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June 28 , 2014

Casanova in Bohemia

A Novel
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Overview

An erotic, comedic, and compulsively readable historical novel depicting the beguiling Giacomo Casanova as he looks back on a life of love and ribald adventure

In Count Waldstein’s far-flung Bohemian castle, an aging Casanova spends his days as a librarian cataloging the count’s extensive collection of books. Or at least that’s what he’s supposed to be doing. Ever the storyteller, Casanova instead dedicates himself to his own writing, for which the young servant Laura Brock serves as an endlessly fascinated audience. He recounts to her his greatest escapades—from romances in a Venetian convent to the seduction of an entire harem to the triumphant amassing (and subsequent loss) of a fortune in Paris. Enlivened by the French Revolution and the liberating ideas of the Enlightenment, Casanova’s latest exploits prove he still possesses an intellectual vigor and insatiable curiosity. Even old age can’t keep this legendary libertine—who corresponded with Voltaire, discussed flight with Benjamin Franklin, and whose life and writings inspired artists as diverse as Mozart, Flaubert, Stendhal, and Hesse—from causing trouble.

Rich with eighteenth-century European social, political, and religious history, Casanova in Bohemia is an energetic and erotic portrait of Western literature’s most beloved lothario, whose hedonism was matched by his creativity and wit.
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