The character Giuseppe Pompeati is based upon a real boy of that name whose mother was an old flame of Casanova’s teenage youth called Teresa Imer. They had a brief encounter again some years later, the consequence of which was a daughter called Sophie who Teresa, now Teresa Pompeati, passed off as her husband’s. When Casanova met Giuseppe, his father had died and the family finances were in a bad way. Giuseppe was a truculent boy who Casanova took an immediate dislike to for what he judged to be his insincerity: ‘…he was of a false and deceitful nature, always on his guard, taking care of what he said, and consequently speaking only from his head and not from his heart’. Nonetheless, he was planning a scheme to swindle the Marquise D’Urfe out of even more of her wealth for which Giuseppe would come in handy and so was happy enough to take him under his wing until Teresa got back on her feet.
In the novel, as well as being an outsider like the rest of the Casanova household, Giuseppe is more likeable and streetwise than the true-life original. Without so much of the personal baggage of the other characters he adds an element of normality that, hopefully, the audience can relate to and which helps to anchor the story. That said, he does possess an uncanny ability to detect when someone is lying, a skill which is essential to the development of ‘Casanova in Paris: The Shadows of the King – part 2’. Being a teenager he also adds a generational element to the group which underpins the sense of it being a family.
‘The Prologue’, and chapters 1 and 2 of ‘Casanova in Paris: The Shadows of the King’ are now freely available here.
6 long form articles on Casanova’s life and times are freely available here.
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