Under construction since 2018 on the e-Man platform, this edition will give the text and facsimile of the manuscripts of about 1,550 letters that Baudelaire sent to various recipients, between January 1832 and March 1866, and of the 211 letters addressed to Baudelaire that are known today. In June 2021, we put online a sample of letters covering the period 1848-1852.
Our project is based on three landmark editions in Baudelaire studies: the Correspondance générale, established by Jacques Crépet at Louis Conard Editions and published in six volumes between 1947 and 1953; the two volumes of Baudelaire's Correspondance, published by Claude Pichois, with the collaboration of Jean Ziegler, in the Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, in 1973, and of which a new edition of the first volume appeared in 1993 (with a "Supplement" of 25 letters and receipts), and a new edition of the second volume, in 1999; the Letters to Charles Baudelaire, published by Claude and Vincenette Pichois in 1973 at the Éditions de la Baconnière, in Neuchâtel. More recently, two works have enriched and corrected these editions: the Nouvelles lettres (Fayard, 2000), in which Claude Pichois gives the text of 75 unpublished letters and documents by Baudelaire; the Lettres à sa mère (Manucius, 2017), compiled by Catherine Delons, collecting the 350 letters from Baudelaire to Mme Aupick. In addition, for the past fifteen years, other previously unknown letters of Baudelaire have been the subject of occasional presentations, in particular in L'Année Baudelaire. Others still remain unpublished.
By gathering these documents, we wish to provide an edition of Baudelaire's correspondence whose text would be as faithful as possible to the manuscripts, which will be reproduced opposite where possible. In the wake of the Baudelairean tradition, our digital edition proposes to take up the challenge launched in 2000 by Claude Pichois, who regretted the "fate of correspondence", destined to "remain forever unfinished". Intended to welcome new documents that regularly appear in public sales, its ambition is to promote the open and perfectible incompleteness of the electronic edition and to contribute to a better knowledge of Baudelaire's writings and life.
Head of the project