A Portrait of the Kabbalist as a Young Man: Count Joseph Carl Emmanuel Waldstein and His Retinue

My “old” Oxford chum, a real scholar, has just had this paper published — 10 years in the making! Jewish Quarterly Review, Volume 106, Number 4, Fall 2016. The intro to the piece as follows:

IN 2009, WHILE GATHERING MATERIALS for a book on Frankism, I made a pilgrimage to the grave of the famous adventurer Giacomo Casanova. My interest in Casanova was triggered by my discovery of his correspondence with Eve, the daughter of the Jewish heresiarch Jacob Frank. A single letter from this correspondence appears in a forlorn Italian publication curated by Carlo L. Curiel, Gustavo Gugitz, and Aldo Rava` in 1930, but the epistolary collection has never been discussed systematically by Casanova researchers. With one exception, it has gone unmentioned as well by the scholars of Frankism. While reading works by and about Casanova, I learned that he had had numerous contacts with Jews, including with some who were kabbalists. I was also told— wrongly as it turned out—that copies of Casanova’s literary estate remain intact at the location where he labored over his memoir and died, the Chateau of Duchcov (Dux) in Bohemia. I suspected that the estate might contain unpublished materials germane to the subject of my research.

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