Venezia: Appresso Modesto Fenzo, 1782. 8vo. 152 x 108 mm., (6 x 4 ¼ inches). [ii], xxiv, 244 pp. Bound in contemporary paste paper board, paper spine; soiled and showing some wear, but an attractive copy.
First edition. This rare novel by Casanova was based on the original publication of Claudine Alexandrine Guérin de Tencin (1682-1749) under the title Le Siege du Calais printed in 1739. The original novel tells the story of the English siege of Calais in 1346 when King Edward III successful took the coastal city, which remained in English hands for over 200 years. Madame Tencin, whose most famous publication was her Memoires, had strong relations with the English nobility and it may have been the motivation behind the publication of this work. Casanova changed the setting to Venice and highlighted the heroics as a Venetian triumph, in order to sell copies to the Italian public.
Casanova’s motivation was clear. He was in the need of money to repay the loses that occurred with the failure of his periodical Opuscoli miscellanei. An explanation of his goal is made public in an “Aviso a Signori Associati agli Opuscoli Miscellanei, which appears as a cancel leaf after the title-page.
Both NUC and OCLC cites copies at Harvard, Yale. Item #86