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The Story of My Life

Giacomo Casanova - Author

Gilberto Pizzamiglio - Editor

Stephen Sartarelli - Translator

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ISBN 9780140439151 | 576 pages | 01 May 2001 | Penguin Classics | 5.07 x 7.79in | 18 - AND UP
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Coming to the big screen this January—Buena Vista’s Casanova, starring Heath Ledger and Sienna Miller

Seducer, gambler, necromancer, swindler, Good Samaritan, spy, swashbuckler, self-made gentleman, entrepreneur, poet, translator, philosopher, and general bon vivant, Giacomo Casanova was not only the most notorious lover the Western world has known but also astoryteller of the first order.

The Penguin Classics edition of Casanova’s The Story of My Life features a brilliant translation by Stephen Sartarelli and Sophie Hawkes and provides readers with the most famous episodes as well as the overall shape of Casanova’s monumental memoir in one beguiling, unique volume.

Introduction by Gilberto Pizzamiglio
Note on the Text
Translators' Note

THE STORY OF MY LIFE

Family history. My first memory. Journey to Padua.

Preface

I

II
My grandmother boards me at the home of Doctor Gozzi. My first acquaintance with love.

III
Bettina believed to be mad. Father Mancia. The pox. I leave Padua.

IV
The patriarch of Venice confers the minor orders on me. Getting to know Senator Malipiero, Teresa Imer, Father Tosello's niece, Signora Orio, Nanetta, Marta, and La Cavamacchie. I become a preacher. My adventure at Pasiano with Lucia.

V
My brief but highly eventful visit to Ancona. Cecilia, Marina, Bellino. The Greek slave girl from the lazaretto. Bellino revealed.

VI
Bellino Unmasked. His Story

VII
Comic encounter at Orsara. Journey to Corfu. Sojourn in Constantinople. Bonneval. My return to Corfu.

VIII
I became a true good-for-nothing. A great stroke of luck raises me from destitution to the rank of wealthy gentleman.

IX
My apprenticeship in Paris. Portraits. Oddities. A thousand things.

X
My blunders in the French language, my successes, my many acquaintances. Louis XV. My brother arrives in Paris.

XI
My sojourn in Vienna. Joseph II. My departure for Venice.

XII
First meeting with M. M. Letter from C. C. Second meeting with the nun in my superb casino in Venice. I am happy.

XIII
Continuation of the preceding chapter. Visit to the convent and conversation with M. M. Her letter to me and my answer. Rendezvous at the casino in Murano, witnessed by her lover.

XIV
Under the lead roof. The earthquake.

XV
Soradaci's betrayal. The means I used to overwhelm him. Father Balbi succeeds in his task. I leave my cell. Count Asquini's untimely remarks. The moment of departure.

XVI
My escape from the prison. I nearly lose my life on the roof. I leave the Ducal Palace, take ship and reach the mainland. Father Balbi exposes me to danger. The ruse by which I separate from him for the moment.

XVII
Voltaire, my discussions with the great man. Ariosto. The duke of Villars. The syndic and his three lovely ladies. Debate at Voltaire's house.

XVIII
Cardinal Passionei. The pope. Mariuccia. My arrival in Naples.

XIX
I reach Marseilles. Mme. D'Urfé. My niece is well received by Mme. Audibert. I get rid of my brother and Passano. Regeneration. Mme. d'Urfé departs. Marcolina's constancy.

XX
My arrival in London. Mrs. Cornelys. I am presented at Court. I rent a furnished house. I meet many people. The customs of the English.

XXI
Lord Keith. Appointment with the king of Prussia in the garden of Sans Souci. My conversation with the monarch. La Denis. The Pomeranian cadets.

XXII
I meet the czarina. My conversations with the great Sovereign. La Valville. I leave Zaira. My departure from St. Petersburg and arrival in Warsaw. Princes Adam Czartoryski and Sulkowski. The king of Poland, Stanislaus Poniatowski, called Stanislaus Augustus I. Theatrical intrigues. Branicki.

XXIII
My duel with Branicki.

XXIV
My departure from Paris. My journey to Madrid. The count of Aranda. The prince of La Catolica. The duke of Losada. Mengs. A ball. La Pichona. Doña Ignacia.

XXV
My courtship of Doña Ignacia, the gentleman-cobbler's daughter. My imprisonment at Buen Retiro and my triumph. I am recommended to the Venetian ambassador by a State Inquisitor of the Republic.

Notes