Georgian Celebrities – An introduction to Casanova
One of the real-life characters who makes a brief guest appearance in two of my books is none other than Giacomo Girolamo Casanova. I’m going to write several blog posts over the next few weeks, telling the story of Casanova’s fascinating and scandalous life. This post is an introduction to one of history’s most enduring and interesting characters.
Born on 2 April 1725 in Venice, Casanova was an Italian adventurer and author who is remembered best for his libertine propensities. Indeed, he has become so famous for his convoluted liaisons that his very name is used to signify a womaniser.
Casanova used several pseudonyms, the most frequent being Chevalier de Seingalt. He also published in French under the name Jacques Casanova de Seingalt. Casanova befriended European royals, popes and cardinals, along with the celebrities of his day including Voltaire, Goethe and Mozart.
What interests me most about Casanova, as I’ve been researching his life, is his easy writing style. He really is very readable. And he was able to laugh at himself. Quite a feat. He comes across as a likable man and I didn’t expect to find myself warming to history’s most infamous womaniser.
He spent his last years in Bohemia, where he wrote his autobiography, ‘Histoire de ma vie’, which is widely acknowledged as one of the most authentic descriptions of European social life during the 18th century. He died on 4th June 1798.