Dumesnil (1819-1903) was a civil servant in the Ministère de l'instruction publique and was also a published playwright.
Both Baudelaire and the publisher were subsequently prosecuted for "outrage aux bonnes moeurs" and ordered to destroy the edition, though some copies had the offending pages excised instead. The six poems removed from the following 1861 edition are listed on the half-title in a contemporary manuscript note.
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