In 1841, Charles Baudelaire, famous French poet, was forced by his father-in-law, General Jacques Aupick, to leave Paris to embark on a long journey to India. During this trip, Charles Baudelaire will stop over in Mauritius. He will stay there for a fortnight and will be welcomed by Mr and Mrs Autard de Bragard at their estate in Pamplemousses. Madame Marie Louise Antoinette Adèle (Emelina) Autard de Bragard, born Carcenac, will be a source of inspiration for Baudelaire who will write “To a Creole lady”, a poem which will be part of his collection: Les Fleurs du Mal.
Surprisingly, Mme Autard de Bragard died at sea while heading for France on June 22, 1857, the same exact week when the original edition of Les Fleurs du Mal appeared. Her grave can be found at Pamplemousses cemetery, Mauritius.
Following a long tradition dating back to the French Cultural Center “Charles Baudelaire” and to the Alliance Française de l’Ile Maurice, the oldest in the world with that of Paris, the French Institute of Mauritius, created in 2010, acts for sharing and transmission of the French culture, language, theater, art and music.