The Empress of Pleasure: The Life and Adventures of Teresa Cornelys - Queen of Masquerades and Casanova's Lover by Judith Summers

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Outrageous, ingenious and indomitable, Teresa Cornelys was a unique figure in 18th-century Europe whose private life and professional dealings scandalized society. A Venetian opera singer and adventuress, she arrived in England in 1759, leaving a trail of debts and lovers across Europe. She was 36 years old, destitute and the mother of Casanova's child. Within months, she had acquired one of the finest mansions in London's West End - Carlisle House, Soho Square - where she successfully launched the capital's first night club. For two decades her extravagant concerts, balls and masquerades were frequented by royalty, aristocrats and politicians. She defied conventional morality, the law, the limitations of her sex, and even old age.

Viking, 2003.
ISBN: 9780670912582. 338 pp.
Hardcover. Very good in a very good jacket.