1857. France is frozen in piety, fearful of radical change as industrialization and modernism march forward in Britain and Germany.
Emperor Napoleon III tolerates no opposition. In this hostile climate, Charles Baudelaire is putting the finishing touches on his most important collection of poems, “Flowers of Evil.” At the same time, Sarah, one of his mistress-muses, has fallen ill and his publisher, Auguste, is giving him grief.
The publication date is nearing. Soon Baudelaire will be hauled into court by Judge Pinard, charged with outrage to decency.