I began volume ten of Giacomo Casanova’s twelve-volume memoir. That means I have a pretty good idea of who he was and what he wrote, seeing as I’ve read these books in sequential order over the past three years. The difference between the Casanova myth and the real man  is a wider chasm than you might’ve imagined.
Myth: Casanova is the world’s greatest seducer, a charmer with legendary skills who glided gracefully through the aristocracy of 18th Century Europe, bedding the highest value women of the era.
Reality: Casanova was a weaselly mealy-mouthed hypocrite, child molester, homosexual bottom, swindler, whore-monger who paid for most of his lays.
There is nothing at all to admire about this man, bar his dedication to writing about his sordid life in such great detail. But that life itself was unremarkable except for its depravity. He wasn’t really a seducer, he was a libertine. Casanova was full-rabbit and addicted to hedonism. He was also unscrupulous about how to achieve his fixes. Perhaps worst of all, he took real pleasure in trying to ruin broke-ass young girls who hadn’t even finished puberty.
Let me just show you three passages from chapter one of volume ten. This is just one chapter! These events all occur while he’s 38 years old and living in London. First, he hears of a woman from Hanover who is under house arrest with a bailiff and about to be sent to debtors prison. She has five daughters, the youngest of whom is 15 (Gabrielle), and they are reduced to grinding poverty. Casanova goes into the house and suggests he’ll pay the mother twenty guineas for each girl for sex. This exchange follows.
The girls refuse so Casanova lets them stew and the mother is arrested the following day and thrown into prison. Finally, the oldest sister (22yr old) comes into his room and lies still for fifteen minutes while Casanova bangs her. With the twenty guineas he pays her, she gets her mum released from prison the next day. Casanova then bangs each girl in turn for twenty guineas a time, right on down to the youngest. Like every other sleazy predator, he writes the story as if three of the girls were falling in love with him.
In the middle of this chapter, he has lunch with his illegitimate daughter Sophie who is in boarding school. She brings her friend. In the previous volume he was crushing on all her friends, from eleven year olds upwards. Here’s what he says about her bestie.
As if that’s not loathsome enough, here is how he feels about his daughter. Not his step-daughter  but his own flesh and blood:
This is all in Casanova’s own words. It’s not some enemy slandering him. In this one chapter alone he has pressured a desperate mother into prostituting all of daughters, at least one of whom was still a kid, then molested his daughter’s thirteen-year-old best friend, and then fantasised about fucking his own pre-pubescent daughter. In one chapter!
Anyone who tells you they admire Casanova is either a bullshitter who has never read him, or a sleazy degenerate who needs to be hanged from the nearest lamppost.
If you’d like to read an equally long but far better memoir both in writing ability and real-world achievement, consider my own Nick Krauser memoir that begins with Balls Deep, available in a handsome full-colour edition on Amazon here.
 As he writes in his own words. Let’s just assume he’s not LARPing
 Not that it would be acceptable either