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French poet's suicide letter goes under hammer

News Desk

Agence France-Presse

Paris, France | Mon, November 5, 2018 | 03:03 pm
French poet's suicide letter goes under hammer

A sign indicates the place where French poet Charles Baudelaire lived as part the exhibition 'Baudelaire' (AFP/Emmanuel Dunand)

A letter written by nineteenth century French poet Charles Baudelaire announcing his intention to kill himself sold at auction on Sunday for 234,000 euros ($267,000), three times the expected price.

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Best known for his collection of poems "Les Fleurs du mal" (The Flowers of Evil"), Baudelaire was 24 at the time he wrote the letter to his mistress Jeanne Duval in June 1845.

This photograph taken on Oct. 25, shows autographed notes of Charles Baudelaire and his lawyer, on a clipping of the newspaper Le Figaro, criticizing 'The flowers of evil', part of a collection of autographs and manuscripts of Baudelaire, including his suicide letter ahead of their auction in Paris. This photograph taken on Oct. 25, shows autographed notes of Charles Baudelaire and his lawyer, on a clipping of the newspaper Le Figaro, criticizing 'The flowers of evil', part of a collection of autographs and manuscripts of Baudelaire, including his suicide letter ahead of their auction in Paris. (AFP/Jacques Demarthon)

It was bought by a private collector, the Osenat auction house said.

"When you receive this letter I will be dead…. I am killing myself because I cannot carry on living, I can no longer endure the ordeal of falling asleep or waking up again," the poet wrote.

Baudelaire stabbed himself but failed to do any serious damage and lived for another 22 years.

He died aged 46 in 1867.

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