In December 1868 the third edition of Les Fleurs du mal, volume one of the poet’s complete works — went on sale in Paris. Along with an introduction by the poet Théophile Gautier, this new edition contained all the poems of the 1861 edition, eleven poems from Les Épaves, plus a few others. (It lacked, however, the six poems censored from the first edition, since these were still illegal to print in France.) This 1868 edition was the only one authorized by Baudelaire’s estate until his work fell into the public domain in 1917. However, though Banville and Asselineau certainly meant well in assembling and editing the work, scholars today generally disagree with some of the choices made by the two friends, in particular with several of the poems they chose to include and with the way in which these poems altered the “secret architecture” of the 1861 edition.

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