For more than 200 years, Giacomo Casanova has been infamous as the archetypal elegant libertine. He gained considerable fortune by living on just his wits, luck and charm, but this same decadent lifestyle almost left him destitute. Uncontrollably ruled by an insatiable desire for sex, he attracted women with his seductive charm and endless generosity, and was irresistible as a lover. He believed himself to be in love with many of the beautiful women he pursued, and unusually for his time, he often treated them as equals and remained dear friends with them long after the affairs ended. For this account of Casanova's life, Derek Parker has studied Casanova's memoirs along with other sources on his life and 18th-century European society. He reveals the true motivations and complex nature of an extraordinarily adventurous man, a legend in both his own time and ours.