A child of the theatre, a libertine and with a distinct live and let live attitude, Casanova was adept at moving amongst people who inhabited very different social worlds, whether of high status or low, whether respectable or subversive. It is this latter world, the world of the subversive, of the clandestine, which is represented by the Marquise d’Urfé and her lover Francoise. Homosexuality was abhorrent to the social norms of the time as was starkly illustrated in Paris in 1750 when two men were condemned to be burnt alive for engaging in consensual sex. Despite this, Casanova is completely at his ease with the pair (it is worth noting that the famously heterosexual Venetian had himself had several homosexual encounters).
‘Casanova in Paris: The Shadows of the King’ is freely available here.
Long form articles on Casanova’s life and times are freely available here.
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