Marie Antoinette Online
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Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2008 2:50 pm
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Post Re: Cagliostro
jimcheval wrote:
It's very telling to me that Casanova's brother wanted no part of what was going on. And I think any modern reader will be very skeptical about the "enjoyment" of a woman who has been taken off by force by a group of young men (I'd guess she was just terrified of being killed at that point.)

There is a whole other issue here of how we become fond of famous figures and are loath to judge their worst qualities for what they are (the case of a famous film director comes to mind here). And I can't deny I'm grateful to have Casanova's accounts of period history. But personally I don't find the situation in the least ambivalent (anymore than I find the anal rape of a thirteen-year-old particularly ambivalent, even if I admire her rapist's films.)

Yes, the fact that his brother didn't want to participle shows a lot. Still, Casanova appears to speak with honesty in his memoirs, as he confesses beside achievements, his humiliations and troubles. Even confident and sure of himself, I wouldn't say that he wrote purely to glorify himself. Still, considering this event, his is the only account which is subjective. As I know the woman didn't complain so there were no more reports. But the way she was taken from her escort is enough, enjoyed or not, it is very disgusting to read. At other stage in his memoirs, Casanova refuses to participate in an orgy because he feels it's disgusting. It would be a bit ironic, so maybe it can help seeing this case.

What I like about Casanova is his intelligence, sense of humor, his amazing wit... I enjoyed reading his memoirs (two parts). Still, like this incident, some confessions shocked me, as I had in my mind that romantic image of Casanova who was not just a great seducer, but who loved and respected women. In many cases he did. Still, there was a case of a girl he made pregnant and later refused to help her so her mother went to the authorities. She was serving him, her mother ran the place where he was staying. He, stating that it was her who carries the blame, had no further troubles and only gave her some cash after they both begged him. So, I agree that one should be more aware of the real nature of their crimes when judging the famous people, and I have more examples in my head then that famous one. But that would be a different topic.

I apologize silverstar, hope a moderator will place this discussions about Casanova under the different topic. I am interested in more interesting facts about Cagliostro.

If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men. St. Francis of Assisi

Fri Feb 05, 2010 11:58 pm

Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 2:19 pm
Posts: 129
Post Re: Cagliostro
we need a thread about the interesting Mr Newhouse,
(wonder if he ever met Marie Antoinette ? )

Sat Feb 06, 2010 12:12 am
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Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2008 4:10 pm
Posts: 710
Post Re: Cagliostro
According to Webster in Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette - Before the Revolution:

Joseph Balsamo was placed with monks as a young child due to the death of his father. He learned a little chemistry from them and later also studied a little medicine and botany - had a reputation for communicating with spirits and a talent for ventriloquism. But mostly he was practiced at the art of swindling - until he apparently tried to pull a fraud and when it went wrong he fled due to his life being threatened. This was how he started on his travels and it looks like he wandered around Europe for a few years. He married in Rome in 1770 and in 1776 was in London claiming to be an alchemist capable of restoring youth and enlarging stones and he swindled large amounts of money. Webster says he became a Freemason in London and also claims Cagliostro was a member of the Illumanati. This is when it looks like he changed his name. She now goes into alot about secret societies and intimates Cagliostro was part of a plot by the Freemason/Illuminati to bring down the French monarchy and the Church (?)

"The remarkable appearance Cagliostro now presented no doubt enhanced his reputation as a miracle worker. Of medium height, with an olive complexion, wide nostrils, a short thick neck and piercing prominent eyes, he took his walks abroad dressed in a coat of gray taffeta braided with gold, a scarlett embroidered waistcoat, red breeches, silk stockings flecked with gold, diamond buckles on his shoes, more diamonds and rubies flashing on his fingers and on the lace of his jabot, a triple watch-chain of diamonds from which hung a number of diamond ornaments." These diamond ornaments Cagliostro claimed to have made himself - it was suspected they were fake. It is said he had a strong hypnotic power - all this and he hasn't even met Rohan yet!

Sat Feb 06, 2010 1:00 am
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