Casanova's memoirs bought for 6m pounds by Bibliothhque Nationale de France

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London, Feb 19 (ANI): The memoirs of Giacomo Casanova, who is known as the world's greatest lover, is said to have been bought by the Bibliothhque Nationale de France for 6 million pounds.

Casanova's 'Histoire de ma vie' (Story of My Life), one of the literary treasures of the 18th century, was bought from the Brockhaus publishing firm in Germany, which had owned it since 1821.

An anonymous "financial enterprise" provided most of the money for the National Library of France to buy the 3,700 pages, after two years of negotiations.

Fridiric Mitterrand, the Culture Minister, who signed the deal, described it as one of the most spectacular acquisitions ever made by a French library.

Casanova made a hurried escape from Paris in 1760 after earning the wrath of eminent subjects of Louis XV for seducing their wives and daughters and cheating them of money.

The tale of the manuscript's survival was almost as colourful as the 73-year life of the gambler, swindler, diplomat and impenitent libertine who died in exile in Bohemia in 1798.

Bowdlerised, pirated versions were published across Europe from the early 19th century, mainly focusing on Casanova's amorous exploits with 120 women and girls, including a nun.

"As for women, I have always found that the one I was in love with smelled good, and the more copious her sweat the sweeter I found it," Times Online quoted a line Casanova had written.

The original book lay hidden in German vaults and was thought to have been destroyed in the bombing of Dresden in 1945 but it survived in a vault.

It was first published in 1960 but has only been consulted since by a handful of scholars.

Bruno Racine, head of the national library, said that the collection was in numbered boxes that include other works.

According to Le Monde newspaper, they contain many erasures but under them names can often be read.

Casanova edited out names, inserting initials, and cut some of his more lurid exploits when he prepared his papers for possible publication.

The memoirs offer one of the most sensitively observed accounts of life in Europe's great cities.

In Paris, for example, Casanova, a part-time alchemist, hobnobbed with the likes of Madame de Pompadour and Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

Casanova's adventures read like action movies, with sex scenes, narrow escapes, duels, carriage chases and scams. He writes that he is offering a full honest account.

"Worthy or not, my life is my subject, and my subject is my life," he had stated. (ANI)

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