Much of what we know about Casanova comes from his memoir, Histoire De Ma Vie (pictured)
Born in Venice in 1725 and dismissed as a sickly imbecile during the first eight years of his life.
He defied his parents’ lack of expectation in him and rose to become an intellectual man.
Destined in his youth for a high-flown career in the church, Casanova gave it up to become a soldier, a gambler, an adventurer, a businessman, an author and a con-man – and most of all to pursue the fair sex.
He had lost his virginity at the age of 16 in the arms of two sisters who, far from being reluctant to be seduced, threw themselves at him.
At just under 6ft tall, he is believed to have been an attractive man, with swarthy skin and a mane of dark curls.
In bed, he made sure the women he made love to enjoyed themselves as much as he did, claiming that their pleasure made up four-fifths of his own.
More than two centuries after Casanova’s death, his name is still a synonym for every playboy philanderer.
He was the eldest of six children to a woman who was widowed in her mid-20s and struggled to cope with her expanding family.
He was sent on his ninth birthday to the city of Padua and never lived wit his mother again.
It is said his abandonment issues stemmed from this and laid the foundations for his womanising ways.
He was subsequently left broken-hearted by his first love, a nun known only as M.M., as Casanova named her in Histoire De Ma Vie, the memoir he wrote during his poverty-stricken old age.
Casanova fell deeply in love with M. M and became her devoted slave for two years. She, on the other hand, always put the needs of he other lover, French Ambassador François de Bernis, before his.
She would even coax Casanova into putting on a display of sexual fireworks for the benefit of the voyeur.
Desperate for love, yet unable to accept it when it was presented to him on a plate, he proved a soft touch to manipulative women. Money poured through his generous fingers into their open palms.
Trapped by poverty, he spent his last 13 years working as a librarian in a remote corner of Bohemia.
He had lost everything through his craving for women’s approval: his money, his independence, his freedom to roam and even his looks.