If anyone is keeping track, I didn’t use the word from August all that much. I hardly thought about the word, applause, and therefore failed to stick it into my writing at any time. This month, I have set myself up to do even worse.
Well, maybe not worse, but no better. The word I picked is casino.
noun, plural casinos for 1.
1. a building or large room used for meetings, entertainment, dancing, etc., especially such a place equipped with gambling devices, gambling tables, etc.
2. (in Italy) a small country house or lodge.
3. Also, cassino. Cards. a game in which cards that are face up on the table are taken with eligible cards in the hand.
Origin of casino – 1780-1790 < Italian, equivalent to cas(a) house + -ino diminutive suffix
I thought about this word while listening to A Venetian Affair: A True Tale of Forbidden Love in the 18th Century by Andrea di Robilant. This particular story involves a direct ancestor of Mr. di Robilant, which explains how he came to have the letters used as the framework of this romantic adventure. The star-crossed lovers in this story are not teenagers nor are their families stuck in a long-time feud. They are simply the victims of circumstances beyond their control.
The word casino and the plural from the Italian, casini, is used repeatedly in the narrative. Where I live, we have many Native American-run casinos to choose from. The main attraction is, of course, the gambling. After that, it’s the great buffets and the performers who play at the venues. Our modern use of the word has nothing to do with the use in the book. As stated above, a casino is simply a small house in the countryside where a family could get out of the city heat and noise to relax and be seen by all the other fashionable people who also got out of the city.
Venice is an amazing city for historical context, research, laws, rules, and affairs of the heart. Memo and Giustiniana (pronounced Justine-yana) navigated the canals and the many pitfalls of the city-state in the mid-1700s with enthusiasm and lust. But they did not find their happily ever after.
I see on Amazon several other books by this author, looking much like this one in that personal family records were used and expanded to create an adventure. Lucia: A Venetian Life in the Age of Napoleon appeals to me as a Regency Romance writer, so it’s on my list to be sought out. I look forward to following up on the city after my first two guides have passed away. I wonder if Lucia is a relation to one of them?
Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Sunday.