Marie le Fel

Marie le Fel is Casanova’s actress lover. His mother was an actress and in his earliest years he was brought up a stone’s throw from the theatre where she performed. He always felt at ease in the company of actors, singers, dancers and performers. On his first visit to Paris, for example, his entrée into high society was through a contact with Sylvia Balleti, a renowned Italian actress.

Marie herself was orphaned at the age of 6 and brought up by a friend of her mother’s. Marie le Fel was not her original name; it was the name of a French opera singer she liked and she adopted it for that reason, and also because she thought it might be handy for business if people thought there was some connection. In fact, it was her name which sparked Casanova’s interest in her. He knew the real Marie le Fel and was curious about this young woman who had the temerity to steal her name.

Marie is a pragmatic, down-to-earth woman, equally unimpressed by Casanova’s vanity and boasting and Stefano’s juvenile crudities.   As much as she loves Casanova, she is under no illusion that their relationship is going to lead anywhere, as she makes clear in Part 2 of ‘The Shadows of the King’ when she negotiates with him to provide a dowry to enable her to obtain a respectable marriage partner.

‘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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