by Ian Kelly

Tarcher, $14.95, 416 pages

Like most people, when I hear the name Casanova, I automatically associate it with sex. In this book, Ian Kelly offers a more rounded look into the life of the world’s most famous lover. With a prelude, introduction, five distinct acts of his life, and a curtain call, we learn that Giacomo Casanova was more than just a great lover and diplomat. He was also an author, businessman, philosopher, spy, translator and so much more. I absolutely loved the way the author not only brought the man himself to life in the pages, but also vivid descriptions helped us see the world during his life in the eighteenth century.

Unlike most biographies that seem to center around deeper descriptions of facts that we already know about someone, Casanova: Actor, Lover, Priest, Spy is a more thoughtful look at what we need to know about the man behind the myth. Entertaining and well-written, this is a must read for historians and Casanova lovers alike.

Reviewed by Missy Wadkins