of Baudelaire's actions, reactions, and writings from the Revolution of February 1848 to the Bonapartist coup d'etat of December 1851. The picture of Baudelaire that emerges from the biographical, textual and contextual materials discussed, is of a consistent radical republican. He is shown to have been close in his views first to Blanqui and then, after the failure of the insurrection of June 1848, to Proudhon and to the democ-soc party that constituted the main resistance to Bonapartism during what remained of the Second Republic. Baudelaire was close to the popular political culture of mid-nineteenth-century France and drew upon a reservoir of popular themes and images - notably the image of wine - in expressing his commitment to the cause of radical republicanism. A book which traces in detail the links between literary texts and socio-political contexts, this will appeal both to students of Baudelaire and of mid-1800s French politics and society.