French poet Baudelaire’s suicide letter sells at auction for $267,000

A suicide letter penned by the nineteenth century French poet Charles Baudelaire sold at auction for €234,000 ($ 267,000) – three times the expected sale price.

The epistle was written by a depressed and financially strained 24-year-old Baudelaire to his mistress Jeanne Duval in June 1845.

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,” he wrote.

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The poet stabbed himself in the chest on the same day the letter was written, but survived to live for another 22 years until he passed away from syphilis in 1867 aged 46.

The letter was purchased by a private collector on Sunday at the Osenat auction house, which is selling a series of the late poet’s letters and original pieces of work. Baudelaire is most famous outside of France for his ‘Les Fleurs du Mal’ (The Flowers of Evil) collection of poems.

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