I knew little about Charles Baudelaire and Jeanne Duval. It was a pleasure to get to know them in Black Venus. They were a seductive and intriguing couple that needed one another. Sadly they also annihilated one another. Their tempestuous relationship is at the heart of this novel.Jeanne Duval was essential to Baudelaire's poetry. Without her there would have been no Les Fleurs du Mal. The literary significance of that work cannot be understated.Baudelaire was charged with obscenity after Les Fleurs was published. Reading about the trial in which he was accused of creating an offense against public morals was compelling.Certain books inspire me to learn more about the people and the settings contained therein. This was one of those books. I found myself looking up the clothes, the people, and the relationships described in Black Venus because I wanted more. That, to me, is a sign of a great book.Black Venus is a bewitching and illuminating read that I highly recommend.