One character who is central to the narrative but makes only a fleeting appearance early on in part one of ‘Casanova in Paris’ is Louis XV.  It is the attempted assassination of Louis that does much to set the ball rolling and, later, the attempt to make Gabrielle one of his courtesans which intensifies her own predicament.  The king of France was an absolute monarch, i.e., in theory, he was appointed by God and the entire authority of the state resided in his person.  He was entirely above the law.  He was the gravitational force that set everything else in motion.  This, however, had a profound unintended consequence.  Because there was no constitutional check upon his power and he could condemn any man or woman on a personal whim, those around him were desperate to please.  Louis, of course, knew this which made him immensely distrustful and suspicious, to the extent that he employed his own private spy network.  His court was a place of suffocating fear, paranoia and ambition as different factions looked to curry favour at the expense of their rivals: men like De Bernis and Bechard.  It is in this toxic atmosphere that the ‘Casanova in Paris’ takes place.

 

‘Casanova in Paris: The Shadows of the King’ is freely available here.

27 long form articles on Casanova’s life and times are freely available here.

 

#characterisation #character #storytelling #louisxv #absolutism #paranoia