‘Casanova in Paris’ is fictional but grounded within a factual historical context. The personality and character of Casanova himself we’ve also tried to make consistent with what we know about the real Casanova who lived and breathed (as hopefully we’ve been able to illustrate through our articles, blogs and extracts from Casanova’s own writings).
Here, then, is a quick rundown of some of the historical context. Our story takes place against the backdrop of the Seven Years War when France was ruled by Louis XV and Madame de Pompadour, the latter playing an important political and economic role as well as being the king’s chief mistress. Abbé de Bernis was not only Louis XV’s chief minister at the time but had, indeed, struck up a friendship with Casanova in Venice as a consequence of a menage-a-trois (when de Bernis was the French Ambassador there) and did employ Casanova in various roles, most notably as a spy. Casanova, as described, was the first man to break out of ‘Il Piombi’ (along with Father Marino Balbi) in what was one of the most famous escapes in history, and following upon his escape arrived in Paris on the day of Robert Damiens’ failed attempt to assassinate Louis XV. Casanova was heavily involved in the creation of the Paris lottery, which was established because the French court and government was short of funds due to the cost of the Seven Years War. Brother Stefano, Giuseppe Pompeati, Marie le Fel, Paris Duverney, Madame de Boufflers, Voltaire and the Marquise d’Urfe were all real people who had met Casanova (as had Louis XV and Madame de Pompadour). Other real historical figures who are depicted and who may or may not have met Casanova include General Soubise, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Francois Duparc, the Doge and Ambassador Zon.
”‘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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