*Includes Casanova's quotes about his own life
*Includes online resources and a bibliography for further reading
“I have often met with happiness after some imprudent step which ought to have brought ruin upon me, and although passing a vote of censure upon myself I would thank God for his mercy.” - Casanova
Contrary to how the libidinous legend is often seen through the rose-tinted lenses of Hollywood, the real Giacomo Casanova did not have Heath Ledger's strong, chiseled jaw or the piercing, lagoon-blue eyes of Richard Chamberlain. Rather, portraits of the actual Casanova show a plain, somewhat forgettable face, with a doughy jaw, a prominent, faintly crooked nose, and close-set, protruding eyes. In essence, while he was certainly not unattractive, he was far from someone who would be envisioned as synonymous with womanizing. Nonetheless, Casanova engaged in hundreds of trysts, and whatever the man lacked in aesthetic appeal, he indisputably made up for in charm, mystique, and raw, animal magnetism. He was also quite matter of fact about it all: “Real love is the love that sometimes arises after sensual pleasure: if it does, it is immortal; the other kind inevitably goes stale, for it lies in mere fantasy.”
Indeed, the fabled erotic exploits of the captivating, charismatic Casanova were so spectacular that his surname has been immortalized with its own entry in Merriam-Webster, among many other reputable dictionaries – “a lover, especially, a man who is a promiscuous and unscrupulous lover.” Though Casanova has been cemented in pop culture, above all else, as a silver-tongued, licentious lover, the man was scintillatingly gift-wrapped with layers of artful deceit, vigilant calculation, and an inextinguishable hankering for adventure. He donned many hats, yet each one seemed to be styled especially for him, for he was not just an adventurer with an insatiable sexual appetite, he was a witty wordsmith, a mystical healer, a seasoned spy, and an improvisational genius who harbored endless tricks up his frilly sleeves.