Arthur Rimbaud

Arthur Rimbaud (France, 1854-1891). Brought up in the Second French Empire, as a teenager he had first-hand experience of the disastrous Franco-Prussian War and the subsequent rise of the Paris Commune in 1871. He wrote the best poetry of his time between the ages of 16 and 21. After that, he abandoned literature altogether. He lived in late-19th-century France, where Hugo and Baudelaire had already left a mark, still the great cultural powerhouse of the world, its capital city being the creative centre of all the ideas about progress since the Age of Enlightenment had begun in the early 18th century.