Giacomo Casanova: Smooth Talking Charmer or Misunderstood Intellectual?

Venetian Giacomo Casanova was an Italian adventurer and author famous for his often complicated and elaborate afffairs with women, earning him a reputation as a womaniser that still remains centuries later. Yet he was so much more than that.

According to the Smithsonian Magazine, “His many achievements would put the likes of Hugh Hefner to shame”.

“He hobnobbed with Voltaire, Catherine the Great, Benjamin Franklin and probably Mozart; survived as a gambler, an astrologer and spy; translated The Iliad into his Venetian dialect; and wrote a science fiction novel, a proto-feminist pamphlet and a range of mathematical treatises. He was also one of history’s great travellers, crisscrossing Europe from Madrid to Moscow”.

“And yet he wrote his legendary memoir, the innocuously named Story of My Life, in his penniless old age, while working as a librarian at the obscure Castle Dux, in the mountains of Bohemia in the modern-day Czech Republic”. (1)

When he died, Casanova had no idea whether his memoir would even be published. In fact, when it finally did emerge in 1821 in a heavily censored version, it was denounced from the pulpit and placed on the Vatican’s Index of Prohibited Books. Oom-ah!

The miracle of Casanova’s manuscript lies in its tale of survival over the centuries and its escape from destruction in World War II.

Casanova’s erotic memoir was originally bequeathed on his deathbed to a nephew in 1798, whose descendants later went on to sell it to a German publisher that kept it under lock and key for nearly 140 years, only releasing pirated and mistranslated extracts.

In 1943 an Allied bomb landed on the publishers office, yet it miraculously survived. The family secreted it by bicycle across Leipzig and placed the precious manuscript in a bank security vault. When the U.S. Army occupied the city in 1945, even Winston Churchill inquired after its fate. Reunited with its owners, the first uncensored edition was published in 1960 in French, during a time of major sexual revolution.

Now housed in the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris, this reverence and treatment of his manuscript as a sacred relic would have made Casanova roll over in his grave and do a little happy dance. Often dismissed as a frivolous sexual adventurer, a cad and a wastrel, his hilarious, provocative, philosophical and (still) shocking memoir provides an amazing window into authentic 18th century life.

“Apart from the more than 120 notorious love affairs with countesses, milkmaids and nuns which take up about a third of the book, the memoir includes escapes, duels, swindles, stagecoach journeys, arrests and meetings with royals, gamblers and mountebanks”, explains the Smithsonian Magazine. (1) 

Even in today’s modern thinking world some extracts still raise eyebrows, especially the pursuit of very young girls and an interlude of incest. Attitudes towards these behaviours were tolerated quite differently in the 18th century!

“He would have been surprised to discover that he is remembered first as a great lover,” says Tom Vitelli, a leading American Casanovist. “Sex was part of his story, it was incidental to his real literary aims. He only presented his love life because it gave a window onto human nature.”

SIX INTERESTING TIT BITS ABOUT CASANOVA

Mostly identified as a famous lover who romanced women all over Europe in the 18th century, Casanova was also a revolutionary thinker, food-writer, kaballist shaman, and bisexual traveller. Below are some interesting insights into this remarkable man’s life by author of ‘Casanova’ by Ian Kelly.

  • Casanova was a dedicated food writer and in his epic memoirs, he spent almost as much prose on recalling his meals as his lovers.
  • Casanova collaborated with Da Ponte on the libretto for Mozart’s Don Giovanni.
  • Casanova’s promiscuity may not be all that remarkable: over the course of his life, he averaged ‘only’ 3 sexual partners a year. It is his manner of writing about sex that was revolutionary.
  • In his own time, Casanova was never famous as a womanizer. This aspect of Casanova’s story is posthumous, the result of the 12 volumes of memoirs found after his death.
  • Casanova was bisexual and began his career in Venice as a sort of upmarket rent boy.
  • Casanova was a devoted disciple of the Kaballah – a craze amongst 18th century urban elites as it has become again in the early 21st century.

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Sources 

1. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/who-was-casanova-160003650/?no-ist

2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giacomo_Casanova

Early Bird Valentines Day Specials & Promotions

Tick tock! The countdown is on to the most romantic day of the year. Where women await with hopeful anticipation that a secret admirer or their sweetheart will shower them with roses, and men blush when a single rose stem arrives for them at the office (even more so when more than one arrives, ahem!)

Romance aside, if you want to save some dollars or have a chance to win our awesome $600 Valentine’s dinner at Sydney’s famous Aria restaurant, you have until 30 JANUARY 2015 to make the most of our early bird Valentine offers*!

*Please note these offers apply to Sydney Valentine’s flower delivery only.

CLASSIC ROMANCE

ONE DOZEN RED ROSES: Only $99 delivered (Save $20.50!)

Usually $109.50 plus $10 delivery, this classic Valentine’s gift of one dozen long stemmed red roses are exquisitely presented in our signature gift box. Order by 30th January for Valentine’s flower delivery – Shop Now.

classic red roses for valentines day

ORCHID LOVE

PHALAENOPSIS ORCHID PLANT & FREE CHOCOLATE: From $77

Our divine phalaenopsis orchid plants in a neutral stone-look pot come in single and double stem price options and include a complimentary 85g box of decadent Chocolatier chocolates. Available in white, pale pink and deep pink/magenta, this Valentine’s gift is one that will last for weeks and is excellent value. Order by 30th January for Valentine’s Day to make the most of this special promotion – Shop now. 

orchid plant for valentines

WIN A $600 VALENTINE DINNER AT ARIA

A ONE IN TEN CHANCE TO WIN!

Wow your lover this Valentines Day with 24 long stemmed ruby red roses nestled in our signature gift box and accompanied by a quality bottle of Moet & Chandon champagne (valued at $258 plus $10 delivery). Not only do you receive a free box of Chocolatier treats with your gift, the first ten to order will go into the draw to win an amazing Valentines Day dinner at Sydney’s fine dining Aria restaurant worth $600. That’s a 1 in 10 chance to win! Shop now.

Two Dozen Red, Moet, Chocolate

THE PROPOSAL

A DOZEN WHITE ROSES $99.00: Receive $200 bridal flower credit!

Planning to propose to your sweetheart this Valentines Day? Here’s a little something to sweeten the deal – send one dozen long stemmed pure white roses in our signature gift box for $99 plus $10 delivery, and receive a $200 credit* towards your bridal flowers with our exclusive bridal division, Brides in Bloom (*based on a minimum $1000 wedding flower order). Shop now.

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LOVE DE SOLEIL!

EXOTIC ORCHIDS FOR $119.00: Receive free Sydney delivery

Looking for something a little different to wow your lover this Valentines Day? Our vase of exotic, jewel-toned orchids and lush tropical foliage should do just that. Order by 30th January for Valentines Day delivery and receive free Sydney delivery! Shop now.

gorgeous valentine flowers

ONE LOVE

SINGLE STEM RED ROSE: Only $39.50 plus delivery (save $5.50!)

A simple, understated declaration of love and affection – the single red rose stem. Order this long stemmed ruby red rose presented in our signature gift box by 30th January for Valentines Day and save! Shop now.

Single Rose

PARIS RED ROSES

A SWEET POT OF RED ROSES $99.00: Receive free Sydney delivery

Send a slice of Paris this Valentines Day with our chic arrangement of rich red roses and seasonal berries in a cute rustic white pot. Order by 30th January for Valentines Day and receive free Sydney delivery. Shop now. 

paris red roses

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Send Valentine’s Day Flowers and Win!

Order Valentine’s Day flowers from our gorgeous Organic Love 2015 Floral Collection to be delivered in Sydney and you will automatically go into the draw to win the most amazing, romantic Valentine’s gift valued at over $1000!

The lucky recipient of our Ultimate Valentine`s Gift will receive a Sydney Seaplanes ‘Fly & Dine’ package for two to the famous Jonah’s at Whale Beach.

Enjoy a magic day out with a Sydney Seaplane flight along Sydney’s Northern Beaches to Palm Beach, followed by a 3-course lunch overlooking Whale Beach at Jonah’s restaurant.*

Terrace Jonah's

Perched high on the edge of a cliff, enjoying dramatic views of Whale Beach and the sprawling Pacific Ocean, Jonah’s at Whale Beach is one of Australia’s most prestigious ocean retreats. Departing Sydney Harbour late morning, your seaplane flight tracks north past Sydney’s spectacular Northern Beaches before touching down in the expansive waterway of Pittwater. Jonah’s courtesy vehicle will meet you at the dock and transfer you to the restaurant. Jonah’s offers contemporary Australian cuisine combining the best and freshest local produce. You will be as impressed with the food as with the restaurant’s 180 degree views of the Pacific Ocean. After lunch, enjoy a glorious afternoon seaplane flight back to Rose Bay, encompassing a Sydney Harbour circuit over the Harbour Bridge and Opera House.

*Package does not include beverages.

Not a bad incentive to send Valentine’s Day flowers hmmm? The prize is valid for use up until 13 December 2015 (subject to availability), and is fully transferable if for some reason you were unable to use it yourself.

Our lucky winner will be notified by email and on Facebook by close of business on Friday 13 February (AM). That way you will not only have a Valentine’s flower delivery, but an extra fabulous surprise to really wow your partner with!

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Terms & Conditions

  • To qualify for automatic entry an order must be placed online, in-store or via the phone for flowers to be sent in Sydney for Valentine’s Day.
  • Entry cut off is 12pm 13th February 2015.
  • Prize will be drawn prior by 4pm by a Flowers for Everyone staff member at head office, Unit 2, 1-15 Wentworth Rd North, Homebush, NSW, 2140 (Ph: 1800 66 66 46).
  • Prize winner will be announced before C.O.B. on the 13th February via email/mobile and winner promoted on Company Facebook and Google Plus pages.
  • A gift voucher from Sydney Seaplanes/Jonah’s Restaurant will be delivered to winner post announcement (alternatively winner can arrange to pick up personally from one of our stores).
  • There is no minimum age requirement for entry. The prize is for two people, is fully transferrable and valid for use up until 13 December 2015 (subject to availability).
  • Entrants are not required to be at the drawing of the prize.
  • Package includes flight from Rose Bay to the Pittwater where a Jonah’s vehicle will transfer winners to the restaurant for lunch (package does not include beverages). After lunch the seaplane will return the winners back to Rose Bay (total value $1070).

NSW TPL No: LTPS/15/00360

 

Romance: Five Ways to Win a Girl’s Heart

Females might seem like complicated creatures, but at the heart of it, there are some very simple (and in many cases free) ways to win a girl’s affection in those early courting days.

Bring a Gift on your First Date

This could be a posy of flowers or a little gift of sweets that you’ve heard her mention she has a particular weakness for. Most girls find that quite thoughtful and charming! Florists are used to these kind of requests and will know exactly what to suggest.

Giving a girl flowers on a date

Open the Car Door

Whether it’s the taxi or your own car, most girls will find this old fashioned act to be thoughtful and endearing, no matter how ‘modern’ they may come across. Offering your coat if they are cold is also a winner too.

Make a Point of Turning off your Phone

Phones and romance don’t go together. There is nothing worse than someone checking their phone out of the corner of their eye or texting in the middle of a date. Turn it off and let your date know they have your full attention. If they don’t show the same respect back then maybe that will be your last date? 🙂

Couple on a date

The Follow Up

Now it’s ok to pull out your phone. If you genuinely feel the date went well, send a text or email the next day to say what a great time you had. A girl likes to know where she stands one way or another, even if it turns out she isn’t as enthusiastic to continue seeing you!

Cook a Meal

Whether you are a master chef or the King of Tuna Surprise, there are few women out there who don’t appreciate a guy cooking for them. And if that seems far too daunting, buying some pre-made gourmet snacks to take on a picnic is a winner too.

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Weird Flowers of the World

Weird flowers. Whacky flowers. Crazy wonderful flowers. From Hooker Lips to Darth Vader masks, we have covered off some of the most unusual, rare and exotic flowers in the world….

Titan Arum (Amorphophallus titanium)

This phallic flower looks like something from the planet Pandora… Due to its foul odour (reminiscent of the smell of a decomposing mammal) it is characterised as a carrion flower, also known as the corpse flower. I think we’ll leave this stinking beauty to the rainforests!

Weird flowers

Darth Vader (Aristolochia salvador platensis)

Native to Brazil, this sinister looking flower is so rare very little is known about it. Could make an interesting buttonhole for a Star Wars themed wedding?!?!

Weird flowers

Happy Alien (Calceolaria Uniflora)

You can almost imagine this flower coming out with a Mork-like ‘nanoo nanoo’….The Happy Alien, also known as Darwin’s Slipper Flower, is from Tierra del Fuego in the southern region of South America. I wonder what an Unhappy Alien plant would look like?

weird flower
weird flower

Laughing Bumble Bee Orchid (Ophrys bomybliflora)

Now if the Laughing Bumble Bee Orchid liked alpine conditions I am sure it would become best mates with The Happy Alien. What is particularly awesome about this orchid, is that it reproduces by pseudocopulation. A very long word that basically means the flowers lure amorous male insects into pollinating them by mimicking female insects. If there were a Golden Logie Award for plants, the Laughing Bumble Bee would be sure to receive one!

weird flower

Swaddled Babies (Anguloa Uniflora)

Hailing from the Colombian Andes, this rather unusual plant features complex flowers that at a certain stage of opening look uncannily like a swaddled baby. They also happen to be overwhelmingly fragrant (in a good way, not in a baby nappy way)!

weird flower

Hooker’s Lips (Psychotria Elata)

This plant hails from the rainforests of Central and South America. The red lips are not actually the flower, but are waxy bracts, or a specialised leaf. A decade ago trekking through the jungle in Ecuador I remember local kids camping it up with the lips for a laugh. Nowadays, these plants are under threat in their native rainforest habitat due to deforestation and an increase in popularity with plant collectors. (9)

weird flower

Snap Dragon Seed Pod (Antirrhinum)

Snapdragons are such pretty cottage garden flowers. But after their pretty little heads are pollinated, you’re left with dried seed pods that resemble weird shrunken old skulls. You can understand why ancient cultures believed these seed pods held supernatural powers to protect against sorcery, witchcraft and curses. At one time they were even thought to contain anti-aging powers if women ate them. Dried snapdragon seed pod skull anyone? Maybe this is the missing ingredient in all our expensive skin lotions?
weird flower
snapdragons

Monkey Face Orchid (Dracula Simia)

Hmmm, not hard to work out why this orchid got the name Monkey Face! A very rare flower only growing in the mountainous regions of Ecuador, Colombia and Peru, the ‘Dracula simia’ hints at the resemblance between its two long spurs and the fangs of Bram Stoker’s famous vampire count, and the second meaning ‘monkey’ in Latin. Now what is rather funny about this cheeky little monkey orchid, is that it smells a lot like a ripe fruit. Banana you ask? Well ironically no. A ripe orange. Go figure.
weird flower

Naked Man Orchid (Orchi Italica)

A Mediterranean native, this orchid looks like any other orchid at first glance. But take a closer look and you will see that each individual flower looks uncannily like a naked man in all his birthday glory. Many plants that resemble body parts and organs have been used since Roman times for healing, and the naked man orchid is no exception, with its edible flower being used as a treatment for male virility and an aphrodisiac.

Its tuberous root is also particularly nutritious and can be made into a flour similar to arrowroot, known as salep, used predominantly in Turkey in desserts and beverages. Its popularity however, has caused the orchid to become a victim of its own success. Wild plants have been collected for centuries and because there is not enough sustainably grown production there has been a considerable decline in the wild orchid populations. It now has a ‘threatened status’ making it illegal to harvest wild plants or to export true salep powder. (13)

weird flower
weird flower
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