Guillaime is fundamentally a decent man. He loves his family, he is particularly close to his sisters and anticipates having a family of his own. He’s a hardworking and reliable employee who is concerned about his career. His relationship with Gabrielle perhaps goes against the official religious codes of the day but in the cynical world and double standards of metropolitan Paris he is hardly unusual. In fact, from what we know of Gabrielle and her resistance to playing the role expected of a respectable woman, it is more than likely that she is the one who took the lead in their liaison. Given how much she values her independence, there’s also not much reason to believe that Guillaime was someone she intended to settle down with.
Within this context, it becomes all the more poignant for someone like Guillaime to be preyed upon by a man like Bechard. His very decency and ordinariness makes him vulnerable to Bechard’s dark arts even to the extent of being prepared to conspire in the destruction of Gabrielle and her 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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