The Memoirs: Selections from Casanova's "Story of My Life"

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Seducer, gambler, necromancer, swindler, Good Samaritan, spy, swashbuckler, self-made gentleman, entrepreneur, wit, poet, translator, philosopher and general bon vivant, Giacomo Casanova was not only the most notorious lover the Western world has known, but also a storyteller of the first order. And as he lived a life richer and stranger than most fictions, the story of his own adventures is naturally the most compelling of those he has to tell. He roamed the vast and changeable universe of 18th-century Europe, a...
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Overview

Seducer, gambler, necromancer, swindler, Good Samaritan, spy, swashbuckler, self-made gentleman, entrepreneur, wit, poet, translator, philosopher and general bon vivant, Giacomo Casanova was not only the most notorious lover the Western world has known, but also a storyteller of the first order. And as he lived a life richer and stranger than most fictions, the story of his own adventures is naturally the most compelling of those he has to tell. He roamed the vast and changeable universe of 18th-century Europe, a world of dazzling brilliance and shadowy darkness in which countesses and impostors, pimps and princes, soldiers and scholars, priests and actresses, ambassadors and courtesans all crossed paths in the blind pursuit of pleasure, fortune, and knowledge. Entering this world with clamor and grace, and causing plenty of trouble, he moved with ease through that traffic of ideas and desires that kept the tavern always within reach of the salon, the throne never far from the gambling table and brothel.

In these selections from the monumental autobiography that Casanova titled The Story of My Life, the first such compendium in English since the definitive French text was established in 1959, we encounter all the essential elements of his eventful days on earth: his youth in Venice as precocious adolescent ecclesiastic; his carousing and dabbling in the occult; his imprisonment and thrilling escape; his far-ranging travels and encounters with such major literary figures as Crebillon and Voltaire and world leaders such as Catherine the Great and Frederick of Prussia. And all of it spiced, of course, with countless amorous conquests, with mistresses always different, from noblewomen to nuns to cobblers' daughters, always fully-fleshed and three-dimensional, willing partners in the adventure of his life.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781568860633
  • Publisher: Marsilio Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/15/1999
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.68 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction v
Note on the text xxiii
Translators' note xxv
Preface 1
I13
Family history
My first memory
Journey to Padua
II23
My grandmother boards me at the home of Doctor Gozzi
My first acquaintance with love
III42
Bettina believed to be mad
Father Mancia
The pox
I leave Padua
IV59
The patriarch of Venice confers the minor orders on me
Getting to know Senator Malipiero, Teresa Imer, Father Tosello's niece, Signora Orio, Nanetta, Marta, and La Cavamacchie
I become a preacher
My adventure at Pasiano with Lucia
V84
My brief but highly eventful visit to Ancona
Cecilia, Marina Bellino
The Greek slave girl from the lazaretto
Bellino revealed
VI102
Bellino Unmasked
His Story
VII109
Comic encounter at Orsara
Journey to Corfu
Sojourn in Constantinople
Bonneval
My return to Corfu
VIII143
I become a true good-for-nothing
A great stroke of luck raises me from destitution to the rank of wealthy gentleman
IX159
My apprenticeship in Paris
Portraits
Oddities
A thousand things
X179
My blundrs in the French language, my successes, my many acquaintances
Louis XV
My brother arrives in Paris
XI190
My sojourn in Vienna
Joseph II
My departure for Venice
XII203
First meeting with M.M. Letter from C.C. Second meeting with the nun in my superb casino in Venice
I am happy
XIII219
Continuation of the preceding chapter
Visit to the convent and conversation with M.M.
Her letter to me and my answer
Rendez-vous at the casino in Murano, witnessed by her lover
XIV235
Under the lead roof
The earthquake
XV252
Soradaci's betrayal
The means I used to overwhelm him
Father Balbi succeeds in his task
I leave my cell
Count Asquini's untimely remarks
The moment of departure
XVI270
My escape from the prison
I nearly lose my life on the roof
I leave the Ducal Palace, take ship and reach the mainland
Father Balbi exposes me to danger
The ruse by which I separate from him for the moment
XVII289
Voltaire, my discussions with the great man
Ariosto
The duke of Villars
The syndic and his three lovely ladies
Debate at Voltaire's house
XVIII311
Cardinal Passionei
The pope
Mariuccia
My arrival in Naples
XIX330
I reach Marseilles
Mme. D'Urfe
My niece is well received by Mme
Audibert
I get rid of my brother and Passano
Regeneration
Mme. d'Urfe departs
Marcolina's constancy
XX353
My arrival in London
Mrs. Cornelys
I am presented at Court
I rent a furnished house
I meet many people
The customs of the English
XXI378
Lord Keith
Appointment with the king of Prussia in the garden of Sans Souci
My conversation with the monarch
La Denis
The Pomeranian cadets
XXII392
I meet the czarina
My conversations with the great Sovereign
La Valville
I leave Zaira
My departure from St. Petersburg and arrival in Warsaw
Princes Adam Czartorski and Sulkowski
The king of Poland, Stanislaus Poniatowski, called Stanislaus Augustus I
Theatrical intrigues
Branicki
XXIII423
My duel with Branicki
XXIV441
My departure from Paris
My journey to Madrid
The count of Aranda
The prince of La Catolica
The duke of Losada
Mengs
A ball
La Pichona
Dona Ignacia
XXV466
My courtship of Dona Ignacia, the gentleman-cobbler's daughter
My imprisonment at Buen Retiro and my triumph
I am recommended to the Venetian ambassador by a State Inquisitor of the Republic
Notes 497
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