Color portrait of the Italian writer and libertine Giacomo Casanova.

Giacomo Casanova

(1725 - 1798)

While serving as a librarian in Bohemia, Giacomo Casanova wrote in the preface to his autobiography, “I begin by informing my reader that for everything good or bad that I have done throughout my life, I am certain I have always earned due approbation or reproof, and must therefore consider myself a free man.” In addition to the libertine escapades for which he is best known, he was imprisoned for practicing magic in Venice in 1755, fought a duel with a Polish count in 1766, and spied for the Venetian government in the early 1770s.

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