Baudelaire and the Second Republic is the first fully comprehensive study of Baudelaire's actions, reactions, and writings from the Revolution of February 1848 to the Bonapartist coup d'état of December 1851. The picture of Baudelaire that emerges from the biographical, textual and contextual materials discussed, is of a consistent radical republican. He is shown to have been close in his views first to Blanqui and then, after the failure of the
insurrection of June 1848, to Proudhon and to the démoc-soc party that constituted the main resistance to Bonapartism during what remained of the Second Republic. Baudelaire was close to the popular political culture of mid-nineteenth-century France and drew upon a reservoir of popular themes and images - notably the
image of wine - in expressing his commitment to the cause of radical republicanism. A book which traces in detail the links between literary texts and socio-political contexts, this will appeal both to students of Baudelaire and of mid-1800s French politics and society.
`this is an impressive book, essential reading for all those interested in Baudelaire and important for an understanding of the politics and literature of mid-19th century France.'
Modern and Contemporary France 1994
`The political background provided by Burton is a useful contribution to Baudelaire studies.'
Times Literary Supplement
`this is an extremely stimulating book'
Times Higher Education Supplement
'Richard Burton;s fine new book on Baudelaire offers us intellectual history of a high order, based upon close textual reading, careful synthesis of the most recent political and literary scholarship and serious and unusual attention to milieu. Burton marshals an impressive array of contemporary political and cultural resources ... the book must be read in future for any scholar or graduate student seeking a mature and careful understanding of the political
consciousness of French literary life in the nineteenth century.'
Janine Hartman, University of Cincinnati, Nineteenth-Century French Studies, Volume 21, Numbers 3 & 4, Spring-Summer 1993
"Baudelaire-Dufays" and the politics of consensus 1842-1848; Proteus and his texts - opposition in writing and everyday life 1844-1848; street-fighting years - Baudelaire in 1848; Baudelaire and the Second Republic 1849-1852; red wine, red politics - the wine poems in context; metamorphoses of the ragpicker - interpreting "Le Vin des Chiffoniers"; Baudelaire and Proudhon - "Chatiment de l'Orgueil" in context; the revenge of Pluviosus - Baudelaire and the agony of the Second Republic; Baudelaire and Proudhon - a reading of "Assomons les Pauvres!"; ni droite ni gauche? - Baudelaire and the politics of 19th-century France.