Giacomo Casanova (3328 words)

Massimo Riva (Brown University)
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It is hard to distinguish between the writer and the protagonist of Casanova’s monumental Histoire de ma vie [History of My Life], “neither the story of a famous man nor a novel”, as Casanova himself writes in the preface. Casanova’s autobiography contains multitudes: in his travels throughout Europe, he met with royalty and crossed paths with legendary figures on both sides of the Enlightenment (Voltaire and Cagliostro); joined the Freemasons and also perhaps the Rosicrucians (Childs); tried his hand at diplomacy (as an envoy of the King of France), entrepreneurship (he managed a state lottery in Paris) and serious scholarship (in his old age); all the while pursuing adventures with women of all stations (his list …

Citation: Riva, Massimo. "Giacomo Casanova". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 02 June 2015 [https://staging.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=776, accessed 16 August 2022.]

776 Giacomo Casanova 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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