Casanova: Actor, Lover, Priest, Spy (Hardcover)

Actor, Lover, Priest, Spy

By Ian Kelly

Tarcher, 9781585426584, 403pp.

Publication Date: October 16, 2008



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.

About the Author

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 actor, and the director of television documentaries, he writes frequently about food and travel for many British publications, among them "The Times" and "The Guardian." He lives in London with his wife and their two children.