"Trask has written a version in an English fully contemporary yet remarkably Italian in sensibility. With admirable restraint and refinement, he has conveyed the zest and sensuous delight of the original."--'National Book Award Citation' Volumes 3 and 4 offer some of the most extraordinary episodes in Casanova's extraordinary life, including his liaison with the nun M. M., and his flight from the State Inquisitor's prison--each in its own way a feat of singular dash and daring.
Giacomo Casanova was born in Venice in 1725. His parents, both actors, wanted him to become a priest, but their hopes were dashed when, at sixteen, he was expelled from seminary for immoral misconduct. Probably best-known for his reputation as a womanizer, Casanova was in turn a secretary, a soldier in the Venetian army, a preacher, an alchemist, a gambler, a violinist, a lottery director, and a spy. He translated Homer's Iliad into Italian and collaborated with Da Ponte on the libretto for Mozart's Don Giovanni. He retired in 1785 to the castle of a friend-Count Waldstein of Bohemia-in order to write his memoirs.