Casanova - by Ian Kelly - NEW BBC Radio Audiobook - cheops
Benedict Cumberbatch reads from Ian Kelly's fascinating biography of the world's most famous lover and libertine.
Published on 26 Jun 2008.
Giacomo Casanova: one of the most beguiling and controversial individuals of his or any age. Braggart or perfect lover? Conman or genius? He made and lost fortunes, founded two state lotteries, wrote various plays, philosophical and mathematical treatises, opera libretti, poetry, and forty-two books. His 3,600 pages of memoirs recorded hundreds of meals as well, of course, as his affairs and sexual encounters with dozens of women and a handful of men and have bought him two centuries of notoriety.
Now, in CASANOVA, Ian Kelly reveals previously unpublished documents by Giacomo himself, as well as his friends and lovers, which give new insights into his life and his world. From his devotion to the Kaballah to his collaboration with Mozart on his opera Don Giovanni, from his vast appetite for food and sex to his training for priesthood, this is the fascinating story of an icon of his age and ours.
`Ian Kelly has taken on a tremendous challenge and produced a great blast of a book, packed with energy and information, marinated in sympathy and understanding, and rippling with enthusiasm right down to the final footnote.` - Telegraph
`Where others have berated Casanova for exaggeration, inaccuracy or manifest error, Kelly extends him imaginative sympathy...he does provide a surprisingly intimate sense of what Casanova was like.` - The Times
`enthralling new biography puts us right. . . It is hard to conceive of a juicier, more informative account of social and sexual mores of 18th century Europe.` - Daily Mail
Five episodes of approximately 15 minutes each.
Born into a notorious family of actors in Venice, Giacomo Casanova is never far from the stage door. His parents think the sickly, abnormally self-obsessed young boy will die young, and send him out of the city for his health. Within a few years, Casanova returns to Venice, now a tall, handsome, dashing young man, with a string of potential mistresses, and a somewhat unlikely career in the Church.
When Casanova's scandalous affair with a married woman becomes the talk of Rome, he is encouraged to leave the city. Before long the unlikely cleric is embarking upon a trip to Constantinople, where the delights of the harem lead him into uncharted waters.
Casanova inveigles himself into the lavish court of Louis XV and Madame de Pompadour at Versailles, where he immediately gains something of a reputation. After causing something of a stir, he finds himself without income or employment. He decides to return to Venice, where an affair with an enigmatic masked nun brings him to the attention of the Venetian Inquisition.
Casanova arrives in London, a city in the midst of a craze for Venetian masquerades. Using all his wit and charm, he finds himself rubbing shoulders with high society. But when he unexpectedly falls for the city's most infamous courtesan, her endless refusals drive him to distraction. He finds himself with lead weights in his pockets, contemplating the murky waters of the Thames.
Hoping to try his luck at the court of Catherine the Great, Casanova accepts an invitation to a masked Venetian ball at the Winter Palace in St Petersburg. His introduction to the Tsarina proves fruitless and he moves on to Poland, where a duel boosts his reputation. But Casanova is no longer a young man, and soon he begins to reflect on his own mortality.
Produced by Duncan Minshull.
Type : mpeg 1 layer III
Bitrate : 128
Mode : joint stereo
Frequency : 48000 Hz
Encoder : Lame 3.98
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