History of My Life

History of My Life

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by Giacomo Casanova
     
 

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Volumes 9 and 10 contain descriptions of Casanova's first visits to England, Prussia, Russia, and Poland. In all these countries he gained access to the Courts. Frederick the Great of Prussia and Catherine the Great of Russia join the roster of potentates entertained and charmed by the adventurer. Though beginning to age, and ruing it, Casanova still manages to exert

Overview

Volumes 9 and 10 contain descriptions of Casanova's first visits to England, Prussia, Russia, and Poland. In all these countries he gained access to the Courts. Frederick the Great of Prussia and Catherine the Great of Russia join the roster of potentates entertained and charmed by the adventurer. Though beginning to age, and ruing it, Casanova still manages to exert a powerful attraction on women. He has a deeply felt love affair with an unnamed Portuguese aristocrat. By contrast, his successive seductions of the four daughters of an impecunious German nobleman show the cynicism of the times.

Editorial Reviews

National Book Award Citation
Trask has written a version in an English fully contemporary yet remarkably Italian in sensibility. With admirable restraint and refinement, he has conveyed the zest and sensuous delight of the original.

New York Times Book Review - J. H. Plumb
These memoirs are compulsive reading... they are the work not only of a highly accomplished seducer but of a literary artist of the highest talents.

New York Review of Books - Michael Dirda
Trask expertly rendered this text into English in 1966, and his is the English version to read... Compulsively readable... Certainly, few books better convey the sheer, exuberant joy of being alive and young than these reminiscences.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780151410842
Publisher:
Harcourt
Publication date:
08/01/1970
Series:
A Helen and Kurt Wolff Bk.

What People are saying about this

Edmund Wilson
The Chevalier de Seingalt was a most remarkable man, who had some of the qualities of greatness... Has any novelist or poet ever rendered better than Casanova the passing glory of the personal life?—the gaiety, the spontaneity, the generosity of youth: the ups and downs of middle age when our character begins to get to us and we are forced to come to terms with it; the dreadful blanks of later years, when what is gone is gone. All that a life of this kind can contain Casanova put into his story. And how much of the world!—the eighteenth century as you get it in no other book; society from top to bottom; Europe from England to Russia, a more brilliant variety of characters than you can find in any eighteenth-century novel.

V. S. Pritchett
Casanova is unsurpassed as the recreator of the daily talking interests of 18th-century Europe. He ranges from slut to patrician, from closet to cabinet, waterfront to palace. He is superior to all other erotic writers because of his pleasure in news, in gossip, in the whole personality of his mistresses.

Meet the Author

Giacomo Casanova was born in Venice in 1725. His parents, both actors, wanted him to become a priest, but their hopes were dashed when, at sixteen, he was expelled from seminary for immoral misconduct. Probably best-known for his reputation as a womanizer, Casanova was in turn a secretary, a soldier in the Venetian army, a preacher, an alchemist, a gambler, a violinist, a lottery director, and a spy. He translated Homer's Iliad into Italian and collaborated with Da Ponte on the libretto for Mozart's Don Giovanni. He retired in 1785 to the castle of a friend—Count Waldstein of Bohemia—in order to write his memoirs.

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The History of My Life: Volumes 11 and 12 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gary_W_Olson More than 1 year ago
Casanova's life was amazing, with enough adventure and intrigue to fill... well... volumes and volumes of text. Unfortunately, that's exactly what he decided to do, and while much of it is interesting and involving, after a while I just kept saying 'how much longer does this go on?' Certainly worth reading, but pace yourself or your head will go numb.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago