Giacomo Casanova

Massimo Riva (Brown University)
Download PDF Add to Bookshelf Report an Error

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 includes a mere one hundred and twenty-two encounters, nothing…

3328 words

Citation: Riva, Massimo. "Giacomo Casanova". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 02 June 2015 [, accessed 11 December 2023.]

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.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.