Casanova: Actor, Lover, Priest, Spy
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Hardcover, Jeremy P. Tarcher, 2008, ISBN13 9781585426584, ISBN10 158542658X
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Publishers Weekly,Venice, Paris and other cities where Giacomo Casanova (1725-1798) restlessly traveled are brought to vivid life by food and travel writer Kelly (Cooking for Kings). Remembered today primarily for his sex life, Casanova was a polymath who trained to be a priest, worked as a violinist, soldier, faith healer and librarian, made and lost fortunes and wrote 42 books plus plays and opera libretti. He was born to an actress in Venice who thought the sickly boy was an imbecile and sent him away, aged nine, to be educated in Padua, where he flourished. The 17-year-old had his first sexual affair with two sisters, a scenario repeated throughout his life with other sisters, mothers and daughters, and even nuns. This life of sexual adventures produced eight illegitimate children and included falling in love with an apparent castrato who turned out to be a woman en travestie; he also enjoyed a life of wealth and social status in Venice after saving the life of a senator. Imprisoned there by the Inquisition, he escaped to Paris, becoming a fixture on the city's social scene. Kelly presents a colorful, sprightly biography of a singular man. Illus. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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