La Morte di Casanova

Today being June 4, the date of Casanova’s death, it seemed like the perfect time to post this.

Duchcov Castle, aka Dux (image from Wikipedia)

Apparently there is some controversy about Casanova’s death, that he didn’t actually die on June 4, 1798. I reached out to Pablo Gunther, Adriano Contini, Tom Vitelli, and Marco Leeflang, who all confirmed that no scholar refutes this date. Gunther writes, “Hundreds of Casanovists saw [the death certificate] and never had a doubt.” In fact, Marco wrote to me, “I know of only one book in which deaths in Dux are reported and I have seen it, holding it in my hand, and I have published it in several spots.” I have no reason to doubt him, as he worked extensively at Waldstein’s castle in Dux and with the Dux authorities when organizing C’s papers.  Tom sent this:

“Here’s what Guy Endore says about it:
‘They buried him, after a simple ceremony, in the little cemetery of Dux in back of the Saint Barbara chapel. The stupid Bohemian who wrote out the mortuary tables thus inscribed the register: Juny 4, Herr Jacob Cassaneus, Venezianer, Im 84 Jahre. His name and his age are both wrong. . . .’
Of course, there’s a difference between a document that has mistakes in it and a document that has been faked…. Objectively, there is no question that Casanova died in his room at Dux on June 4, 1798. If we were to excavate the churchyard around the Santa Barbara chapel–as Marco started doing once–we would eventually find a pile of human bones from relocated individual graves, and among them would be Casanova’s.”

Wikimedia Commons offers this picture of the death certificate entry. Apparently a previous writer confused Giacomo Casanova’s death date with his brother’s death, but we really have no reason to doubt this document. There have been questions about Casanova’s burial site, as the marker was lost years ago, and the exact site is now lost. Perhaps some people have confused the two issues.

 

Casanova_annotazione_della_morte.jpg

 

About seductivevenice

Teacher, writer, traveler, dancer, reader, photographer, gardener.
This entry was posted in Casanova, Italian heritage, Venice, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to La Morte di Casanova

  1. Valerie Ceriano says:

    Very interesting and apropos. Thanks, Kathleen.

  2. lisetta lovett says:

    Hi Just to say I like your posts . Also I have a book coming out , probably at the beginning of ’21 [ delayed because of coronavirus] , published by Pen and Sword Ltd on Casanova. After I retired I spent several years researching his memoirs for details on medical matters . The result is* Casanova’s Guide to Medicine: 18th century Mediclal Practice . *I have a website that I have recently started: http://www.casanovasmedicine.com My background is medical , so I was especially interested in harvesting medical events from the memoirs . There is a huge amuont of data there .

    all best wishes Lisetta (

    • Hi Lisetta, Please keep me posted about your book. I’m interested in checking it out. I know another researcher who did some work on the intersection of medicine and C’s memoirs. Her name is Sabine Herrmann. Did you come across her work?

  3. Nancy Schwalen says:

    I’m sure transcription errors were made regularly in those days.

    • Yes, from what I’ve read, it was fairly common in these kinds of documents. For people who read many of these, they wouldn’t see this as a “fraud” but as a commonplace error.

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