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Leone Leoni
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In the early nineteenth century, Juliette Ruyter, a beautiful young Belgian, and her protector, the noble Spaniard Aleo Bustamante, have arrived in Venice just before carnival. The mystery of their union is not clear, until Bustamante mentions that the notorious Leone Leoni is in Venice with his wealthy playmates. At news of this Juliette starts with shock, and her trembling reaction brings their troubles to the fore. Bustamante finally persuades her to tell him the whole story of her progress of ruin and degradation at the hands of one of the most infamous and charming scoundrels of his time. Will telling the story finally expiate Juliette's unhealthy obsession? Can she really evade a relationship that sometimes seems to her ordained by God, sometimes cursed by the Devil? This astonishing novel tells of innocence trapped by debauchery in a dazzling round of intrigue, impersonation and emotional deception. It casts itself across Europe in an intricate web of rumour and aspersion, at the centre of which lies the key question: exactly how genuine is Leoni's vaunted passion for Juliette? Leone Leoni was first published in 1835.
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