When Flowers of Evil was first published in 1857, the book almost immediately became the subject of an obscenity trial, and for several generations afterward its themes of eroticism, lesbianism, revolt and decay earned the author a reputation for depravity and morbidity. It was not until 1949 that the French courts removed the ban originally imposed on Baudelaire's masterpiece. Today, Flowers of Evil is regarded as the poet's greatest work and perhaps the most influential book of French poetry ever written. In assessing Baudelaire's importance in literature, Wallace Fowlie, distinguished scholar, critic and Baudelaire specialist, describes him as "the poet and thinker of our age, of what we like to call modernity." This handsome dual-language edition combines Flowers of Evil with a selection of the poet's other significant compositions, including prose poems from Spleen of Paris, a poignant collection reflecting Baudelaire's pessimism towards the teeming city and his compassion for its less successful inhabitants. Readers will also find critical essays on art, music and literature, including a discussion of Edgar Allan Poe's poetry; and Baudelaire's personal letters to his mother and female acquaintances. Edited and translated by Professor Fowlie, this authoritative edition contains excellent line-by-line English translations with the original French text on the facing pages. Students of French language and literature as well as poetry lovers with some knowledge of French will welcome this volume by one of the greatest European poets of the 19th century.