'Her knowledge of the area is put to superb use here as she describes its emergence as one of London's most elegant residential areas. More admirable still is the way in which she manages to chart the raffish careers of a mass of secondary characters, while never losing sight of the plucky, ruthless and beguiling woman who was hailed in the broadsheets, while she ruled London's nightlife as "Empress of the Vast Region of Taste, Elegance and Magnificence" ... Summers deserves a medal for restoring her to us in this captivating book' Miranda Seymour on The Empress of Pleasure
Eighteenth-century Venetian adventurer Giacomo Casanova, history's most famous seducer, talked his way into the beds of more than 200 women. Charming, brilliant and devastatingly attractive, the compulsive womaniser claimed to like and understand his conquests. But he could also be ruthless, cruel, selfish and dishonest.
Who were these women who established Casanova's extraordinary reputation? From the two sisters with whom he had his first sexual experience to the libidinous Venetian nun who defied God in order to sleep with him, from the wealthy widow he tricked out of a fortune to the love of his life, the glamorous and daring Henriette, they all have their story to tell.