“THE EMBODIMENT OF EUROPE AT ITS SPLENDID, DECADENT PEAK”: SIGNED EDITION OF MASTER’S BIOGRAPHY OF CASANOVA, HANDSOMELY BOUND
MASTERS, John. Casanova. London: Michael Joseph/Arcadia Press, 1970. Large square octavo, contemporary full purple morocco, front cover with pictorial design in gilt with red and blue morocco onlays, raised bands, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. Housed in custom cloth slipcase.
Deluxe signed limited edition of this richly illustrated biography, number 184 of only 265 copies signed by the author and specially bound by Zaehnsdorf for the Arcadia Press.
“His name has passed into our language as a synonym for ‘great lover’; and so he was, but he was also a devout Catholic and a superstitious astrologer; a low-life scoundrel and a fearful snob; a skeptical Freemason and a servant of the Establishment; an ingenious adventurer and an excellent writer. In a life that alternated between extravagant ostentation and abject penury he met and conversed with Voltaire, Rousseau, Franklin, Catherine the Great, George III, Frederick the Great, and two popes. He was generous, mean, vindictive, proud, fawning, honest, lying, brilliant, stupid, unstable; and for most of his life his profession can most simply be described as Confidence Trickster Extraordinary” (Prologue). Richly illustrated, with many plates in color. First published 1969.