Holiday Gift Guide
Authors & Events
Gifts & Deals
Jan 20, 2011
| ISBN 9781585428441
Oct 16, 2008
| ISBN 9781440642517
Also available from:
Jan 20, 2011 | ISBN 9781585428441
Oct 16, 2008 | ISBN 9781440642517
“A sheer testament to the power of the written word.” (The New York Times) Giacomo Casanova’s energy was dazzling. He made and lost fortunes, founded state lotteries, and wrote forty-two books and 3,600 pages of memoirs recording the tastes and smells of the years before the French Revolution-as well as his affairs and sexual encounters with dozens of women and a handful of men. Historian Ian Kelly draws on previously unpublished documents from the Venetian Inquisition, and documents by Casanova and his friends and lovers, which give new insights into his life and world. Kelly’s research spans eighteenth-century Venice, Paris, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Rome, Prague, and the Czech castle where Casanova lived, wrote, and died. From his devotion to kabbalah to his collaboration with Mozart and librettist Da Ponte on the opera Don Giovanni, from his vast appetite for food and sex to his training for the priesthood, Casanova reveled in the commedia dell’arte. And, as Kelly posits, it is from Casanova’s careful study of its artifice and illusion that his success as both a libertine and a libertarian was founded.
In Casanova, noted author Ian Kelly traces the life of Giacomo Casanova, a man whose very name is synonymous with sensuality, seduction and sexual prowess. But Casanova was more than just a great lover. A businessman, diplomat, spy, and philosopher, he authored more than twenty books, including a translation of The Iliad. Confidant to many infamous characters—including Madame de Pompadour, Voltaire, and Catherine the Great—Casanova was undoubtedly charismatic. But how exactly did he seduce himself into infamy?
In this richly drawn portrait, Casanova emerges as very much a product of eighteenth-century Venice. He reveled in its commedia del arte and Kelly posits that his successes as both a libertine and a libertarian grew from his careful study of its artifice and illusion. Food, travel, sex: Casanova’s great passions are timeless ones and Kelly brings to life in full flavor the grandeur of his exploits. He also articulates the fascinating personal philosophy that inspired Casanova’s quest to bed all manner of women.
A riveting look at the life of the most legendary lover of all time, this is destined to become the definitive biography of Giacomo Casanova.
Ian Kelly’s books Cooking for Kings: The Life of Antonin Careme, the First Celebrity Chef and Beau Brummell: The Ultimate Man of Style were published to wide acclaim in both the United Kingdom and the United States. A writer, an… More about Ian Kelly
Visit other sites in the Penguin Random House Network
Stay in Touch