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THE CHEVALIER D’EON AND HIS WORLDS

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The Chevalier D’Eon
and his Worlds
Gender, Espionage and Politics
in the Eighteenth Century

Edited by
Simon Burrows, Jonathan Conlin,
Russell Goulbourne and Valerie Mainz
Continuum UK, The Tower Building, 11 York Road, London SE1 7NX
Continuum US, 80 Maiden Lane, Suite 704, New York, NY 10038

www.continuumbooks.com

Copyright © Simon Burrows, Jonathan Conlin, Russell Goulbourne


and Valerie Mainz 2010

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted


in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying,
recording or any information storage or retrieval system, without prior permission
from the publishers.

First published 2010

British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data


A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

ISBN 978-0-82642-278-1

Typeset by Pindar NZ, Auckland, New Zealand


Printed and bound by MPG Books Ltd, Cornwall, Great Britain
Contents

Illustrations vii
Preface ix
Acknowledgements xiii
Introduction 1
Simon Burrows, Jonathan Conlin, Russell Goulbourne, Valerie Mainz

Career and Politics 1762–1785


1 The Chevalier d’Eon, Media Manipulation and the Making of an
Eighteenth-Century Celebrity 13
Simon Burrows
2 On the Art of Diplomacy and the Art of Describing Diplomacy:
The Chevalier d’Eon and British Political Life at the End of the
Seven Years’ War 25
Edmond Dziembowski
3 ‘Faire le Wilkes’: the Chevalier d’Eon and the Wilkites, 1762–1775 45
Jonathan Conlin
4 Beaumarchais and d’Eon: What an Affair 57
Donald C. Spinelli
5 D’Eon and Tonnerre, 1779–1784 73
Elisabeth Chaussin

Gender and Representation


6 A ‘monster of metamorphosis’: Reassessing the Chevalier/Chevalière
d’Eon’s Change of Gender 81
Stephen Brogan
7 Dressing d’Eon 97
Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell
8 The Chevalier d’Eon and his Several Identities 113
Valerie Mainz
9 La Vie militaire, politique et privée de Melle d’Eon (1779):
Biography and the Art of Manipulation 133
Anne-Marie Mercier-Faivre
10 Identity, Gender, Genre and Truth in The Maiden of Tonnerre:
The Vicissitudes of the Chevalier and Chevalière d’Eon 147
Marilyn Morris

Heroes and Heroines


11 The Myth of the Amazons in the Eighteenth Century and the
Legend of the Chevalier d’Eon 161
Alexandre Stroev
12 Transvestite Traditions and Narrative Discontinuities: d’Eon
and the abbé de Choisy 177
Joseph Harris
13 The Chevalier d’Eon, Rousseau and New Ideas of Gender, Sex
and the Self in the Late Eighteenth Century 187
Anna Clark
14 Louvet’s Les Amours du Chevalier de Faublas: Sexual, Political
and Textual Imbroglios 201
Simon Davies
15 An Eighteenth-Century French Commonwealthman?
Exploring the Context of the Chevalier d’Eon’s Translation of
Marchamont Nedham’s The Excellencie of a Free State 215
Rachel Hammersley
A Note on the d’Eon Archive in the Brotherton Collection,
Leeds University Library 229
Chris Sheppard
Afterword
D’Eon: Christian, Woman and Autobiographer 233
Gary Kates
Index 241
Illustrations

6.1 Victor-Marie Picot after Charles Jean Robineau, The Assault, or Fencing
Match, which took place between/Mademoiselle La Chevalière D’EON
DE BEAUMONT and Monsieur DE SAINT GEORGE on the 9th of April
1787./At Carlton House, in the presence of His Royal Highness, Several of
the Nobility, and many eminent Fencing Masters of London, mezzotint,
17 cm × 19 cm, 1789, University of Leeds, Brotherton Collection.
6.2 George Dance, Charles Geneviève Louise Auguste André Timothée
Chevalier d’Eon, drawing, graphite with grey wash and watercolour,
25.6 cm × 19.2 cm, 1793, London, British Museum, Prints and Drawings,
© The Trustees of the British Museum.
6.3 Anon, Mademoiselle de Beaumont, or the/Chevalier D’Eon/Female Minister
Plenipo. Captain of Dragoons Etc. Etc., etching, 14 cm × 10.2 cm, from the
London Magazine of September 1777, xlvi, p. 443, University of Leeds,
Brotherton Collection.
7.1 Anon, Casque à la Minerve ou la Dragone, engraving, hand-tinted
gouache, 29.5 cm × 23.8 cm, from the Galerie des Modes, Rapilly, 1776,
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Costume Council Fund, Photograph
©2009 Museum Associates/LACMA
7.2 Bodice, skirt and overskirt said to have belonged to the Chevalier d’Eon, silk
taffeta lined with white linen, lace, ribbons, c. 1779, Tonnerre Museum,
inv. 1991, fiche 449, gift of Madame Coeurderoy.
7.3 Francis Haward after Angelica Kauffmann from a painting by Latour,
Carola-Genovefa-Louisa-Augusta-Andrea-Timothea-D’Eon de Beaumont,
stipple engraving, 18 cm × 11 cm, 1788, University of Leeds, Brotherton
Collection.
8.1 Anon, The Chevalier d’___ producing his Evidence against certain Persons,
etching, 9.5 cm × 15 cm, from the Oxford Magazine, London, 3, November
1769, p. 184, London, British Museum, Prints and Drawings, © The
Trustees of the British Museum British Museum.
8.2 Anon, The Trial of M. D’Eon by a Jury of Matrons, etching, 9 cm × 17 cm,
from the Town and Country Magazine, 15, June 1771, University of Leeds,
Brotherton Collection.
8.3 Anon, La Découverte ou la Femme Franc-Maçon, mezzotint, 32.5 cm
× 24.5 cm, London, S. Hooper, 1771, University of Leeds, Brotherton
Collection.
8.4 Anon, Enlevement de Mlle d’Eon, etching, early proof, 16.5 cm × 23 cm,
1771, University of Leeds, Brotherton Collection.
8.5 Anon, No.3 The Nuptuals of Miss Epicæne d’Eon, etching, 19.5 cm × 25.5 cm,
1771, University of Leeds, Brotherton Collection.
8.6 Anon, Hail! Thou Production most uncommon/Woman half-man and man
half-Woman, etching, frontispiece to An Epistle from Mademoiselle d’Eon
to the Right Honorable Lord Mansfield – On his Determination in regard
to her Sex, London, M. Smith, 1778, © British Library Board. All Rights
Reserved 1562/290.
8.7 Anon, St George & The Dragon and Madlle d’Eon riposting, etching, 26 cm
× 34 cm, 1789, University of Leeds, Brotherton Collection.
9.1 After Jean-Baptiste Bradel, A La Chevaliere d’Eon, frontispiece engraving
to La Vie militaire, politique et privée de Melle d’Eon, 1779, University of
Leeds, Brotherton Collection.
11.1 Anon, Charles Genovefa Louisa Augusta Andrea Timothea D’Eon de
Beaumont./Knight of the Royal & military order of St. Louis. Captain
of Dragoons. Aide de Camp to the Marechal Duke de Broglio;/Minister
Plenipotentiary from France to the King of Great Britain, mezzotint,
37 cm × 28 cm, 1773, London, S. Hooper, University of Leeds, Brotherton
Collection.
Preface
Griselda Pollock

‘Charles-Geneviève-Louis-Auguste-André-Timothée d’Eon de Beaumont (5 October


1728–21 May 1810), usually known as the Chevalier d’Eon, was a French diplomat, spy,
soldier and Freemason who lived the first half of his life as a man and the second half
as a woman.’ Thus, does the entry in Wikipedia succinctly present the subject/topic of
this important new collection of scholarly papers that aim to bring historical depth and
analytical rigour to a racy story. A famous Dragoon and fencer of considerable skill, a
member of the secret service of Louis XV charged with sensitive diplomatic missions to
Russia and Great Britain, the Chevalier d’Eon’s gender became the topic of a wager in
fashionable London in the early 1770s. Although the issue was never tested and proven,
the Chevalier chose to/was obliged to dress as a woman and lived and wrote as a woman
throughout the rest of her life, even offering to form a battalion of women to fight in the
post-Revolutionary wars. How can we make sense of this archive, this story, this episode?
Is it a matter for historians, political theorists, art historians, costume historians, or
biographers of his spiritual quest and right to decide a gender?1 Or can such a complex
case only be grasped through the many lenses of each of these specializations?
This collection of papers on the fascinating, challenging and perplexing figure of the
Chevalier d’Eon is, therefore, an exemplary transdisciplinary project. Transdisciplinary
is not identical with interdisciplinary. There is no intention to mix and match different
approaches in the hope of creating a third way. Instead, the aim is to present something
more akin to seeing a scene through a kaleidoscope. A single object of study – an eight-
eenth-century French, transgendering, international diplomat and spy, a master-fencer,
and author of both spiritual reflections and political autobiographies – is examined
from as many different angles and perspectives as the complexity of his/her life, work,
representations by self and by others, political affiliations and contexts, friendships and
intellectual competitions, intersections with pre-Revolutionary international relations
and political theory demands. The Chevalier d’Eon presents the assembled array of
historians, literary specialists, costume historians, art historians, local and regional his-
torians, political theorists, and biographers with challenges to each of their disciplinary
modes of analysis because the ‘case’ defies any one scholar or discipline. What can we
know about this extraordinary historical figure unless we bring together the techniques
and methods of every one of these disciplines into whose field of expertise this historical
archive intervenes? Thus, the transdisciplinary is the experience of expanded knowledge
and multi-focal understanding gained by the reader, who is offered here a range of
detailed, disciplinary analyses of the varied aspects of a historical person and his/her
intriguing, politically charged and visually fascinating moment.
This superb collection was initiated by the convergence of an historian, an art
x P R E FA C E

historian and a French studies scholar, all with specializations in the history and culture
of eighteenth-century Britain and France. This took place at the University of Leeds
where, for reasons as curious as the case itself, and probably linked to the fact the
Chevalier was a Freemason, an archive of papers and images relating to the Chevalier
d’Eon had been deposited in the founding Special Collections of the Brotherton Library.2
Scholars interested in this case were obliged to come to Leeds to do their research. Thus,
it made sense for the University of Leeds to initiate an expanded study of the resources
on its doorstep by soliciting work on the Chevalier from a wide range of international
scholars, with the ambition of critically analyzing not only a fascinating episode from
eighteenth-century British/French relations and pre-Revolutionary political culture, but
also an historical case study full of resonances for contemporary queer and transgender
studies. D’Eon’s change of gender identity not only leads scholars to investigate his/her
own writings on self, gender and identity, which are shaped in late-eighteenth-century
modes of spiritual autobiography and theories of gender, but also demands visual analy-
sis of the prints, paintings and cartoons that this extraordinary personal transformation
inspired and troubled. While historians may draw on contemporary visual imagery as
supplementary evidence or as documentation, the art historian analyzes the semiotic
and visual conventions used in each different system of representation, from engraved
portraiture to political cartooning, each tradition in turn also being shaped by local and
national histories of image-making and political/aesthetic vocabularies. The images need
to be read as themselves specific sites for the articulation of the meanings of bodies,
genders, national and political identities.
D’Eon’s place in French regional history is as important as the part that such an
educated, travelled and literary figure played in international relations and the shifting
terms of British and French political discourse. Thus, papers in this volume defy the
tendencies in historical as well as cultural studies to remain within national boundaries
or to distinguish between local and national histories. D’Eon’s involvement in diplomatic
affairs also led him to Russia, and this international dimension can be tracked through
his work. As part of the history of his natal town of Tonnerre, in France, the complex
history of a cross-dressed or transgender member of a secret service who later welcomed
the Revolutionary overthrow of the regime for which he had worked, becomes a canvas
on which to plot out new aspects of both late eighteenth century society and contempo-
rary explorations of gender and sexuality on the one hand, and gender as an imaginary
identity, conventionally as well as imaginatively constructed across intersecting worlds
of intimacies, secrets and intrigues as well as public debate, diplomacy, war, military
training, courts and costume.
This collection of readings, studies, interpretations, debates and investigations does
not come to a single conclusion about who or what the Chevalier d’Eon was. Instead,
this group of international scholars and archivists seek to examine the complexities
of history through the interplay of distinctive and diverse disciplinary expertise, each
analyzing in depth one aspect of the multi-faceted figure whose interest and significance
lies precisely in his/her role in instigating questions that defy easy answers and breach
disciplinary boundaries. Far from fostering prurient curiosity about a scandalous
case, the collection makes subjectivity, politics, soldiering, spying, writing, theorizing,
celebrity-seeking, gender, power, and self-fashioning come into play on an international
historical stage, linking the political and intellectual ferment of the pre-Revolutionary
eighteenth-century in Britain and France with other trends in cultural-historical
examination of the relation between individual subjectivities and their fields of action
and self-realization.
P R E FA C E xi

This project was initially sponsored by the transdisciplinary initiative of the Centre
for Cultural Analysis, Theory and History, then supported by the Arts and Humanities
Research Council, to which acknowledgement must be made for enabling the lively
encounters and debates of which this excellent collection of transdisciplinary scholarly
work is the considered product.

Notes
1 Gary Kates, Monsieur D’Eon Is a Woman: A Tale of Political Intrigue and Sexual Masquerade (New York:
Basic Books, 1995).
2 I am indebted to Chris Shepherd of the Special Collections of the Brotherton Library for this suggestion
as to how Lord Brotherton, when buying materials for the library he was creating for his scholarly niece,
made the decision to acquire this collection of materials.
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Acknowledgements

The editors would like to thank all those whose assistance, advice, financial and mate-
rial help, contributions or encouragement made possible the present volume and the
conference at Leeds in April 2006 at which many of its chapters were first presented
as papers.
In particular, we would like to thank Griselda Pollock and the AHRC Research
Centre for Cultural Analysis, Theory and History (Centre CATH) at the University of
Leeds for providing vision, drive, funding and administrative support for the Chevalier
d’Eon conference. We must also acknowledge the organizational contribution of Josine
Opmeer and Rosalind McKever in ensuring that the conference ran smoothly.
We are grateful, too, to Ben Hayes and his colleagues at Continuum books for their
help and support in the production of this book.
In addition, we would like to acknowledge the generous financial support from the
Royal Historical Society and from the School of Fine Art, School of History, School
of Modern Languages and Cultures, Centre for Gender Studies, and the Brotherton
Library at the University of Leeds. The Brotherton Library is also to be thanked for
kindly agreeing to waive reproduction fees for the many images that it supplied for
this book.
However, the most pleasurable sponsorship came in the form of a donation of
144 bottles of award-winning Chevalier d’Eon wine by Eric and Emmanuel Dampt
of Vignobles Dampt at Collan on the Tonnerre-Chablis border. It is difficult to think
of a more appropriate contribution. After all, d’Eon himself used imported Tonnerre
wines to forge enduring friendships with the British nobility, and the wines they sent
likewise helped to cement many deep friendships and lasting cultural links. These
included a new relationship between Leeds and d’Eon’s home town of Tonnerre, which
was represented at the conference by a municipal delegation. We would therefore like to
acknowledge the interest, input, encouragement and reciprocal hospitality of Raymond
Hardy, at that time mayor of Tonnerre; his deputy, Frédéric Billy; Marie-Christine
Beccavin of the Bibliothéque municipale de Tonnerre; Laurent Hardy; Christine
Rolland; Elisabeth Chaussin; and Philippe Luyt, as a representative of d’Eon’s wider
family. We hope that they and all other conference delegates are satisfied by the result of
our endeavours.
We are also grateful to all our contributors, and particularly Chris Sheppard, who
has worked tirelessly with the editors on behalf of the Brotherton Library, and Gary
Kates, who encouraged the project from the start and proved so very generous with
his time and resources, receptive to new ideas, and genuinely excited by papers that
revised aspects of his own work.
xiv ACKNOWLED GEMENTS

Finally, we would like to note our gratitude to Margaret Coutts, University Librarian
at Leeds, Professor Simon Dixon and Dr Mark Curran.

Simon Burrows, Jonathan Conlin,


Russell Goulbourne and Valerie Mainz
May 2009.
Introduction
Simon Burrows, Jonathan Conlin,
Russell Goulbourne, Valerie Mainz

Cross-dressing author, envoy, soldier and spy, Charles d’Eon de Beaumont’s unusual
career fascinated his contemporaries and continues to attract historians, novelists,
playwrights, filmmakers, image makers, cultural theorists and those concerned with
manifestations of the extraordinary. D’Eon’s significance as a historical figure was already
being debated more than 45 years before his death. In 1763, a hostile writer predicted
that d’Eon’s memory would be associated with dishonour and scandal for both himself
and France:

‘Il outrage la France jusques dans les siècles à venir.’ . . . Le Livre du Plenipotentiare [i.e. d’Eon’s
Lettres, mémoires et négociations] sera un monument éternel de la division des Ministres
François . . . Les Historiens diront que son administration étoit mauvaise . . . que dans cette
Cour tout étoit livré à la cabale et à la prévention. Les Annales d’Angleterre citeront ces endroits,
pour . . . le Tableau de la France sous le règne de Louis XV. C’est ainsi que le plus petit mortel
déshonore souvent un grand Etat, et le flétrit jusques dans la dernière posterité.

[‘He outrages France right up to centuries to come.’ . . . The book of the Plenipotentiary will
be an eternal monument to the division of French ministers . . . Historians will say that its
administration was bad . . . that in that Court everything was given up to faction and prejudice.
The Annals of England will cite those places for . . . the picture of France under the reign of
Louis XV. This is how the smallest of mortals often dishonours a great State, and blackens it
for the whole of posterity.]1

This prediction proved erroneous, for the event that has most fixed the attention of
contemporaries and historians on d’Eon was his subsequent unique mid-career gender
change in the 1770s. Unsurprisingly, this has been a subject for intense speculation, often
to the exclusion of other aspects of his life and achievements as a scholar, diplomat,
soldier, duellist, feminist thinker, publicist and secret agent. Hence, most scholars have
seen him as a marginal and exceptional individual, and made little attempt to assess
d’Eon’s historical and cultural significance. The essays in this collection contribute to
d’Eon’s rehabilitation as a figure worthy of scholarly attention and display a variety of
disciplinary approaches. They offer significant new insights into d’Eon’s life and times,
and give nuanced readings of how a gender identity could come to be negotiated
over time.
The problem of reaching a realistic assessment has been compounded by the mystery
and myth that surround d’Eon as a historical figure. Much of it was encouraged by the
Chevalier himself, in a series of heavily fictionalized autobiographical accounts.2 These
2 SIMON BURROWS ET AL.

self-justificatory narratives attempted to explain how d’Eon was born a woman but had
lived the first half of his life as a (highly successful) man. In fact, this was the opposite
of the truth: d’Eon was really a man who in the mid-1770s took on a female persona,
thereby bringing his political career to a close.
Many of d’Eon’s fabrications – for example, the story of how he first dressed as a
woman, Lia de Beaumont, on a diplomatic mission to Russia in order to befriend the
Empress Elizabeth, are repeated in recent popular historical accounts.3 Other tales were
invented in the nineteenth century, particularly by the historian Frédéric Gaillardet, to
try to explain his gender transformation. A native of d’Eon’s home town of Tonnerre,
Gaillardet suggested that d’Eon dressed as a woman primarily in order to seduce other
men’s wives and daughters.4 This assumption was lent some credibility by the memoirs
of another famous early modern cross-dresser, the abbé de Choisy, which contain a
catalogue of amourous exploits.5 Gaillardet nonetheless pushed his claims to extremes.
Under his pen, d’Eon became the lover of George III’s Queen, Charlotte of Mecklenberg-
Strelitz, and sired George IV. As the dates of Charlotte’s marriage (8 September 1761),
d’Eon’s arrival in Britain (September 1762) and Prince George’s birth (12 August 1762)
made such a thing impossible, Gaillardet’s account suggests that d’Eon travelled to
England in December 1761 during a lull in fighting in the Seven Years’ War, and had a
secret interview with Queen Charlotte during which the Prince of Wales was conceived.
Despite Gaillardet’s later admission that he fabricated much of his evidence, the story
has been repeated persistently down to the present day.6
Not surprisingly, such sensational material has attracted the attention of enthusiasts,
scholars and litterateurs to ‘the strange case of the chevalier d’Eon’.7 He has also attracted
the attention of psychologists and sexologists, and for most of the last century his gender
transformation has been viewed through a Freudian lens. His cross-dressing, it was
usually assumed, must have a psychosexual explanation. Until the second half of the
twentieth century the terms ‘Eonist’ and ‘Eonism’ were the standard English words for
transvestites and transvestism respectively, but ‘Eonism’ was also, thanks to Havelock
Ellis, widely regarded as a psychological condition or compulsion.8 However, in the
mid-twentieth century, new ideas about gender-identity disorders led to d’Eon being
redefined not as a transvestite, but a transsexual – a person who considers their sex to
have been ‘misassigned’.9
In his 1995 study Monsieur d’Eon is a Woman: A Tale of Political Intrigue and Sexual
Masquerade, Gary Kates suggested a radically different interpretation of d’Eon’s case,
that seemed better geared to the known facts. Drawing on an untapped collection of
d’Eon’s autobiographical manuscripts and papers in the Brotherton Library in Leeds,
Kates suggested that d’Eon’s gender change had little to do with sexuality and everything
to do with politics. He presented evidence to suggest that d’Eon himself was responsible
for the first rumours that he was really a woman, and showed that they began to circulate
at a time when he was marginalized politically, troubled by debts and feared enemies in
high places, some of whom, d’Eon believed, wished to kill or kidnap him.
Using a sale catalogue of d’Eon’s library, Kates also revealed that d’Eon possessed
numerous books on the nature of women: indeed his collection of this so-called querelle
des femmes literature was the largest in any known private library of the period. D’Eon
had clearly read this literature for, among the manuscripts in the Brotherton Library,
Kates found a number of unpublished manuscripts in d’Eon’s hand which could only
be described as Christian feminist writings.10 These provided a further key to d’Eon’s
gender transformation, for they suggested that d’Eon came to view the adoption of a
female persona as a means of moral regeneration, leaving behind the corrupt world of
INTRODUCTION 3

male politics. From a ‘bad boy’ he had been transformed into a ‘good girl’.11 He then
went on to explore the rich implications of d’Eon’s gender change and the ease with
which he had been able to manipulate contemporary perceptions of himself.
Kates’ multi-layered analysis opened up rich possibilities for further study of d’Eon
and the worlds in which he operated, exploring, among other things, eighteenth-century
perceptions of gender; early feminist literature; his use of the media to reinvent himself;
d’Eon’s political links, both in France and in British radical circles; his gendered theol-
ogy; factional conspiracy and espionage in Louis XV’s France; the shadowy worlds of
underground pamphleteering and London’s French refugee community. His interpreta-
tion thus has been of considerable heuristic value to other scholars, as well as offering
a new interpretation of d’Eon himself.
In the wake of Kates’ work, d’Eon could no longer be dismissed as ‘a strange case’,
nor pathologized as a psychological condition. Instead, he emerged as a serious,
autonomous political actor, worthy of attention in his own right, but also a means by
which scholars could explore many facets of eighteenth-century life and culture. In
the decade following the publication of Kates’ book, several scholars explored d’Eon
in these wider contexts.12 Alexandre Stroev presented him as one of many ‘aventuriers
des lumières’ and Simon Burrows depicts him as a leading Grub Street pamphleteer and
political blackmailer.13 Anna Clark has used the Wilkes and d’Eon affairs as a vehicle
to examine changing views of manhood and citizenship,14 while Dror Wahrman used
d’Eon as a case study to support his challenging contention that the later eighteenth
century witnessed the development of modern perceptions of the self.15 This renewal
of interest inspired an academic conference at Leeds University in April 2006 under the
aegis of the AHRC Research Centre CATH, in which scholars and d’Eon enthusiasts,
including a delegation from d’Eon’s home town of Tonnerre, came together to discuss
d’Eon’s career, image and significance. Many of the chapters in this book are revised
versions of papers given at the conference, and several of them attempt to revise aspects
of Gary Kates’ original thesis.
From that conference it became apparent that the myth of d’Eon exists in the various
guises of visual representation alongside those culled from the texts of history, literature
and autobiography. Through the media of pictures, prints and paintings, constructions
of d’Eon can appear to be deeply embedded within past times whilst also continuing to
offer up significant material for contemporary cultural discourse and analysis. Since the
1770s, changing representations of d’Eon have been widely used to articulate societal
concerns about the nature of identity, gender and nationality, and they continue to
inspire reflections on these issues.
The essays in this collection are divided into three main sections, dealing with
d’Eon’s career and politics, gender and representation, and heroes and heroines. These
are followed by a note by Chris Sheppard on the provenance of d’Eon’s papers and a
conclusion by Gary Kates, which reflects further on the implications of new research
for our understanding of d’Eon and the thesis he advanced in his landmark study.

***

Charles de Beaumont was born on 5 October 1728 in Tonnerre, a small town approxi-
mately 100 miles southeast of Paris. His parentage, though noble, was relatively humble.
The Beaumonts were big fish in the small pond of the Tonnerrois, supplying mayors and
supervising their vineyards and estates, and they looked likely to remain so. A preco-
cious youth, d’Eon quickly distinguished himself by his scholarly aptitude, moving to
4 SIMON BURROWS ET AL.

Paris to attend the Collège Mazarin, followed by legal studies at the Collège de Quatre
Nations and admission to the Paris Parlement at the unusually young age of 19. His
first, rather dry publications, his Essai historique sur les différentes situations de la France
par rapport aux finances sous le règne de Louis XIV (1753) and Mémoires pour servir à
l’histoire générale des finances (1760) appeared in these years.
Application and brains were not enough to secure advancement in the rigidly hier-
archical society of ancien régime France. Charles needed patronage. Family connections
provided a start, helping secure him an appointment as secretary to the Intendant of
Paris, Bertier de Sauvigny. D’Eon gave complimentary copies of his publications to
leading nobles, drawing the attention of Directeur de la librairie Malesherbes, who
appointed him to the post of royal censor in 1758. This gave d’Eon more opportunities
to hone his style, as did shorter pieces for periodicals.
D’Eon went on to secure an appointment as secretary to Alexander Mackenzie, the
Chevalier Douglas, a Scottish Jacobite in French service sent on a diplomatic mission
to the Russian court. Once arrived at court in St Petersburg, d’Eon had to navigate the
troubled waters of international diplomacy in the attempt to improve French relations
with the rising northern power. France’s hope of detaching Russia from her alliance with
England proved unsuccessful. For ‘our little d’Eon’, there was plenty of opportunity to
show his capabilities.
Douglas’ mission to Russia had a second, covert aim, which cut across the declared
one of seeking a new ally. King Louis XV was becoming increasingly concerned at the
military successes of his talented cousin, the Prince de Conti. Although there is little
evidence to support later claims that Conti considered mounting a coup, the King was
nonetheless eager to find a stage for Conti’s talents at a safe distance from France.16
Working closely with his confidant, the Comte de Broglie, he mobilized le Secret du Roi,
a secret network of French agents in Poland, Russia and elsewhere to connive at Conti’s
election as King of Poland.17 Among them was d’Eon, acting in a double capacity long
before there was any question of his sex. Working for the King’s Secret arguably encour-
aged d’Eon’s tendency to show impatience or even indifference towards his nominal
superiors. As an agent he was working for the King, not his ministers.
D’Eon was keen to see action in the Seven Years’ War with Prussia and England, which
had broken out in 1756. His chance came in May 1761, when Minister of War Choiseul
agreed to appoint him to a cavalry regiment. He quickly transferred to a dragoon unit
in the regiment d’Autichamp, closer to the front, and saw action at Villinghausen. At
skirmishes at Ulstrop, Einbeck and Osterwick later in 1761 he showed conspicuous
bravery under fire, rescuing munitions from enemy capture and taking several hundred
prisoners. His service was brief, however, and ended early the following year with his
appointment as secretary to peace envoy, the Duc de Nivernais. In the years that fol-
lowed, d’Eon was rarely seen outside his distinctive dragoon uniform, which he shed
only with the greatest reluctance.
D’Eon’s appointment as secretary to Nivernais was in some ways a surprise given
his Russian expertise but the King’s Secret had now turned its attention to Britain, so it
accorded with d’Eon’s position as secret agent. Besides his public role, d’Eon also arrived
in London carrying a secret order, signed by Louis XV, to investigate possible routes
for invading Britain. D’Eon’s impact on the negotiations of the 1763 Peace of Paris was
less significant than he would later claim, yet he once again distinguished himself by his
remarkable diligence, slaving away at despatches for up to fifteen hours a day. He was
accorded the great, extraordinary honour of carrying the ratified treaty to Paris at King
George III’s behest in February 1763. On his return to London, Nivernais decorated
INTRODUCTION 5

him with the cross of the royal and military order of Saint-Louis, which raised d’Eon
to the rank of ‘Chevalier’. This honour remained with d’Eon for the rest of his life – the
cross of St Louis was the only male embellishment he continued to wear after adopting
female dress in 1777. With peace concluded, Nivernais returned to France, and d’Eon
was accorded the rank of Minister Plenipotentiary until the arrival of the new ambas-
sador, the Comte de Guerchy. Even before Guerchy reached London, he and d’Eon were
at loggerheads over money. Once the ambassador arrived, the dispute escalated rapidly
as d’Eon defied orders to hand over his papers to the new ambassador and ignored
letters of recall. Thereafter the affair degenerated into a mud-slinging pamphleteering
battle that led, in due course, to both d’Eon and Guerchy facing criminal charges before
British courts.
D’Eon and Guerchy’s paths had crossed before, on the battlefield, in circumstances
which led the former to question the latter’s courage as an officer. Court politics also
played a role: Guerchy’s appointment was due to his links to the Choiseul-Praslin faction,
which Louis XV’s mistress the Marquise de Pompadour had successfully championed;
d’Eon clung to the disgraced Broglie clan. The way in which the Broglie-operated Secret
du Roi had survived this ministerial change naturally caused confusion and concern to
Pompadour and her favourites, who may initially have targeted d’Eon in order to flush
out the king’s clandestine espionage machine and its political allies.
By publishing a large quarto volume, the Lettres, mémoires et négociations in March
1764, however, d’Eon shifted the dispute up a gear.18 Larded with the laboured puns,
biblical and classical analogies and self-important posturing that characterized his later
works, the Lettres gave chapter and verse on d’Eon’s financial claims. They included
copies of ministerial correspondence that managed to be excruciatingly embarrassing
for Guerchy and Praslin, while holding back the genuinely sensitive material in his
possession. The book nonetheless enjoyed a succès de scandale on both sides of the
Channel. The British ambassador at Versailles was lending it out by the hour.19 D’Eon
had broken all the rules of polite and professional discretion. Although the British
government refused an extradition request, d’Eon was stripped of his rights to appear at
George III’s court. Guerchy was recalled to France in 1767 and died shortly afterwards.
With characteristic doggedness, death did not discourage d’Eon from publishing a final
pamphlet against him.
Louis XV’s death in 1774 would, one might have thought, have marked the end of
the Secret. In practice it survived in a somewhat ghostly form, and the 1763 plan for
revenge on Britain would eventually bear fruit in the secret arming of the rebel American
colonies. Remarkably, considering the scandals he had caused, Broglie and Louis XV
decided that it was best to keep d’Eon in London, even with all the compromising
papers he still held, rather than buying him off. D’Eon’s obstinacy helped here, as he
turned down repeated offers to return, scuppering several promising negotiations by his
petulant insistence that debts dating back to his Russian service be paid, with interest.
Although Louis XV did grant him a pension of twelve thousand livres in 1766, this was
fitfully paid and repeatedly suspended. The years between 1765 and d’Eon’s return to
France in 1777 thus represent an extended pas de deux between d’Eon on the one hand
and Broglie and the French King on the other.
During this period d’Eon’s closest English friend was Admiral Shirley, the 5th Earl of
Ferrers, who gave him the run of the library and estate at Staunton Harold, a pleasant
retreat in which to write Les Loisirs du Chevalier d’Eon.20 This series began appearing
in 1770, and eventually extended to 13 volumes, covering finance, history and political
theory. Staunton Harold also offered a convenient bolt-hole when rumours began
6 SIMON BURROWS ET AL.

circulating that he was a woman. The first documented rumours date to October and
December 1770. In London the Macaroni fad with its over-accessorized fops and
effeminate manners was just beginning, and so the question of d’Eon’s gender quickly
became the focus of fierce betting, which often took the form of life-insurance policies.
By late March 1771 d’Eon was frequenting the coffee houses where stock-jobbers met,
challenging anyone who bet on his sex to a duel. Such antics had the opposite effect of
silencing speculation, which continued until 1777 when, having heard perjurous but
uncontested evidence in a case concerning wagers on d’Eon’s sex, a jury concluded that
d’Eon was indeed a woman.
French Foreign Minister Vergennes had tasked Beaumarchais with picking up the
tangled skein of negotiations for d’Eon’s return. Vergennes was almost certainly not
fooled, but went along with Beaumarchais’ convenient fiction that d’Eon was in fact
a woman. For one thing it made it impossible for d’Eon to insist on one of his many
demands – that he have his audience de congé (farewell audience) with George III,
something a woman could never do without throwing ridicule on both monarchs. The
‘Transaction’, a document d’Eon signed on 4 November 1775, laid down the conditions
for his return to France.21
The most surprising of the conditions laid down in the ‘Transaction’ was that d’Eon
was to ‘re-adopt’ women’s clothing, accepting that he had in fact been a woman all along,
and not to wear his treasured Cross of Saint-Louis whilst at Versailles or Paris. Given
that tales of d’Eon adopting women’s dress in Versailles or in Russia in the 1750s are
now untenable, this transformation is indeed remarkable. Although d’Eon was presented
to Louis XVI at Versailles in 1777, otherwise he seems to have adopted female attire
reluctantly. His motivations for accepting this fiction were probably political in nature.
As a woman he was far less likely to become the victim of kidnap or assassination
by government agents, or Guerchy’s relations, who had not forgotten his role in the
Ambassador’s recall and death.
The transformation thus served Vergennes and d’Eon. The former could rest assured
that any revelations d’Eon now made would not be credited; the latter came – eventu-
ally – to appreciate the celebrity this transformation brought him. Although he spent
the next eight years an exile back in Tonnerre, and was refused permission to return to
London in 1778, he still enjoyed the freedom to play the notable in his home town.
When he finally secured permission to return to London in 1785 in order to rescue
his possessions from being sold to cover debts owed to his landlord, it was en femme.
He remained in female attire even after the fall of the French monarchy absolved him
of any residual loyalty to Louis XVI or his predecessor. It also robbed him of his pen-
sion, forcing him to sell off some of his impressive library in 1791, followed by other
possessions in 1792. He nonetheless came out in support of the revolutionary cause in
1792, offering to lead a regiment of Amazons in the war against Austria and Prussia.
His sympathy with the new republic faded however, following the execution of the
king in January 1793. D’Eon now capitalized on his combination of fencing skill and
female dress to display himself in theatres in London and later tour the country with
the actress and female fencer Mrs Bateman and the Chevalier de Saint George. This
career as performer was cut short in 1796, due to an injury d’Eon accidentally sustained
during a show at Southampton.
By this point d’Eon had already been obliged to quit his capacious lodgings under-
neath a wine merchant in Brewer Street and move into lodgings with Mrs Mary Cole,
a native Frenchwoman and widow of a British Navy engineer. In 1805 he secured an
advance from a publisher for his Memoirs, which he prepared, yet never published.
INTRODUCTION 7

The temper of the times had changed markedly since the Macaroni 1770s, and ‘he-she
things’ such as d’Eon were now the object of confusion or disgust rather than innocent
wonder and bemusement. Female clothing did not protect him from several months’
imprisonment for debt in 1804, from which he was released only at the price of selling
his Cross of Saint-Louis. D’Eon’s horizons, which had once encompassed the globe,
were now confined to a single room at 26 New Milman Street. Here d’Eon spent years
writing and rewriting the story of his, or rather her, life, shuffling reams of newspaper
clippings and in many cases amending original letters and documents to fit her fictional
story, a salvation-seeking pilgrim’s progress from ‘bad boy’ to ‘good girl’. D’Eon died
peacefully on 21 May 1810. The mystery of his male anatomy was now discovered and
rigorously documented.

***

The first set of essays in this collection deals with d’Eon’s career and politics in the period
spanning 1762–1785, when d’Eon enjoyed his greatest public prominence. D’Eon’s
activities have important implications for our understanding of Anglo-French political
culture. Following on from Gary Kates’ observations that the Chevalier d’Eon’s gender
transformation was effected for political rather than sexual reasons, Simon Burrows
considers the Chevalier d’Eon’s dispute with the Comte de Guerchy in 1763–64 to show
how the Chevalier d’Eon used the press to fabricate evidence and mould his public
identity. Guerchy’s alleged plot to poison the Chevalier d’Eon in October 1763 was
the kind of incident that brought the French government and its agents into disrepute,
reinforcing images of France as a despotism and Britain as a land of liberty. Edmond
Dziembowski’s examination of d’Eon’s correspondence with his paymasters in Paris
during 1762–3, when d’Eon was at the zenith of his diplomatic career, illuminates both
how d’Eon shaped the intelligence he supplied to suit his own agenda, and how French
politicians and diplomats interpreted and responded to British politics. It reveals how
difficult they found it to understand the new style of politics pioneered by Pitt the Elder,
which fascinated and terrified them by turns.
D’Eon himself was to exploit British political methods shortly afterwards in his
struggles with Guerchy, and later on behalf of the French government. Jonathan Conlin
examines how the Chevalier used Wilkite weapons of legal challenge, pamphlets and
mob violence to cause public embarrassment to Guerchy. In his writings of this period,
d’Eon promotes a pre-modern patriot politics in which pluralist political mediations
are criticized in the name of a classical model of traditional participatory citizenship,
founded on ideas of Republican virtue and the undistorted voice of the people. The
Chevalier d’Eon’s relationship with the playwright Beaumarchais is the subject of
an essay by Donald C. Spinelli. Whilst he was negotiating terms for d’Eon’s return
to France, rumours spread in London that d’Eon was a woman. Spinelli shows how
Beaumarchais capitalized on these rumours to advance and enrich himself at d’Eon’s
expense, coercing him into female dress. Finally, in Elisabeth Chaussin’s essay on
d’Eon’s activities during his stay in Tonnerre between 1779 and 1785, we encounter
d’Eon the builder, agriculturalist and local notable who succeeded in maintaining the
fiction of his femininity among and in cooperation with a community who shared the
secret of his gender. The town’s archives are mined to provide fresh information about
the Chevalier d’Eon’s background and behaviour during this period when, dressed as
a woman, he carried off the performance of his life while juggling the roles of woman
and minor nobleman.
8 SIMON BURROWS ET AL.

An underlying theme of the section on gender and representation is the veracity or


otherwise of the historical evidence that has accrued to the figure of d’Eon. Both visual
and verbal materials indicate that notoriety was, to an extent, fostered by d’Eon, although
a self-fashioned cult of celebrity might, as now, backfire. In the eyes of contemporar-
ies, Stephen Brogan observes, d’Eon appeared to be a masculine woman. Drawing on
gender theorists such as Judith Butler and English portraits and caricatures of the 1790s,
Brogan examines how the Chevalier d’Eon changed his costume but failed ‘to feminise
himself emotionally or behaviourally’. Indeed, the change of costume may actually have
reinforced his masculinity.
As the central defining fact of the Chevalier d’Eon’s transformation was his costume,
this section continues with a piece on ‘Dressing d’Eon’ by Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell.
Through an examination of eighteenth-century fashion history she throws important
light on the contents of the Chevalier d’Eon’s wardrobe. Her revelations that d’Eon was
purchasing female undergarments and accessories in the early 1770s, strongly suggest
that he was experimenting in secret with cross-dressing at an earlier point than previ-
ously thought. She proposes that in accepting a female identity, d’Eon was able to avoid
the stigma associated with transvestism.
Valerie Mainz discusses caricatures and visual images of the Chevalier d’Eon
produced in England during the 1770s. Besides the obvious interest in cross-gendered
clothing, these satires follow on from the inventions of Hogarth and present the French
man sometimes as an effeminate aristocrat, sometimes as a treacherous and duplicitous
diplomat, sometimes as a Freemason hoaxer. Much more directly than grand manner
history painting, caricatures belonged to a more subversive culture of celebrity that was
liable to backfire on those who entered the public domain.
D’Eon may well have found biography a more conducive medium through which
to assert his female identity than dress or visual appearance, as Anne-Marie Mercier-
Faivre shows in a detailed study of d’Eon’s ghost-written La Vie militaire, politique et
privée de Mademoiselle Charles, Geneviève, Louise, Auguste, Andrée, Thimotée Eon ou
d’Eon de Beaumont, first published in 1779 and nominally attributed to la Fortelle. She
sees it as borrowing features from two divergent genres – traditional hagiography and
the newly emergent genre of vies privées. La Vie militaire therefore presents its author
as ‘une pionnier dans l’intrication du biographique et du politique’ [a pioneer in the
commingling of biography with politics]. Marilyn Morris continues the theme of hybrid
genres while considering another work unquestionably by d’Eon, his autobiographical
La Pucelle de Tonnerre: Les Vicissitudes du Chevalier et du Chevalière d’Eon, which
remained unpublished for almost 200 years after his death.22 Morris argues that this work
interpolates the genres of protestant spiritual autobiography and mémoires scandaleuses
and prefigures a third – the transsexual narrative. In contrast to Kates, she believes that
this work undoubtedly belongs in the ‘transsexual canon’, and that transsexuality should
be considered a valid concept even when applied to a period in which clinical gender
reassignment was medically impossible. Approaching d’Eon’s gender transformation
in terms of premodern gender dysphoria rather than current clinical definitions of
transsexuality, she also considers the cases of other eighteenth-century gender outlaws
such as Lord John Hervey, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and Charlotte Charke.
The final section, entitled ‘Heroes and Heroines’ considers mythical, historical,
philosophical and literary figures with which d’Eon chose to associate himself, or has
been associated. Alexandre Stroev examines how the Enlightenment used the myth of
the Amazons to pour derision on effeminate men and women, to formulate feminist
demands and advance new social principles. D’Eon regularly compared himself to an
INTRODUCTION 9

Amazon, drawing on a myth already associated with Russia and in particular with
the empress Catherine II. In the second essay in the section, Joseph Harris treats the
phenomenon of French cross-dressing in the early modern period, by examining the
two most celebrated cross-dressing narratives of the era, d’Eon’s autobiographical
writings and those of the abbé de Choisy. He argues that both Choisy and d’Eon sought
to ‘revalorize femininity’ as better than its male counterpart, and suggests that cross-
dressing is best understood as an activity with its own history rather than as a series of
transgressions of established rules and conventions. There were nonetheless important
divergences between the two cases: Choisy’s cross-dressing was aesthetic and sexually
predatory; d’Eon’s was ethical and spiritually regenerative. Whereas Choisy dressed up
to be a bad boy, d’Eon sought to be a good girl.
Anna Clark documents the evolution of d’Eon’s relationship with another renowned
exile and troublemaker: Jean-Jacques Rousseau. The philosopher’s autobiographical
writings provided role-models for d’Eon’s self-fashioning, firstly as anti-courtier and
man of nature, then as master of his own passions and finally as a ‘unique self ’. Yet
d’Eon’s fashioning of his female self challenged the misogyny often imputed to the
philosopher and his novels, resisting slavish dependency on the Rousseauian hero(ine).
Simon Davies’ essay goes further, showing how d’Eon’s interaction with contemporary
authors and their fictional creations could be a two-way process. Davies highlights many
fascinating parallels with the cross-dressing hero of the sentimental novel Les Amours
de Faublas, suggesting that real events in d’Eon’s colourful career may have inspired
fictional accounts. Finally, Rachel Hammersley throws light on the production of d’Eon’s
translation of a seventeenth-century English political tract, The Excellencie of a Free State.
Teasing out links to several other fellow-travellers of the republican Commonwealth
tradition, she places d’Eon among an intriguing cohort of thinkers, active on both sides
of the Channel. They included men who would inspire Revolutions across the Atlantic
world, notably Thomas Hollis and Jean-Paul Marat.
D’Eon’s endless rewriting of his own history and doctoring of his personal archive has
made it necessary for scholars to wrestle with their subject, and to pay especial attention
to the provenance of the images and manuscript sources on which they work. Chris
Sheppard’s study of the background to the most important collection of d’Eon papers,
held at the Brotherton Library, University of Leeds, is especially timely, therefore. It
identifies Freemasonry as the thread linking Lord Brotherton and his librarian with
the Chevalier. The complex readings that d’Eon’s palimpsestuous nature demands
might be considered a source of frustration to those foolhardy enough to tackle him.
The afterword by d’Eon’s biographer Gary Kates suggests otherwise, describing the
exhilaration he experienced when first uncovering the richness of the Leeds archive.
Here he pauses to reminisce, but also to reflect on the dramatic resurgence of scholarly
and public interest in this figure. Kates’ engagement in particular continues to draw
attention to the unique combination of feminism and salvationist theology that d’Eon
brought to bear in his later autobiographical writings.
Taken as a whole, this collection allows us to draw a number of conclusions. Close
attention to the ways in which d’Eon was perceived in Britain reveals the complexities
of eighteenth-century British attitudes towards France and the French. While some cari-
catures and satires on d’Eon reinforce stereotypes of the French ‘other’, much newspaper
commentary was supportive of d’Eon and far from xenophobic in character. Britons from
well beyond the political elite were capable of distinguishing between opposing sides in
French political battles, and identifying with groups whose struggles, political values
and interests appeared to parallel their own. Although he was French, the London mob
10 SIMON BURROWS ET AL.

lionized d’Eon. If, in fact, the political cultures of Britain and France diverged rapidly in
the 25 years before the French revolution, this was not fully visible to contemporaries,
particularly on the French side. Even after long exposure, Gallic statesmen and diplomats
struggled to grasp the realities of the new British politics, which was taking on a more
popular complexion. The similarities between Britain and France were often sufficient to
make them miss or misunderstand key differences. Only by embracing a more complex
and less fundamentally oppositional model of British attitudes to the French and vice
versa can we explain d’Eon’s career and the milieux in which he operated. Similar caution
is required as we turn to the question of his gender transformation.
Modern transgender studies have suggested that the transition from one sex to the
other can be accomplished as quickly and totally as flicking on a light switch, extinguish-
ing past gender identities. The findings presented here, however, suggest that in d’Eon’s
case the process was far more attenuated, presaged by experimentation and never fully
complete. D’Eon’s transition possessed a layered quality that defies two-dimensional
paradigms. His surreptitious donning of corsets and his stubborn insistence in con-
tinuing to wear his Cross of Saint-Louis above his female attire, suggests the need for
a model of gender identity that can accommodate stratification and gradation equally
well as homogenization.
Judith Butler’s model of gender identity suggests that the individual performs gender
before a passive audience. D’Eon’s audience, however, was far from passive. As the
evidence discussed here makes clear, many of the individuals and communities who
consumed d’Eon’s literary, visual or physical persona were aware of the fictions that
underpinned it. They were in short complicit in his self-fashioning. His transforma-
tion therefore was less of a confidence trick perpetrated on his contemporaries than a
masquerade at once public and intensely private.
In his search for role-models and alter-egos capable of helping him to express his
multiple selves, d’Eon drew inspiration from a breathtakingly wide range of contexts
and genres: historical and mythical, sacred and secular, classical and Christian, scholarly
and scandalous. To us, these may well appear to be antonyms, opposites, mutually
exclusive. Indeed, the bricolage by which d’Eon appropriated tropes and attributes
could be taken as symptomatic of an identity on the verge of collapse. In fact, d’Eon
drew strength from apparently contradictory sources, and even while his physical and
financial resources were drained by years of penury in old age, this apparently most
paradoxical of personalities established a strong sense of identity. Far from being the ‘le
plus petit mortel’, d’Eon’s refashioning of his self ensured his immortality.

Notes
1 [Ange Goudar], Examen des lettres, mémoires, et négociations particulières du Chevalier D’Eon (London:
Becket and de Hondt,1764), reprinted in Chevalier D’Eon, Pièces relatives aux lettres, mémoires, et
négociations particulières du Chevalier d’Eon (London: Dixwell, 1764), pp. 125–6.
2 See especially the ghostwritten account in La Vie militaire, politique et privée de Melle d’Eon (Paris:
Lambert, Onfroi, Valade, Esprit et chez l’auteur, 1779) and the autobiographical materials in the
Brotherton Collection in the Brotherton Library, Leeds, many of which have finally been published;
Roland A. Champagne, Nina Ekstein and Gary Kates, trans. and eds., The Maiden of Tonnerre: the
Vicissitudes of the Chevalier and Chevalière d’Eon, (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press
2001).
3 This tale has been refuted convincingly by Ernest Alfred Vizetelly, The True Story of the Chevalier d’Eon
(London: Tylston and Edwards and A. P. Marsden, 1895), pp. 50–7; Gary Kates, Monsieur d’Eon is a
Woman: A Tale of Political Intrigue and Sexual Masquerade (New York: Basic Books, 1995); En Russie
INTRODUCTION 11

au temps d’Élisabeth. Mémoire sur la Russie en 1759 par le chevalier d’Eon, ed. Francine-Dominique
Liechtenhan (Paris: L’Inventaire, 2006), p. 8.
4 Frédéric Gaillardet, Mémoires du Chevalier D’Eon (Paris, 1935 [original edition, 2 vols, Paris: B. Grasset,
1836]).
5 François-Timoléon, abbé de Choisy, Mémoires de l’abbé de Choisy, ed., Georges Mongrédien (Paris :
Mercure de France, 1966 [reprint 2000]). On Choisy, see the chapter by Joseph Harris below.
6 Mémoires du Chevalier d’Eon, p. 128–40. Gaillardet’s admission appeared in a purified edition of his
work published in 1866. For recent repetitions of the story, see Nathalie Grzesiak, Le Chevalier d’Eon.
Tout pour le roi (Paris: Acropole, 2000), p. 120 and passim; L’Yonne Républicain, 30 juillet 2007. John
Rogister’s Oxford Dictionary of National Biography article on d’Eon repeats Gaillardet’s story that d’Eon
seduced Madame de Pompadour while dressed as a woman at a Versailles ball in 1755.
7 The phrase is taken from the title of Edna Nixon, Royal Spy: the Strange Case of the Chevalier d’Eon
(New York: Reynal & Co., 1965).
8 See for example Havelock Ellis, ‘Eonism’, Studies in the Psychology of Sex, 2 vols (New York: Random
House, 1936), II, pt. ii, 1–110.
9 See Kates, Monsieur d’Eon, p. xxii.
10 Many of these manuscripts have subsequently been published in Champagne, Ekstein and Kates, trans.
and eds., The Maiden of Tonnerre.
11 See Brotherton Collection, University of Leeds Library [Brotherton Collection], box 1, file 1, Chap.
VIII, p. 3.
12 Besides works mentioned in this paragraph, see Jonathan Conlin, ‘Wilkes, the Chevalier d’Eon and
“the dregs of liberty”: an Anglo-French perspective on ministerial despotism, 1762–1771’, English
Historical Review, 120, (2005), 1251–88; James Lander, ‘A tale of two hoaxes in Britain and France in
1775’, Historical Journal, 49, (2006), 995–1024.
13 Alexandre Stroev, Les Aventuriers des Lumières (Paris: Presses universitaires de France, 1997); Simon
Burrows, Blackmail, Scandal and Revolution: London’s French Libellistes, 1758–1792 (Manchester:
Manchester University Press, 2006).
14 Anna Clark, ‘The Chevalier d’Eon and Wilkes: masculinity and politics in the eighteenth century’,
Eighteenth-Century Studies, 32, (1), (1998), 19–48, and Scandal: the Sexual Politics of the British
Constitution (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004), pp. 43–4.
15 Wahrman first outlined this case briefly in the final essay in, The Age of Cultural Revolutions: Britain
and France 1750–1820, eds. Colin Jones and Dror Wahrman, (Berkeley and London: University of
California Press, 2002). He elaborated on his argument and made several important references to d’Eon
in Dror Wahrman, The Making of the Modern Self: Identity and Culture in Eighteenth-Century England
(New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2004).
16 Cf. John D. Woodbridge, Revolt in Pre-Revolutionary France. The Prince de Conti’s Conspiracy against
Louis XV, 1755–1757 (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995).
17 The most detailed study of the Secret du Roi is Gilles Perrault, Le Secret du Roi, 3 vols (Paris: Fayard,
1992–6).
18 D’Eon, Lettres, mémoires, et négociations particulières du Chevalier d’Eon, Ministre . . . avec les Ducs de
Praslin, de Nivernois, de Sainte Foy, et Regnier de Guerchy, Ambassadeur extraordinaire, etc. 3pt., (The
Hague, 1764).
19 Conlin, ‘Wilkes, The Chevalier d’Eon and “the dregs of liberty”’, p. 1252.
20 Chevalier D’Eon, Les Loisirs du Chevalier d’Eon, 13 vols (Amsterdam, 1774). D’Eon explained to
Broglie that the Loisirs would contain nothing hostile to the French court. On the contrary, they
would provide a front for secret activities, by fooling observers into thinking he had abandoned covert
operations, ‘Note de M D’Eon du 31 Juillet 1770’, Archives du Ministère des Affaires Etrangères [MAE],
Correspondance Politique, Angleterre [CPA], Supplément 16, f. 377S.
21 On the Transaction, see Kates, Monsieur d’Eon, ch. 41; Lander, ‘A tale of two hoaxes’.
22 It was finally published in 2001 as Champagne, Ekstein and Kates, trans. and eds., The Maiden of
Tonnerre.
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1

The Chevalier d’Eon, Media Manipulation and the


Making of an Eighteenth-Century Celebrity
Simon Burrows

The Chevalier d’Eon first honed his skills of media manipulation in his quarrel with
the French ambassador to London, the Comte de Guerchy, in 1763–1764. He did so
with such success that, by the end of their spat, d’Eon had become a household name
among Europe’s elite, while his allegations that Guerchy had conspired to kidnap and
murder him were widely accepted by the British public and had given rise to a criminal
prosecution against the ambassador. During the course of the dispute and his vitriolic
press campaign against Guerchy, d’Eon learned to fabricate evidence and to mould his
public identity. Thus the Guerchy affair laid the groundwork for d’Eon’s later celebrity
and manipulation of perceptions of his gender. It also provides a case study in the
construction of celebrity status in the later eighteenth century.
Recent explorations of eighteenth-century celebrity emphasize three points that are
salient here.1 First, although d’Eon’s contemporaries did not yet refer to individuals as
‘celebrities’, a phenomenon akin to ‘celebrity’ was emerging and, in Britain, from about
1760 until the eve of the French revolution it is possible to identify a veritable ‘cult of
celebrity’ characterized by prurient interest in individuals’ private lives alongside their
public distinctions or achievements.2 These developments were made possible by the
decline of the Hanoverian court as a focus of patronage, a vibrant consumer culture
and a burgeoning public sphere. However, ‘the cult of celebrity’ came to an abrupt
end with a hardening of moral attitudes from the late 1780s, whereupon, according to
Linda Colley, the British populace required of its heroes a ‘shift of style from peacock to
sombre man of action’.3 Second, despite the many apparent similarities, twentieth- and
twenty-first-century manifestations of celebrity differ from those that first emerged in the
eighteenth century. Stella Tillyard insists that while late eighteenth-century England was
not ‘a world full of celebrities’, cultural icons like Sir Joshua Reynolds ‘were nevertheless
extremely interested in, and avid consumers of, some of the attributes of celebrity that we
ourselves still recognise’.4 Finally, in the eighteenth century, fame, (that is, an enduring
reputation in the eyes of posterity), was considered to be different from the phenomenon
of being celebrated by one’s contemporaries. Whereas fame had always been considered
a legitimate concern, the pursuit by artists, writers, actors, courtesans, adventurers and
other cultural figures of a celebrity hitherto only available to statesmen, courtiers and
military heroes, was only made desirable and conceivable by emergent cultural, social
and market conditions. This distinction between fame and celebrity will be respected
throughout this chapter. It might be noted, however, that of the two, the pursuit of fame
was considered the more respectable, since it implied enduring achievement, whereas
celebrity was both transient and involved (often scandalous) exposure to the public
gaze. Moreover, women’s celebrity was associated with scandal almost by definition,
14 SIMON BURROWS

since the term ‘public woman’ implied prostitution.


Not surprisingly, therefore, both before and after his gender transformation d’Eon
made assiduous attempts to suggest that his celebrity rested on genuine claims to fame
as both a writer and statesman, earned before his dispute with Guerchy catapulted him
into the public consciousness. In fact, such claims were rather shaky. Historians have
considered his learned works on finances and public administration competent, but
they should not be considered among the first rank. Moreover, d’Eon’s diplomatic and
political career achievement prior to 1763 amounted to relatively little. Certainly, he
had assisted the Chevalier Alexander Douglas and the Duc de Nivernais in important
negotiations, and carried the resulting treaties to France, but there is little evidence
that he influenced events. This point did not escape contemporary commentators: in
a review of d’Eon’s Lettres, mémoires et négociations, the Monthly Review opined that
d’Eon appeared to have been ‘employed in affairs of no great moment’, and dismissed
his role in treaty negotiations as that of a ‘post-boy’.5 Thus historians have perhaps been
guilty of taking d’Eon’s claims about his glittering career at face value and, as Stephen
Brogan has argued, overlooking the fact that his hopes of becoming ambassador to
London ahead of Guerchy in 1763 were unrealistic.6
Superficially d’Eon’s quarrel with Guerchy began as a mundane dispute about money.
As Minister Plenipotentiary, d’Eon was charged, as was customary, with acquiring
and preparing a residence for the new ambassador, but even before Guerchy arrived
in London in mid-October 1763, he was accusing d’Eon of spending too much of his
(that is, Guerchy’s) money in the process.7 Nevertheless, there were subtexts. D’Eon was
bitterly disappointed and resentful at having been passed over. He considered Guerchy
an aristocratic nonentity who had been promoted due to his rank and friendship with
the foreign minister, Praslin. It is possible, too, that there were deeper resentments, for
d’Eon later claimed that at the battle of Hoxter on 19 August 1761 Guerchy refused
orders to assist d’Eon’s unit in evacuating munitions while under enemy fire.8
There was also a factional component to the dispute, stemming from the eclipse of
d’Eon’s patrons, the Broglies, and the dismantling of their secret espionage network,
the Secret du Roi.9 Praslin and Guerchy belonged to the ascendant faction headed by
Louis XV’s de facto chief minister, the Duc de Choiseul, who was also Praslin’s cousin,
and the royal mistress, Madame de Pompadour, all of whom d’Eon later accused of com-
plicity in a conspiracy to poison or kidnap him. D’Eon claimed that this pro-Austrian
faction would stop at nothing to marginalize advocates of a traditional anti-Habsburg
policy, and blamed them for the sudden deaths of two of his allies at court, Lebel and
Tercier, as well as the Comte de Broglie’s dismissal.10 D’Eon’s resistance to orders to
return to France and subsequent attempts to discredit Guerchy, and hence Praslin,
Choiseul and Pompadour, were thus part of a factional struggle to control foreign and
dynastic policy. Nevertheless, d’Eon apparently acted in an individual capacity: Broglie,
though he attempted to defend him, was furious with his protégé and feared he would
be blamed for d’Eon’s behaviour.11
Two factors made the dispute between d’Eon and Guerchy difficult to contain. First,
it was conducted very publicly in print, and later spilled over into the English law
courts. Second, d’Eon was in a strong position to blackmail the monarchy. Due to his
roles as diplomat and spy for the Secret du Roi, d’Eon possessed damaging documents,
including a secret order from Louis XV to spy out invasion routes in southern England,
which he threatened to publish unless compensated for his alleged expenditure in royal
service.12 To make clear that he was serious he published a taster volume, carefully
shorn of really damaging material, his Lettres, mémoires et négociations particulières du
T H E C H E VA L I E R D ’ E O N A N D M E D I A M A N I P U L A T I O N 15

Chevalier d’Eon. This work simultaneously emphasized his claims to fame and made
him a celebrity across Europe almost overnight.13 But his diplomatic correspondence
was not the only reason why this work proved sensational, for it also took his pamphlets
against Guerchy to a wider audience.
While the truth of d’Eon’s allegations remains uncertain, it is clear that he fought a
shrewd media campaign across a wide front. For example, his attempts to link Guerchy’s
agent Pierre-Henri Treyssac de Vergy to a conspiracy against him in his Lettres, mémoires
et négociations were accompanied by cloak and dagger attempts to defame him by
other means. Chief among them was a four-page pamphlet entitled Lettre de Mlle Le
Bac de Saint-Amant à Monsieur de la M*** écuyer, &c de la Société roïale d’agriculture,
dated variously 29 and 30 December 1763. An account of d’Eon’s printer James Dixwell
proves that the publication of this curious pamphlet was financed by d’Eon, and it is
therefore possible that he was also the author.14 If so, the pamphlet represents d’Eon’s
first experiments with taking on a female persona.
The Lettre de Mlle le Bac offers a first person narrative account of Mademoiselle Le
Bac’s coach journey from Paris to Lille in Vergy’s company the previous August. En route
Vergy told her he was going to London to replace d’Eon and made clumsy attempts
to seduce her. These began with kissing games among the coach passengers, in which
Le Bac participated willingly, but culminated in attempted rape at a coaching inn. The
spirited Le Bac parried Vergy’s attentions directly enough to put him ‘hors de combat’,
and Vergy departed the next day with despair in his eyes. ‘Le Bac’ ends by recording
that Vergy had just been arrested for debt, but had escaped. The pamphlet portrays
Vergy as a contemptible and ungallant braggart, debtor, lecher and failed adulterer. He
has abandoned his wife in a convent but is incapable of storming the flimsy moral or
physical defences of the feisty Le Bac.
This rather puerile character assassination followed other revelations about Vergy’s
character. D’Eon, who was assiduous in gathering information on his enemies, revealed
in his very first pamphlet against Guerchy, that Vergy’s title was usurped and that the
Paris police (in which d’Eon’s uncle served) considered him a gambler, libertine, and
thief. He was being pursued by creditors and had been chased from the home of the
Comte d’Argental, French ambassador to Parma.15 Notwithstanding these claims,
d’Eon later endorsed a very different account of the relationship between d’Argental
and Vergy.
Unlike Guerchy, d’Eon quickly realized the potential of British newspapers, which
appeared much more frequently than their heavily censored French counterparts: by
the 1760s, London had several daily titles, whereas France did not have a daily paper
until 1777. Newspapers had several advantages over pamphlets for conducting political
feuds. Whereas pamphlets appeared just once and needed to find their own audience,
newspapers appeared regularly and served an audience which already enjoyed a rela-
tionship of confidence with their chosen title. Newspapers were thus ideal vehicles for
repeated insinuation, or campaigns of denigration or self-defence; British newspapers
also carried considerable amounts of what would today be considered ‘celebrity gossip’.
Moreover, eighteenth-century newspapers across Europe borrowed material from one
another. Thus, reports in the British press were often recycled across the continent.16
Although d’Eon’s political role had included summarizing the content of the London
press for Nivernais and Praslin, his books of press cuttings suggest that he only grasped
the full potential of newspapers once his dispute with Guerchy was under way.17 It is
probable that he was educated about them by British Wilkite politicians. They wished
to draw parallels between John Wilkes’ situation and that of d’Eon, suggesting that both
16 SIMON BURROWS

became renegades by struggling for justice from their respective governments.18 They
even suggested that the government intended to exchange d’Eon for Wilkes, who had
fled to France to avoid prosecution for libel.19 However, they also erroneously believed
that d’Eon’s diplomatic correspondence would reveal that British ministers had been
bribed to make territorial concessions to France following Britain’s victory in the Seven
Years’ War.20 According to d’Eon, they also wooed him assiduously and repeatedly
offered to buy his papers.21
To mobilize opinion in his favour, d’Eon and his Wilkite allies launched a concerted
press offensive, traces of which are discernible among d’Eon’s newspaper cuttings. It
began on 21 June 1764, when d’Eon announced in the Gazetteer that he had no debts
and paid bills in cash to ensure he could not be arrested and kidnapped. This announce-
ment alluded to an incident at Easter 1752, when the Marquis de Fratteaux was seized
in London by French agents with the connivance of a corrupt bailiff named Blaisdell.
Fratteaux, the author of a manuscript pamphlet attacking key courtiers, spent the rest of
his life in the Bastille.22 He was thus a key point of reference for those wishing to suggest
that d’Eon ran similar risks. Thereafter, and throughout the summer of 1764, newspaper
reports repeatedly insisted that French agents were in London to kidnap d’Eon.
Two days after the Gazetteer announcement, d’Eon and his allies published a one-off
broadsheet newspaper entitled The Extraordinary Intelligencer, which was soon reprinted
by other papers.23 It warned of ‘a dangerous and unconstitutional measure . . . to take
from this country by force, a gentleman who has thrown himself under its protection’.
It then described the dispute of M. Frugalité [Guerchy] with M. Verité [d’Eon], before
alleging that a skiff was waiting on the Thames to spirit d’Eon away to an ocean-going
boat moored at Gravesend. But it also asserted that Guerchy’s enmity towards d’Eon
stemmed from d’Eon’s disapproval of Guerchy’s ‘mean and scandalous practices’. These
included encouraging British artisans to emigrate to France; fomenting misunderstand-
ings between the two countries; compensating his poorly paid servants by allowing
them to bring contraband goods into the country, shielded by ambassadorial immunity;
forcing his retinue to picnic in open fields en route to London to save the cost of eating
at an inn; and offering crowds celebrating a royal birth only four pots and a pint of
porter, rather than the customary fountain of wine, thereby risking public disorder.
This story covered Guerchy in ridicule and incited popular complaints about the abuse
of prerogative by Guerchy and his household, while ignoring the real grievances of the
ambassador and French government against d’Eon.
Over the following days and weeks, the story received further amplification. On
25 June, the Gazetteer claimed to have received intelligence from a correspondent
‘concerning an intention of carrying off a certain gentleman, for which purpose, he
says, a boat with six rowers is kept on the river, and an armed vessel with twenty hands
at Gravesend’. It added that the gentleman (i.e. d’Eon) had confirmed the truth of this.
The story also alluded to the Fratteaux affair, suggesting that the present government
would not suffer such an attempt ‘with impunity’. However, for present purposes, the
most important aspect of the story is that it identifies d’Eon as a source.
Thereafter journalists, rumour-mongers and d’Eon’s allies picked up and spun the
story. The Gazetteer of 28 June predicted that ‘French bravoes’ come to kidnap d’Eon
would surely fail. They would arouse public indignation and bystanders would be sure
to come to d’Eon’s assistance. The next day, the Public Advertiser called on Britons to
prove they were not ‘the savages of Europe’, as a French writer alleged, by providing
d’Eon with hospitality and saving him from Fratteaux’s fate. Nor was Fratteaux’s the
only kidnapping invoked: on 24 August a correspondent to the Public Advertiser writing
T H E C H E VA L I E R D ’ E O N A N D M E D I A M A N I P U L A T I O N 17

under the pseudonym ‘Phileultheros’ declared that French police had recently made
attempts on a mysterious ‘Chevalier S’, who had written pamphlets attacking French
grandees.24 In September, the Lloyd’s Evening Post published allegations that the British
ministry intended to seize d’Eon (who had by then been convicted of libelling Guerchy)
and exchange him for Wilkes – sourcing the story, somewhat improbably, to the Brussels
Gazette. Pressure on the British government was also stepped up. On 4 July, ‘Libertas’
wrote to the Public Advertiser demanding a government inquiry into allegations that
Guerchy was involved in racketeering and conspiracy to kidnap, while ‘Publicus’ reported
that several gentlemen had pledged to defend d’Eon and accompanied him everywhere.
Further pseudonymous denunciations of the ambassador’s abuse of diplomatic privilege
followed sporadically over the next few months, including a letter to the Lloyd’s Evening
Post by ‘Britannicus’, a known partisan of the Chevalier.25
Although using pseudonyms was standard practice among eighteenth-century
newspaper letter-writers, the insider information that ‘Publicus’ provided, together
with an almost formulaic reference to Fratteaux, indicates that both his letter and that
from ‘Libertas’ probably originated in d’Eon’s entourage. The persistence of ‘Britannicus’
in writing on the Chevalier’s behalf also suggests a personal association. Likewise,
‘Phileultheros’ purports to show a suspiciously intimate knowledge of d’Eon’s work (he
claimed it could be used to identify the ‘Chevalier S’), which suggests that his letter, too,
emanated from the d’Eon camp.26
Despite these rumours, only once was there a suggestion that an attempt to seize
d’Eon had actually been made. The story clearly came from d’Eon’s entourage and
appears in an anonymous letter to the Lloyd’s Evening Post dated 3 September 1764. It
recounts that on 26 August, d’Eon, two male friends and an English lady were walking
in Hyde Park when Colonel Glover and two other gentlemen informed him that ‘a sett
of kidnappers’ were lying in wait at Spring Gardens. The lady, who was just taking her
leave, secretly resolved to drive to Spring Gardens, where she saw ‘six fellows standing
together arm-in-arm, and a seventh who seemingly headed them’, waiting for d’Eon and
his companions. However, when they saw her coach they said ‘“That is the lady with
whom he was walking and her coach is waiting for him”’ and their lookout added ‘“That
is very true, our scheme will not answer this night, but it may tomorrow or some other
time.”’ For good measure, the paper added ‘Such are the words which were expressed
by those treacherous kidnappers, as this lady informs us’.
Although this story contains several intriguing details, there are reasons to doubt
its veracity, even if we ignore both the villains’ contrived melodramatic dialogue and
the question of how ruffians waiting at Spring Gardens had seen the lady in Hyde
Park. A summary of these reasons is provided by the pseudonymous ‘Simon Magus’,
writing to the St James’s Chronicle of 6 to 8 September 1764. He opens by equating the
attempt against d’Eon with the great hoaxes of the previous few years: ‘Wonders, I find,
will never cease. The Rabbit Woman surprised us in the last Age27 – Ashley’s Jew,28
the Bottle-Conjuror,29 and Elizabeth Canning,30 amused us in their Turn for some
Time, and the Scratching of the Cock-Lane Ghost is scarce out of our ears,31 before
our Appetite for the Wonderful is arrived [sic] by the kidnapping of Chevalier d’Eon.’
In explanation, he argues, the ruffians must be conjurors to hope to carry away ‘a Man
from Spring Gardens in the Day-Time, in the Face of a Multitude through this populous
Town, and through a frequented high Road to Gravesend’ without interruption from
the magistrates or population.
A key feature of articles concerning d’Eon over the summer of 1764 is the patriotic
language in which they are dressed. For example, the Extraordinary Intelligencer
18 SIMON BURROWS

denounced Guerchy’s alleged intentions as ‘a scheme against all our laws and liberties,
which overthrows at once those sacred prerogatives which this nation always knew
how to preserve, and by which we have been hitherto triumphant’. ‘Britannicus’, writing
to the Public Advertiser, went a stage further and juxtaposed British liberty to French
servitude and degradation:

. . . they [the French] are the slaves of a despotic power; we are a free people whose country is
the asylum of the oppressed; to violate it is a breach of public liberty and a crime against our
country: let us never, therefore, suffer a stranger who flies to us for shelter, to be a sacrifice to
a misguided fury or the horrors of the Bastille.

Moreover, d’Eon made a better patriot Briton in his defence of liberty than the British
ministry.32 Hence ‘a British Swiss’ wrote to the printer of the St James’s Chronicle of
11–13 September 1764:

Ever since Wilkes and Liberty left this kingdom, we have been alarmed for the chevalier d’Eon –
we are now told that this champion of liberty is to be kidnapped and carried to France. The Vox
Populi or in other words, the Minority [in Parliament], accuses the Majority of a determined
resolution to extirpate . . . even the dregs of liberty, and not suffer the least appearance of it,
even in a Frenchman. As I am a Swiss, I don’t care a farthing either for the Majority or the
Minority: but, pray, what have we to apprehend from the Spirit of Liberty in a Frenchman?

These reports transformed d’Eon from a participant in a factional dispute about power
and money into a symbol of British liberty. As a ‘worthy’ foreigner he could also be
juxtaposed against an ‘unpatriotic’ British ministry. Thus d’Eon, the French diplomat
and spy, had become an unlikely celebrity and hero of the British opposition. The print
media’s role was vital to this extraordinary transformation. Yet it must also be admitted
that d’Eon played his part to perfection, and was not, in any case, without sympathy for
the struggle for liberty. A quarter century later, he supported the French revolution in its
opening stages, and he often encouraged other French renegades in the struggle against
ministerial despotism. Those he aided even included the blackmailer and pamphleteer
Charles Théveneau de Morande, who had the run of d’Eon’s library while preparing a
pamphlet exposé of the Bastille.33
Having examined the printed propaganda put out by d’Eon and his allies, it is time
to consider whether there was any substance to their allegations of poison and kidnap
plots.34 Let us turn first to the poison plot. D’Eon asserted that while Guerchy was
behind the conspiracy, it was Stephen Chazell, Guerchy’s ‘master of horse’, who actually
slipped opium into his wine while he dined at the embassy on 28 October 1763. As the
poison took hold, d’Eon alleges that Guerchy’s servants offered him assistance and a
carriage to his lodgings in the hope of kidnapping him, but he refused their entreaties
and struggled home alone.35 However, there are three problems with d’Eon’s testimony.
First, it is self-interested; second, it relies on supposition and finally, d’Eon himself admits
that other diners fell sick after eating with him at the embassy.36 We might suspect food
poisoning or dirty pans were the real culprit.
Nevertheless, there is corroborating evidence for d’Eon’s allegations, for in October
1764, Vergy confessed that Guerchy and Praslin employed him to assassinate d’Eon.
Moreover, in 1767, d’Eon claimed that Vergy’s testimony so terrified Chazell that he had
abandoned his newly wed bride and fled to Naples. This assertion was disingenuous.
Chazell’s departure offers no proof that he was a poisoner, since he had fled several
T H E C H E VA L I E R D ’ E O N A N D M E D I A M A N I P U L A T I O N 19

weeks before Vergy’s confession and for other reasons.37 In fact, he was evading arrest for
arson, having threatened to burn down the house where his wife had taken refuge from
his excessive violence. On 15 June 1764 a warrant was issued for Chazell’s arrest and six
days later three officers attempted to arrest him at Guerchy’s house, which doubled as the
French embassy. This action nearly resulted in a significant international incident, for
Guerchy tore up the warrant, throttled one of the officers, imprisoned them briefly, and
protested to the British government against the violation of diplomatic immunity. The
French wanted the officers to be punished, but the British government was fearful that,
in light of Chazell’s crime and the ambassador’s ‘highly improper and illegal’ behaviour,
a jury would acquit them. Thus, with considerable difficulty, they succeeded in placating
the French without bringing the men before a court.38 Although this extraordinary tale
appears to confirm the truth of d’Eon’s insinuations that Guerchy was out of his depth in a
diplomatic role, it also shows that his evidence against Chazell was at best circumstantial
and that d’Eon knowingly distorted facts to reinforce his own allegations.
Similarly, many details of Vergy’s confession were almost certainly invented, in par-
ticular claims that he was recruited by d’Argental; that Praslin told him that d’Eon must
be destroyed; and that Guerchy ordered him to assassinate d’Eon after Chazell’s poison
failed.39 The first assertion is probably false because – as we have already noted – before
Vergy turned against Guerchy, d’Eon himself had asserted that Vergy had been evicted
from d’Argental’s home.40 The second statement is demonstrably mendacious. Although
Vergy met Praslin before leaving Paris, their subsequent correspondence demonstrates
that Vergy’s account of their interview is a fabrication.41 Vergy’s assertion that the plot
originated in July 1763 – i.e. at least six weeks before problems emerged between d’Eon
and Guerchy – also appears devoid of truth.42 In consequence, Vergy’s statement that
Guerchy ordered him to kill d’Eon also cannot be accepted uncritically, particularly as
Vergy had resentments of his own against the ambassador.43
Nevertheless, Vergy’s behaviour towards d’Eon on his arrival in London was suspi-
cious. Indeed, in the days before the poisoning incident, d’Eon became so mistrustful
of Vergy that he challenged him to a duel.44 Thus, although there may be grains of truth
somewhere among Vergy’s allegations, which certainly involved huge personal cost
for little gain, most of the details were invented or distorted to suit d’Eon’s purposes.45
D’Eon – who probably secured Vergy’s release from debtor’s prison – was almost
certainly complicit in the fabrication of this evidence.
Vergy’s tale shattered Guerchy’s reputation. Indeed, following his confession, the
Attorney-General agreed to lodge a bill of indictment against Guerchy for hiring Vergy
to ‘kill and assassinate d’Eon’, and an Old Bailey grand jury found against the ambas-
sador.46 This provocative insult to the French king and his representative embarrassed
British ministers, who pressurized the Attorney-General without success to suppress the
case. The jury’s decision that there was a prima facie case for the ambassador to answer
vindicated d’Eon and effectively negated his conviction for libelling Guerchy. To avoid
the embarrassment of the case proceeding to trial, the government transferred it to the
Court of King’s Bench, where it remained in stasis.47 The dispute broke Guerchy. Recalled
in 1767, he was snubbed at Versailles and died within weeks.48 In all probability he was
innocent of any murder attempt, having fallen victim to elaborate attempts to prove an
ungrounded suspicion, or even to frame him.
However, although the story of the attempted ambush at Spring Gardens seems far-
fetched, there is documentary evidence that Guerchy and the French ministry considered
abducting d’Eon. Shortly before Guerchy arrived in London, Choiseul and Praslin sent
an agent to London to investigate a possible kidnap.49 Guerchy himself also proposed
20 SIMON BURROWS

to the British that d’Eon should be abducted, but was rebuffed.50 Thereafter, in April
1764, Louis XV authorized a three-pronged approach. The British would be pressured
to extradite or deport d’Eon. If that failed, Guerchy could bring a libel prosecution. As
a final resort, Praslin was to proceed with kidnap plans.51 The extradition request was
duly refused,52 but the British government consented to bring a libel case against d’Eon.
In July, d’Eon was duly found guilty but went into hiding, failed to turn up at court for
sentencing, and was declared an outlaw.53 In these circumstances, the kidnap phase of
Louis XV’s plan was rendered obsolete: nothing in French diplomatic correspondence
suggests that agents were sent to seize d’Eon. This contrasts with the surviving evidence
for abortive attempts against Théveneau de Morande in 1772–1774 and the Comte de
La Motte in 1786, which are well documented.54
By the late 1760s, therefore, d’Eon had learned valuable lessons about the print media.
He had learned that celebrity could be constructed out of unpromising materials and
serve to protect him against the machinations – real or imaginary – of his enemies. He had
also seen that the media had the power to redefine events, transforming a personal and
factional dispute into a struggle for British liberties. He had also learned to fabricate and
manipulate evidence, and may even have started to experiment with a female persona.
These lessons made it possible for d’Eon to imagine his next breathtakingly audacious
step towards life-long celebrity and enduring fame. For the gender transformation that
he effected between 1770 and 1777 would require both the fabrication of evidence about
his past and present identity, and the manipulation of public perceptions.
The gender change, moreover, was surely motivated in part by d’Eon’s emotional and
practical need for celebrity and the protection and opportunities it provided. Thus while
Gary Kates is surely correct in his contention that far from being motivated by sexuality,
d’Eon’s gender transformation was driven by political and spiritual considerations and
a desire to escape a career deadlock and disillusionment, his interpretation appears to
underplay two important ancillary motivations. First, as a woman, d’Eon marginalized
himself politically and greatly reduced the threat of kidnap or assassination, though he
continued to fear both until his dying day. Although d’Eon probably fabricated or exagger-
ated the most serious plots against him, the experience of other exiled dissidents proves
that his fears were not without foundation. Second, the celebrity status d’Eon gained by
becoming Europe’s most accomplished woman would keep him in the public eye.
Although d’Eon sought fame, he needed celebrity, for it brought him the attention
and security he craved. It attracted the rich and powerful into his orbit and allowed him
to cash in on the commercial opportunities the newly emergent public sphere offered
to the most celebrated writers and public figures. More importantly, perhaps, celebrity
shielded him from assassination or kidnap, because – in contrast to fame – it involved
a plebian appeal, and hence it was possible for d’Eon and his political allies to mobilize
the London mob in his defence. This important social distinction – so crucial in d’Eon’s
case – between those who respectively confer and consume ‘celebrity’ (plebs) and
‘fame’ (educated elites, present and future) has been largely ignored in recent literature,
and deserves further reflection. Nevertheless, fame also played an important role in
protecting d’Eon, particularly once he adopted a female role. For, because he had, and
insisted on having, prior claims to ‘fame’ independent of the causes of his ‘celebrity’,
he was assured of enduring recognition across his lifetime and hence escaped much
of the scorn reserved for other public women. Thus, d’Eon’s career trajectory becomes
more comprehensible in the light of the eighteenth-century public sphere and its cult
of celebrity. By 1770, d’Eon was intensely aware that his public persona was a media
construct, and that only continuing celebrity status could maintain his position and
T H E C H E VA L I E R D ’ E O N A N D M E D I A M A N I P U L A T I O N 21

safety. His subsequent gender change must therefore be seen in part as an extreme
response to the realization that, in a fallen world, female celebrity could afford him a
security that masculine fame never could.

Notes
1 See for example the various essays in Joshua Reynolds. The Creation of Celebrity, ed. Martin Postle,
(London: Tate Publishing, 2005); Michael Rosenthal, ‘Public reputation and image control in late-
eighteenth-century Britain’, Visual Culture in Britain, 7, (2006), 69–92.
2 Stella Tillyard, ‘“Paths of Glory”: fame and the public in eighteenth-century London’, in Joshua Reynolds,
ed. Postle, pp. 61–9.
3 Linda Colley, Britons: Forging the Nation (New Haven, CT: Yale, 1993), p. 187
4 Tillyard, ‘“Paths of Glory”’, p. 62.
5 Monthly Review, (June 1764), p. 432 in Brotherton Collection, University of Leeds Library [Brotherton
Collection], box 8, file 58, between pp. 15 and 16.
6 Stephen Brogan, ‘Contemporary British perceptions of the Chevalier/Chevalière d’Eon affair’, unpub-
lished B.A. diss., Birkbeck College, University of London, 2004, p. 8.
7 Archives du Ministère des Affaires Etrangères, Paris [MAE], Correspondance Politique, Angleterre
[CPA] 541 ff. 255–6, Chevalier d’Eon to Guerchy, 22 September 1763; ff. 268–71, Chevalier d’Eon to
Guerchy, 25 September 1763; Brotherton Collection, box 3, file 23, Nivernais to Chevalier d’Eon, Paris,
11 September 1763.
8 D’Eon also blamed Guerchy for several débâcles, including the loss of the French baggage train at
Minden. On these incidents see: Chevalier d’Eon, Pièces relatives aux Lettres, mémoires et négociations
particulières du Chevalier d’Eon (London: Dixwell, 1764), p. 15; Brotherton Collection, box 2, file
9, pp. 216–17; box 4, file 24, p. 13; box 11, file 69, pp. 8, 59; Chevalier d’Eon, Lettres, mémoires et
négociations particulières du Chevalier d’Eon, ministre plénipotentiaire de France auprès du roi de la
Grande-Bretagne (London: Dixwell, 1764), passim; and Ange Goudar, Examen des Lettres, mémoires et
négociations particulières du Chevalier d’Eon (London: Becket and de Hondt, 1764), reprinted in d’Eon,
Pièces rélatives aux Lettres, mémoires et négociations, p. 117.
9 On the Secret du roi see Albert, Duc de Broglie, Le Secret du roi: correspondance secrète de Louis XV avec
ses agents diplomatiques, 1752–1774, 2 vols (Paris: Calmann Levy, 1878); Gilles Perrault, Le Secret du
roi, 3 vols (Paris 1992–6); Correspondance secrète du Comte de Broglie avec Louis XV, edited by Didier
Ozanam and Michel Antoine, 2 vols (Paris: Klincksieck, 1956–1961).
10 MAE, CPA supplément 16 ff. 111–12, annotation of d’Eon on Tercier to Chevalier d’Eon, 27 December
1763 (copy).
11 See, for example, MAE, Mémoires et documents, France, vol. 539 ff. 153–8, Broglie to Louis XV, Broglie,
9 December 1763. The document has been published in Ozanam and Antoine, eds., Correspondance
secrète de Broglie, I, 186–96; an abridged translation appears in Gary Kates, Monsieur d’Eon is a Woman:
A Tale of Political Intrigue and Sexual Masquerade (New York: Basic Books, 1995), pp. 112–14.
12 Chevalier d’Eon to Tercier, 23 March 1764, in Correspondance secrète inédite de Louis XV, ed. M. E.
Boutaric, 2 vols (Paris: Plon, 1866), I, 313–16.
13 On the reception of d’Eon’s Lettres, mémoires et négociations see Kates, Monsieur d’Eon, pp. 119–21.
14 Account from Dixwell to d’Eon, 13 March 1764, in the Brotherton Collection, in Ernest Alfred Vizetelly,
The True Story of the Chevalier d’Eon (London: Tylston and Edwards and A. P. Marsden, 1895) extra-
illustrated edition compiled into seven volumes by A. M. Broadley, vol. VII, f. 3.
15 ‘Note remise à Guerchy’, in d’Eon, Pièces relatives aux Lettres, mémoires et négociations, pp. 21–5, 42.
16 On the press across Europe see Hannah Barker and Simon Burrows, eds, Press, Politics and the Public
Sphere in Europe and North America, 1760–1820 (Cambridge: CUP, 2002), esp. the current author’s
chapter on ‘The cosmopolitan press’.
17 D’Eon’s main collection of press cuttings for this period is found in Brotherton Collection, box 8, file
58, which is chronologically arranged. Unless otherwise stated, cuttings for all newspaper references
cited below can be found there.
18 On the links between the Wilkes and d’Eon affairs see: Jonathan Conlin, ‘Wilkes, the Chevalier d’Eon
and “the dregs of liberty”: an Anglo-French perspective on ministerial despotism, 1762–1771’, English
Historical Review, 120, (2005), 1251–88.
19 Lloyds Evening Post, 5–7 September 1764; Simon Burrows, Blackmail, Scandal and Revolution: London’s
French Libellistes, 1758–92 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2006), pp. 194–5.
20 Colley, Britons, p. 101; Chevalier d’Eon to Tercier, 23 March 1764, in Boutaric, ed., Correspondance
secrète inédite de Louis XV, I, 313–16; Kates, Monsieur d’Eon, pp. 123–6.
21 Brotherton Collection, box 2, file 8, ‘Etat des services’, [1777?], pp. 5–6; MAE, CPA 16 supplément ff.
24–53, ‘Etat abregé des services militaires et politiques de Mlle d’Eon’, at f. 29.
22 SIMON BURROWS

22 On Fratteaux, see also Comte d’H****, The Unfortunate Officer, or the History of M. Bertin, Marquis
de Fratteaux (London: Woodfall, 1755). This was a translation of L’Histoire de M. Bertin: Marquis de
Fratteaux (Paris, 1753).
23 Original copies can be found interleaved between Brotherton Collection, box 8, file 58 ff. 11 and 12,
and in the Brotherton Collection’s unique extra-illustrated edition of Vizetelly, True Story, vol. VI. The
Public Ledger, 26 June 1764, republished The Extraordinary Intelligencer verbatim.
24 The pseudonym and place from which the letter was addressed (‘Great Burlington Street, 18 August’)
are not available from the handwritten translation of the article in Brotherton Collection, box 8, file 58,
but an unattributed cutting of the original letter survives in the Brotherton Collection’s extra-illustrated
edition of Vizetelly, True Story, vol. VII, unpaginated folio.
25 Lloyds Evening Post, 10–12 September 1764. An earlier letter from ‘Britannicus’ is described below.
26 Phileultheros suggests that the ‘Chevalier S’ was a correspondent mentioned in the fourth volume of
d’Eon’s Lettres, mémoires et négociations. Unfortunately, it is a one-volume work.
27 On the ‘rabbit woman’, Mary Toft, see Valerie Mainz’s chapter in the present volume.
28 ‘Ashley’s Jew’ was a reference to the case between Henry Simons, a Jew of Polish descent, and James
Ashley in 1753. Simons had accused an innkeeper named Goddard of robbing him, but Goddard
was acquitted and Simons was charged with perjury. After Simons was acquitted also, Ashley
alleged that Simons had tried to frame him, too, for robbery by slipping money into his pocket.
This time Simons was found guilty, but a retrial was ordered after it emerged that there had been a
misunderstanding between judge and jury. This was the first retrial after conviction in English legal
history and resulted in Simons being acquitted once again. Occurring in the same year that Parliament
granted citizenship to Jews, the trial unleashed a wave of anti-semitism, fanned by Ashley’s own
pamphleteering.
29 On the ‘bottle-conjuror’ (‘bottle imp’) see Valerie Mainz’s chapter in the present volume.
30 Elizabeth Canning was at the centre of a notorious legal case in 1753 to 1754. She claimed to have
been abducted on behalf of a brothel-keeper, who attempted to force her into prostitution, but was
later convicted of perjury.
31 The Cock Lane ghost was a notorious hoax conducted in January 1762 and subsequently exposed.
32 Public Advertiser, 29 June 1764.
33 MAE, CPA 502 ff. 177–9, Chevalier d’Eon to Broglie, London, 13 July 1773, at f. 178. On Morande see
Simon Burrows, A King’s Ransom: A Life of Charles Théveneau de Morande, Blackmailer, Scandalmonger
and Master-Spy (forthcoming, London: Continuum, 2010).
34 The analysis of these plots here expands on material in Burrows, Blackmail, Scandal and Revolution,
pp. 92–3.
35 The allegation first appears in MAE, CPA supplément 13 ff. 118–31, Chevalier d’Eon to Broglie and
Louis XV, London, 18 November 1763, in Frédéric Gaillardet, Mémoires du Chevalier d’Eon, réédités
à Paris (Paris: Bernard Grasset, 1935 [original edition, Paris, 1836]), pp. 199–205 and (abridged) in
Kates, Monsieur d’Eon, pp. 106–8. Chazell’s role is identified in MAE, CPA supplément 16 ff. 113–14,
‘Note de M. d’Eon’, and Brotherton Collection, box 1, file 2, pp. 87–95, ‘Extrait de la lettre de . . . d’Eon
à . . . d’Autichamp’ at p. 91; file 19 f. 43, unpublished memoir drafts (1805); Political Register, (October
1767), p. 377.
36 MAE, CPA supplément 13 ff. 118–31, Chevalier d’Eon to Broglie and Louis XV, London, 18 November
1763, in Gaillardet, Mémoires du Chevalier d’Eon, pp. 199–205 at pp. 200–1.
37 Chevalier d’Eon to Guerchy, 5 August 1767, in Political Register, (October 1767), p. 377. In Brotherton
Collection, box 11, file 69, pp. 7–8, d’Eon records that Chazell secured a place in the Lazaroni regiment
through the Vicomte de Choiseul, French ambassador to Naples, but fled when d’Eon’s complaints
reached Italy. He joined the Polish confédérés, and was killed by Russian forces.
38 Documents concerning the incident survive in the National Archives, London, [National Archives],
SP78/262 ff. 85–97, 131–7, 138, 146, 149, 151 and 202.
39 Pierre-Henri Treyssac de Vergy, ‘Seconde lettre à Monseigneur le Duc de Choiseul’, in Chevalier
d’Eon, Suite des pièces relatives aux Lettres, mémoires et négociations particulières du Chevalier d’Eon
(London: Dixwell, 1764), pp. 19–62; National Archives, SP78/264 f. 59, Treyssac de Vergy to Choiseul,
15 November 1764.
40 ‘Note remise à Guerchy’, in d’Eon, Pièces relatives aux Lettres, mémoires et négociations, pp. 21–5, 42.
41 MAE, CPA 451 f. 237, Vergy to [Praslin], London, 16 September 1763, refers to Vergy’s presentation
to Praslin by d’Argental, and begs for employment. Praslin annotated the letter ‘point de reponse’, the
standard phrase when no reply was to be given.
42 MAE, CPA 507 ff.. 46–8, Will of Pierre-Henri Treyssac de Vergy, 24 July 1774, at f. 47.
43 Guerchy had apparently reneged on a promise to employ Vergy as a secretary, and later refused to pay
his release from debtor’s prison.
44 See MAE, CPA 451 f. 468, Chevalier d’Eon to Lord Sandwich and Lord Halifax, 26 October 1763; f. 469,
Vergy to Chevalier d’Eon, 27 October 1763; ff. 470–1, note of d’Eon, 27 October 1763; CPA supplément
16 ff. 113–14, ‘Note de M. d’Eon’; Chevalier d’Eon, Letter Sent to His Excellency, Claude-Louis-François
Regnier, Comte de Guerchy (London: Dixwell, 1763).
T H E C H E VA L I E R D ’ E O N A N D M E D I A M A N I P U L A T I O N 23

45 Indeed, Morande claims d’Eon and Vergy fabricated Vergy’s affidavits: see British Library, Add. MS.
11,340 ff. 8 and 34, cuttings from Westminster Gazette, 20–24 August and 10–14 September 1776.
46 Gazette britannique, 8 March 1765; London Chronicle, 29 September–1 October 1767; Political Register,
(September 1767).
47 Kates, Monsieur d’Eon, pp. 133–6.
48 MAE, CPA 474 ff. 143–5, Guerchy to Choiseul, 7 July 1767; Political Register, (September 1767),
p. 295.
49 Ozanam and Antoine, eds., Correspondance secrète du Comte de Broglie, I, 238n.
50 MAE, CPA supplément 13 ff. 132–3, Guerchy to Louis XV, London, 6 November 1763 (copy). National
Archives, SP78/259 f. 39 Halifax to Guerchy, St James, 24 November 1763.
51 Louis XV to Tercier, 10 April 1764, in Boutaric, ed., Correspondance secrète inédite de Louis XV, I. 320.
National Archives, SP78/261 f. 54, Hertford to Halifax, Paris, 11 April 1764, confirms that Praslin
applied diplomatic pressure.
52 See National Archives, SP78/261 ff. 206–7, Memorial delivered by Guerchy, 17 May 1764.
53 Kates, Monsieur d’Eon, pp. 129–30.
54 On these attempts see Simon Burrows, ‘Despotism without bounds: the French secret police and the
silencing of dissent in London’, History, 89, (2004), 525–48; Burrows, Blackmail, Scandal and Revolution,
chs 3–4.
Index

abduction, see plots, to murder or kidnap d’Eon Angelo, Domenico 117


Abrégé de la vie de Louis Mandrin 133 Angelo, Henri 87–8, 98–9, 107, 117, 109
absolutism 233 Angelucci, Guillaume 57–8, 68, 69 n.2
Académie française 25, 165 Anglomania 213 n.61
accessories 98, 99, 103, 106 Anna Ivanova, Empress of Russia 168
account book 97, 106, 107, 109 Année littéraire 25, 48
Achilles 173 anti-Catholicism 124
actors 120 anti-clericalism 222
Adélaïde, sister of Faublas, fictional character anti-religious publishing 222
203–4 anti-semitism 22 n.28
Adhémar, Jean-Balthazar, Comte d’ 28 Antoine, Michel 26
adultery scandals 15, 118–19 Apologie des dames 169
adultresses 118–19 Apology for the Life of Colley Cibber 156
after-life of d’Eon 129 appointment, of d’Eon as Minister Plenipotentiary
agricultural revolution 73 5, 27, 81, 82, 190
Aiguillon, Armand du Plessis, Duc d’ 51, 55 n.43 appointment, of d’Eon as royal censor 4
Alfieri, Vittorio 119 Arabi Pasha, see Orabi, Ahmed
Algarotti, Francesco 157 Archives nationales 234
Almaviva, Comte d’, fictional character 60, 68, 202, archives, of d’Eon’s papers x, 2, 229–32, 234–8
211 Argental, Comte d’ 15, 19, 22 n.41
Almon, John 224, 228 n.69 Ariosto 165
Alther, Lisa 155 Aristophanes 174 n.15
Amazon(s) 8–9, 83, 85, 165, 166, 149, 152–3, Aristotle 117
165–9, 173 Arnaud, François-Thomas-Marie de Baculard d’
and d’Eon 124, 189, 194–5 163
Amazones modernes 167 Arsacides 145 n.36
Amazones révoltées 167 art exhibitions 119
Amelot de Chaillou, Antoine-Jean 104 Arts and Humanities Research Council xi
America 172 Artus, Thomas 91
American colonies 5, 34, 54 n.18, 116, 218 Ashley, James 17, 22 n.28
American Declaration of Independence 78 assassination, see plots, to murder or kidnap d’Eon
American Psychiatric Association 150 Assault or Fencing Match ... between ... d’Eon and
American Revolution 78 Saint George 87
American revolutionaries 63, 68, 209 astrology 209
Americans 116 asylum 93
Amerongen, Gerrit van 198 Athena 88
Amour valley 75 Attorney-General 19
Amours du Chevalier de Faublas 9, 201–12 Aublet de Maubuy 168
androgeny 84, 94 n.30 authors 49
242 INDEX

autobiography 147–60 suppresses scandalous pamphlet 57–8


of d’Eon (unpublished) 9, 97, 100, 104, 110, trip to Vienna 58
147–58, 171–2, 177–86, 234–8 Vergennes’ testimony concerning 71 n.51
inspiration for 161–73 see also Barbier de Séville; Figaro; Mariage
d’Eon’s fabrication of 1–2, 7, 134, 141, 158, 166 de Figaro
see also Maiden of Tonnerre Beaumont, Christophe de 148, 234, 236
Aventures de Zéloïde et d’Amanzarifdine 167 Beaumont, Elie de 162
Aventurier français 167 Beaumont, Lia de 2, 210
aventuriers des lumières 3 Beaumont Society 93 n.10
Avis important à la branche espagnole, see beauty spots 127
Dissertation extraite d’un plus grand ouvrage, ou Beauvais, Madame 107
Avis important à la branche espagnole Becket 224, 228 n.69
Beckford, William 29
B***, Marquis de, fictional character 202, 208–211 Bedford, 4th Duke of, see Russell, John
passim Bedlam 220
B***, Marquise de, fictional character 202, 204, Belépine, M. 75
206–8, 210 Belle Isle, Maréchal de 137
Baccelli, Giovanna 107 Bellona 166, 168
Barbier de Séville 68, 211 Bernis, Comte de 137
Barbin, Herculine 182 Bertier de Sauvigny, Louis-Jean 4
Baron, Richard 216–17, 221 Bertier, shoemaker 106
Barrault des Mottes 79 Bertin, Rose 77, 97, 99–106, 109, 110, 150, 152,
Barrell, John 120 154, 161, 172, 180, 187
Barrington, General 214 n.69 Betjeman, Sir John 229
Barrington, Lady 214 n.69 Bible 158–9 n.15, 234
Barry, wine seller 74 Bible-dipping 149, 158–9 n.15
Bartholo, fictional character 211 Bibliothèque municipale de Tonnerre 105, 145
Bastille 18 n.36, 234
Bateman, Mrs 6, 87 Bill of Rights 228 n.64
battalion of women, d’Eon’s offers to form ix, 6, biographers, of d’Eon 81–2, 233
152–3, 173 Blackett, Sir Walter Calverley 223
Beattie, James 117 blackmail 156
Beaumarchais 6, 52, 57–68, 145 n.24, 163, 172, 177, laws 46
195, 202, 203, 211 of French government by d’Eon 14–15, 45,
accused of keeping d’Eons money 67, 141 58–9, 138
accused of libertinage by d’Eon 61 Blaisdell 16
aids Americans 63 bluestockings 230–1
and Morande 60–1 bodily transformation of d’Eon 152
and wagers on d’Eon’s sex 64 Bodleian Library 231
claims d’Eon in love with him 64–5 Bolingbroke, Viscount 47, 193, 217
convinced d’Eon is woman 57, 67 Bombelles, Marquis de 104, 110
correspondence with d’Eon 57, 69 n.1, 142 Bon, Baron de 161
lends d’Eon money 66 Bonaparte, Napoleon 231
Louis XVI’s opinions of 63, 65 Bontemps 28
negotiations with d’Eon 6, 46–7, 62–3, 95 n.63 book trade 211
offers to negotiate with d’Eon 58–60, 61–2 Bornstein, Kate, 153–4
possible involvement in producing libelles Boscawen, Edward, Admiral 32, 33, 34, 36
69 n.2 Bossuet, Jacques-Bénigne 233
quarrel with d’Eon 64–8, 134–5, 141–2, 143 Boswell, James 84
relations with d’Eon 7, 60–68 bottle imp or bottle conjuror 22 n.29, 122, 131 n.51
retrieves d’Eon’s papers 62–3 Boucher, clerk at French embassy 28
self-justifications 67–8 Bouchers, father and son 74
suggestions will marry d’Eon 64–5 Boudier, Dom 185
INDEX 243

Bouquin, Nicolas 78 Burlington Magazine 230


Bourignon, Antoinette 238 Burrows, Simon 3, 7, 52, 69 n.2
Bradamante, female knight 165 Bute, John Stuart, Earl of 28, 30, 33, 35–6, 47–8, 51,
Bradel, Jean-Baptiste 127 54 n.16, 55 n.50, 114–17
Brant, Clare 156 Butler, Judith 8, 10, 85–6, 92, 95 n.43, 151
Breteuil, Louis-Auguste Le Tonnelier, Baron de 137 Byfleet, 51
Bretherton, J. 132 n.60
Brevot, Mme de 75 Cabanis, Pierre 162
Brewer Street 124 Cabinet du philosophe 169
Brewster, Thomas 216 Cadran bleu 213 n.26
Bristol, Lord 55 n.48 Cailleau, André-Charles 133
Britain ix, 4, 7, 25 and passim Calvinism 148
attitudes towards France 9–10 Campagnes du sieur Caron de Beaumarchais en
d’Eon’s first impressions 28–9 Angleterre 61
informants of d’Eon in 28 Campan, Henriette 104, 162
invasion proposed by d’Eon 35 Canning, Elizabeth 17, 22 n.30
national debt 48 caricature(s) 8, 9, 130
national character 125 of d’Eon 8, 55 n.50, 108, 113–29
national identity 93, 132 n.60 Carlton House 87–8, 128
opposition courts d’Eon 16 Carnival 98
Parliament 26–41 passim, 53, 211 Casanova, Giacomo 188
politics 10, 16–18, 25–41 passim Casque à la Minerve ou la Dragone 102
Britannicus (pseudonym) 17, 18 castration, symbolic 161–2
British, d’Eon’s views of 49 castratos 99
British images of French 115 Catherine II, Empress of Russia 9, 168, 169
British patriot party 17–18, 220, 233 Caucasus 167
British politics and politicians, d’Eon’s opinions on Cavendish, Elizabeth, 195
25–41 passim, 42 n.42 Cavendish, ‘Jack’, see Cavendish, Elizabeth
British Library 234 celebrity 13, 20, 100, 238
British Museum 88 culture of 113, 119, 129, 130 n.4
British Swiss (pseudonym) 18 status of d’Eon 152
Broadley, Meyrick Broadley 230–1, 232 Centre for Cultural Analysis, Theory and History
Brogan, Stephen 8, 14, 126 xi, 3
Broglie, Charles-François, Comte de, 4, 5, 14, 26–7, Chains of Slavery 222–4
43 n.58, 45, 50, 51, 55 n.43, 55 n.47, 141, 192, Challes, Robert 169
225 n.3 Chamfort, Nicolas 162
Broglie, Victor-François, Maréchal-Duc de 14, Chanlatte, Dom, abbot of Pontigny 78
81–2, 141 Charke, Charlotte 8, 155–7
Brooke, John 32 Charke, Mr 156
Brotherton Collection 147, 229–32, 234–8 Charles I, King of Great Britain 31, 215, 224
Brotherton Library x, 2, 9, 97, 147, 220, 229–32 Charles II, King of Great Britain 215
Brotherton, Sir Edward Allen, later Lord Charles, G. 54 n.13, 55 n.48
Brotherton of Wakefield 229–32 Charles Townley with a group of connoisseurs 119
Brown, John 49 Charlotte of Mecklenberg-Strelitz, Queen of
Brown, Mr, a.k.a Charlotte Charke 156 England, 2, 107
Brown, Mrs, friend of Charlotte Charke 156 Châtelet, Marquis de, French ambassador 52, 56
Brussels Gazette 17 n.58
Bunbury, Henry 132 n.60 Chatham, Earl of, see Pitt, William, the Elder
Bunbury, Lady Sarah 118 Chaumont, Madame de 106
see also Lady Sarah Bunbury Sacrificing to the Chaussin, Elisabeth 7
Graces Chazell, Stephen 18–19, 22 n.37
Bunyan, John 149 Chérubin, fictional character 202, 203, 211
Burkhardt, Carl Jacob 233 Cherubini 202
244 INDEX

Chevalier d’Eon de Beaumont: A Treatise 81 Colley, Linda 13, 93


Chevalier d’-n producing his Evidence against Colnaghi, P. & D. and Co. 88
certain persons, 55 n.50, 113, 122 Colonie 167, 169
Chevrier, François-Antoine 133–4 Comédie italienne 210
childhood, of d’Eon 135, 140, 181 Commonwealth tradition 9
chivalry 125 Commonwealthmen 215–25 passim
Choiseul, Etienne François, Duc de 4, 47, 49, 51, 55 Company of Bricklayers 223
n.54, 226 n.25 Confederation of Bar 209
and conspiracies against d’Eon 5, 14, 19 conference, about d’Eon x, 3, 82, 90
and d’Eon’s Loisirs 217, 224, 226 n.29 confessional narratives 155
and French patriot movement 217, 224 Confessions, of J.-J. Rouseau 155, 188, 189, 196,
foreign policy 27, 51 198, 238
parallels with Pitt the Elder 47 Confessions, of St Augustine 148, 237
Choiseul, Vicomte de 22 n.37 Conlin, Jonathan 7, 233
Choiseul-Praslin faction 5 Constant, Benjamin 201
Choisy, François-Timoléon, Abbé de, 2, 9, 161, Constantinople 168
177–86, 203, 210 consumer revolution 13, 49
comparison with d’Eon 177–86 Conti, Prince de 4, 76, 136, 160 n.64, 166–7, 171
Chrisman-Campbell, Kimberly 8, 94 n.29, 95 n.34 Continental Congress 78
Christ, Jesus 136, 149, 237 conversion narratives 148–9, 153, 155, 158
Christian devotional literature 153 Coquelle, Pierre, 26
Christian feminism 2, 148 Cordeliers Club 224–5
Christian fundamentalism 148–9 Correspondance littéraire 145 n.36, 162
Christianity 188, 193 Correspondance secrète 100
and d’Eon 147, 148, 149, 234–8 corsets 98, 99, 106, 110, 150, 185
Christians 168 Corsica 41
chronique scandaleuse 211 Cosway, Richard 119, 131 n.41, 132 n.73
Cibber, Colley 156 Cotes, Humphry 51
Cicero 218, 221 Council of Reims 134
cider tax 29 Courier de l’Europe 70 n.42, 211
civic humanism 120 court cases
Clarence House 87, 93 n.1, 95 n.51 against d’Eon for libel of Guerchy 17, 19, 20,
Clark, Anna 3, 9, 90, 117, 131 n.51, 233 51
Cloots, Anacharsis 173 against Guerchy for conspiracy to murder 19
clothes, clothing 8, 65, 66, 84–5, 88, 89, 94 n.29, 95 concerning d’Eon’s sex 6, 91, 117, 125, 194
n.34, 97–110, 115, 120, 125, 127, 139, 140, 152, of d’Eon against Le Sénéchal family 134, 145
157, 161–2, 182, 185, 193, 194, 197, 142, 183, n.36
184, 234–5 Covent Garden 61
female, d’Eon’s adoption of 6, 7, 86, 150, 161, Cox, Cynthia 81–2
187 Coypel, Charles-Antoine 124
d’Eon first wears as disguise 192 Crébillon fils 211
d’Eon ordered to wear ix, 63, 64, 91, 99 Cromwell, Jason 150–1, 154
d’Eon’s purchases of 98 Cromwell, Oliver 31, 37
d’Eon’s trousseau of 64, 65 Cromwellian Protectorate 216
see also fashion Cross of Saint-Louis 5, 6, 7, 10, 63, 64, 88, 89–90,
Cock-Lane ghost 17, 22 n.31 97, 101, 104, 106, 108, 115, 119, 120, 125, 127,
Coeffure à la D’Éon 106 142, 161
coffee houses 95 n.58 cross-dressing 84, 98, 99, 161, 177–86, 189, 194,
Cohen, Michèle 84 212
Colbert, Jean-Baptiste 193 by d’Eon 8, 97, 99, 135, 140
Cole, Marie 6, 109 female to male 178–9, 181, 189
Collège de Quatre Nations 4 in literature 202–12
Collège Mazarin 4, 135 in theatre 201
INDEX 245

narratives 9, 177–86 dragoon uniform 4, 97, 98, 99, 101, 102, 105, 106,
see also Charke, Charlotte; Choisy, abbé de; 109, 110, 117, 127, 152, 159 n.31
Faublas, transvestites, transvestism dragoons 161–2
Cumberland, Henry, Duke of 118 d’Eon’s identification with 4, 48, 64, 83, 84–5,
Cumberland, William Augustus, Duke of 29 101, 102, 104, 109, 115, 125, 127–8, 141,
152, 159 n.31-n.32, 161–3, 169, 172, 180,
Damer, Anne 195 182, 187, 189, 196, 234–5, 236.
Dance, George 88, 108 see also dragoon uniform.
Daniell, William 88 dress, see clothes
Dashwood, Sir Francis 117 dressmakers 106, 107
David, King of Israel 136 complicity with d’Eon 109–10
Davies, Simon 9 du Barry, Comtesse 60, 142, 193
Death and Life Contrasted, or an Essay on Man 92 du Bouciquault, Louis Le Maingre 167, 168
death, of d’Eon 89, 109 du Deffand, Mme 100
Decker, Michel de 105 duels, duelling 129, 190, 213 n.35
Déclaration de la femme et de la citoyenne 173 Duffy, Michael 115
decoding, of satires 124 Dufour, Mme 94 n.29
Découverte ou la Femme Franc-Maçon 120–2, Dugazon, Jean-Henri 162
125–6 Duke of B-d’s Reception at Exeter 116
Dekker, Rudolf 178 du Portail, fictional character 204–5, 209
Delaval, Thomas 223 Durand de Distroff, François Michel 26–7, 33
De l’éducation physique et morale des femmes 172 Durival, Jean 68
Delille, Jacques, Abbé 162 Duval, Jean 70 n.45
De Republica 218 Dziembowski, Edmond 7, 47, 53, 54 n.20, 54 n.22,
Desaives, Jean-Paul 74 217
Deschamps, Charles Antoine 79
Desfontaines, Pierre François Guyot 167 early writings, of d’Eon 48–9
Desjardins, Jeannette 77 education, of d’Eon 4, 135–6
despotism 7, 18, 37, 46, 49, 94 n.10, 170, 171, 173, effeminacy 84, 94 n. 30, 94 n.31, 95 n.32 125, 126,
216, 219, 223, 224 127, 129, 130
Dictionnaire historique portatif des femmes célèbres of d’Eon 99, 117, 194
169 Egremont, Lord 34, 35, 38, 44 n.72, 44 n.74
Diderot, Denis 189, 193, 211 Eighteenth-Century Commonwealthman 220
Dighton, Robert 92, 131 n.46 Elizabeth I, Empress of Russia 2, 97, 136–7, 141,
diplomatic correspondence 7, 26–41, 47, 48, 235 158 n.3, 160 n.64, 166, 168, 171
published by d’Eon 5, 116 Ellis, Havelock 2, 93 n.10
Discourse on Inequality 189, 191 Emile 187, 189, 197
Dissertation extraite d’un plus grand ouvrage, ou English Civil War 31, 223
Avis important à la branche espagnole 58, English language skills, of d’Eon 28, 46
69 n.2 English Masculinities 84
divine grace 148 English Revolution, see English Civil War
divorce(s) 118, 119 Enigma of the Age 81
Dixwell, James 15 Enlevement de Mlle d’éon 122–3
Dolbois, Sieur 106 Enlightenment 8, 171, 189, 193, 233
Don Quixote (character) 122, 124–5, 132 n.57 Eon de Beaumont, Françoise d’ (d’Eon’s mother)
Don Quixote (novel) 124–5 75, 78, 101, 107, 139, 140, 150, 181, 190, 191,
Donald, Diana 125 237
Dorat, Claude-Joseph 134–5, 168, 169–70 Eon de Beaumont, Louis d’ (d’Eon’s father) 73, 75,
Dorset, 3rd Duke of, see Sackville, Frederick John 140, 147, 181
Douglas, Chevalier de, see Mackenzie, Alexander Eon de l’Etoile 134
Downie, Miss 107 Eon, Mme. d’ (d’Eon’s grandmother) d’ 181
drag kings 86 eonism 2
drag queens 86 Epinay, Mme d’ 173
246 INDEX

Epistle to Lord Mansfield 195 Fielding, John 52, 193, 194


Epître de Madame*** à Mademoiselle la Chevalière Figaro 59, 68, 170, 202, 211
D’Eon 169–70 see also Barbier de Seville; Mariage de Figaro
Esperances d’un vrai Patriote 48–9 Fille Garçon 210
Espinasse, Mlle de l’ 173 Filles de Sainte Marie 236
Espion anglois 107 financial problems, of d’Eon 6–7, 86–7
espionage 83, 137 financiers 49
see also Secret du Roi Fitzherbert, Maria 88
Esprit des journaux 173 Fitzroy, Augustus Henry, Lord Grafton 116
Esprit des lois 49 Florian, Jean Claris de 162
Essai historique sur les différentes situations de la Fontenelle, Bernard le Bovier de 168
France 4, 48 forgeries 97, 171
Essay on Laughter and Ludicrous Composition 117 Foucault, Michel 84, 210
Essay on Woman 193 Foulon, merchant 168
estates, of d’Eon 73–4 Fox, Charles James 28
Excellencie of a Free State 9, 215–21 passim, 224, 225 Fox, Henry 116
Exeter 116 Fox-North coalition 28
exile, of d’Eon in Tonnerre 6 François (servant of d’Eon) 77, 78
extradition attempts, against d’Eon 5, 20 François I, King of France 141
extra-illustrated books 230–1 Franklin, Benjamin 74
Extraordinary Intelligencer 16, 17–18, 49 Fratteaux, Marquis de 16, 17, 94 n.15
freedom, see liberty
Falkland Islands crisis 41, 52 freemasonry x, 8, 9, 77, 78, 120, 122, 162, 174 n.4,
fame 13, 20 231–2
Far East 168 French embassy 50
farming 73–5 French émigrés 109
Fars, Vicomtesse de 104 French national character 125
fashion 107, 127 French navy 27, 31, 32, 37, 39
see also clothes, clothing French protestants 34, 39
Fastes militaires 145 n.36 French renegades 18
Faublas, Chevalier de, fictional character 202–12 French Revolution 6, 18, 87, 109, 110, 173, 233
Feint Alcibiade 177 French revolutionaries 225
female deportment 103, 106, 157, 187 French revolutionary wars ix, 6, 152
female identity, d’Eon’s construction of 149–50 Fréron 25, 54 n.22
female saints 149 Freud, Sigmund 2
female sexuality 127 Fromageot, Paul 106
feminine identity, of d’Eon 166 Fuzelier, Louis 167
femininity 85, 157, 183, 184, 189, 196
and d’Eon 156, 181 Gachet, bourgeois of Tonnerre 74
feminism 167–8, 187 Gady, valet 76–7
Christian, see Christian feminism ‘Gageure sur le sexe du Chevalier D’Eon’ 170
of d’Eon 172, 192 Gaillardet, Frédéric, 2, 11 n.6, 209–10, 213 n.48
feminist scholars 187 Gainsborough 119
feminists 159 n.46 Galatians 237
Femmes militaires 167 galenic theory 151
femmes savants 157 Galerie des femmes fortes 169
fencing bouts 6, 78, 87–8, 109, 128–9, 152, 161, Galerie des Modes 102
187, 210 Galien, Mme 169
Fénélon, François 47, 167 gamblers
Ferrers, Lady 209 challenged to duel by d’Eon 6
Ferrers, Washington Shirley, 5th Earl 5, 209 payments to d’Eon 66
feudalism 188 see also wagers on d’Eon’s sex
Fielding, Henry 49, 156, 202 Ganymede 123, 132 n.53
INDEX 247

Garnier, Charles-Jean 69 n.10 grand manner portrait paintings 119, 125


Garnot, Sieur 106 Grand Orient de France 78
Garrick, David 189, 195 grangerization 230–1
gastronomy, and d’Eon 117 graphic method 128
gay activists 159 n.46 Gravesend 16, 17
Gazetteer and New Daily Advertiser 16, 90–1, 193, Great Britain, see Britain
227 n.44 Great Chain of Being 188
gender Great Historical Epistle 147–8, 152–4, 155, 156, 157,
as cultural construction 85–6 180, 235–8
attitude of d’Eon towards 147, 182, 234–5, 238 Greece, classical 221
eighteenth-century conceptions 187–9, 195 Greek heroes 119
hierarchy 179, 181, 188 Green Park 119
identities 128, 147–60 Grenville, George 29, 30–2 35, 36, 37, 39, 54 n.9
issues posed by d’Eon’s case ix-x, 1–2, 81–93 Greuze, Jean-Baptiste 162
performance of 81, 85–6, 151, 154, 179, 185 Grimm, Friedrich Melchior, Baron 107
roles 233 grocery lists 234
stereotypes 177 Grosvenor, Lady 118
subversion 177 Grub Street 3
theory 85 Gudin de La Brenellerie, Paul-Philippe 69 n.5, n.10
transformation, of d’Eon 10, 147–58, 163 Guerchy, Claude-Louis-François Regnier, Comte
concept challenged 82–93 de 6, 26, 27, 33, 39, 40, 55 n.47, 58–9, 82, 133
motives for 1–2, 6, 20–21, 82, 92, 192, and Vergy 15, 22 n.43
234–8 claims d’Eon mad 44 n.80
Gender Outlaw 153–4 cowardice in battle (alleged) 5
Gender Trouble 85 d’Eon’s allegations against 15, 16, 18, 50, 123,
genealogical claims, of d’Eon 134–5, 141 217
general warrants 46 truth of 18–20
Genet, Mme 103 d’Eon’s press campaign against 13, 15–20
genitalia 151, 188 passim, 49–50
George II, King of Great Britain 48 diplomatic incompetence (alleged) 34
George III, King of Great Britain 2, 6, 28–41 factional links 5, 14, 217
passim, 42 n.42, 43 n.54, 44 n.72, 47, 48, 52, 63, indictment for attempted murder of d’Eon
67, 114, 118, 129, 194, 210 19, 46
George IV, Prince of Wales, Prince Regent then quarrel with d’Eon 5, 7, 13, 14–20, 46, 82–3,
King of Great Britain 2, 43 n.63, 87–8, 99, 109, 190, 217
113, 128–9 Guerlichon femelle 52
Getty Museum 231 Guyon, Claude Marie 167
Girardin de Tréfontaine, Captain 78
Girondins 201 Halifax, Lord 44 n.74, 55 n.47
Glover, Colonel 17 Hammersley, Rachel 9
Gluck, Christophe von 163 Hanger, Major George 128–9, 132 n.71
Glynn, Serjeant John 223 Hardman, John 60
God 138, 148,149, 153, 154, 158, 168, 182, 183, 184, harems 168
188, 196, 197, 236 Harewood, Earl of 231–2
Goddard, innkeeper 22 n.28 Harlot’s Progress 127
Goëzmann-LaBlache affair 58, 68 Harlowe, Clarissa 172
Goliath 136 Harrington, James 216, 217
Gordon, Lord William 118 Harrington, Lady 118, 127
Gordon, Thomas 222 Harris, Joseph 9
Goujon, Sieur 106 Harveley, Micaut d’ 105
Grace Abounding 149 Haymarket Theatre 122
Grafton, Lord, see Fitzroy, Augustus Henry, Lord Heartwell, pseudonoym 193
Grafton 116 hemp 73
248 INDEX

Henri IV, King of France 141 impostors 166


Henry Angelo’s Fencing Academy 87 imprisonment, of d’Eon
Henwood, Miss 107 at Dijon 92
heresy 134 for debt 7
Hermaphrodites 91 Independent Whig 222
hermaphrodites 91, 98, 182 Ireland 35, 38
Héroïne mousquetaire 169 Isle des Amazones 167
Hervey, George Grenville Augustus 55 n.48
Hervey, Lord John 8 Jacobites 48, 54 n.18
heterosexuality 194 Jacques le fataliste 211
Histoire de Jeanne d’Arc 169 Jansenism 148, 235, 238
Historical Manuscripts Commission 231 Jarrett, Derek 47
historical significance, of d’Eon 1–2 Jefferson, Thomas 99
History of England 220, 221, 224 Jews 124
Hitchcock, Tim 84 jingoism 127
Hobbes, Thomas 219 Joan of Arc 141, 149, 162, 169, 170, 173, 178, 193,
Hodgkin, Dorothy 231 194, 195
Hodgkin, Howard 231 Joan, Pope, see Pope Joan
Hodgkin, John Eliot 230, 231 Johnson, Dr Samuel 230
Hodgkin, Thomas 231 Joloye 74
Hodgkin’s disease 231 Jones, Captain 194
Hodgson’s auctioneers 230 Jousselin, Fernand 172
Hogarth, William 8, 114, 122, 125, 127 Julie, ou la Nouvelle Héloïse 196, 204
Holbach, Paul-Henri-Dietrich, Baron d’ 222, 227
n.54, n.56 Kates, Gary 63, 91, 99, 110 n.3, 133, 143, 158, 171,
Holdernesse, Lord 50 190, 195, 221, 229
Hollis, Thomas 9, 217, 221, 226 n.29, 227 n.52 and d’Eon’s feminism 2, 9
Holy Land 168 interpretation of d’Eon’s gender change 2–3, 7,
Homberg, Octave 172 20, 81, 84, 85, 147, 192
homophobia 159 n.46. challeged 92, 110, 148
homosexual desire 123, 132 n.53 themes raised by study of d’Eon 3, 82
see also sodomy; sodomites. Kauffmann Angelica 108
Hondt, Pierre de 228 n.69 Kercado, Comte de 134
honour 37–8, 50, 90, 129, 137, 138, 141, 195 kilts 98
and d’Eon 137, 138, 141 King’s Bench, Court of 19, 51
Hooper, S. 140 Klink, Andreas 198
Hôpital, Marquis de l’ 141, 192
Horace 117 Lacepède 162
hormone injections 150 La Chèvre, de 67, 71 n.47
Horneck, Captain Charles 194 la Chevre, seller of fans 106
Houdetot, Mme d’ 213 n.28 Laclos, Chloderos de 202, 211
Houdon, Jean-Antoine 162 La Cressonnière, Charlotte-Catherine Cosson de 172
Howell, James 216 La Croix, Jean-François de 169
Hoxter, battle of 14 Lady Sarah Bunbury Sacrificing to the Graces 118
huguenots 216, 225 Lady’s Magazine 109
Hume, David 50, 55 n.40, 190 Lafayette, Mme de 181, 211
humour, theories of 117 Lafitau, Joseph François 167
humours 151 La Fortelle 8, 77, 105, 127, 133–4, 141, 144, 145
Hunter, J. Paul 154 n.36, 172, 175 n.42, 235
Hyde Park 17 see also Vie militaire, politique et privée de
Melle d’Eon
Illustres françaises 169 Lalande 162
images, see visual images Lambert, Marquise de 177, 181
INDEX 249

Lambert, publisher 134 Lintilhac, Eugène 69 n.1


La Mettrie, Julien Offray de 189, 193 Lister, Anne 198
La Motte, Comte de, 20 literary genre 153
Land Tax 33 literary pursuits, of d’Eon 25–6
Laqueur, Thomas 151, 188, 193 Lives of Saints 138
Larcher, Albert 113 Lloyd’s Evening Post 17
La Rozière, Marquis de 26–7 Locke, John 217
la Rupel, de 78 Lodge of Immortality 120
La Scala operahouse 202 Lodge of the Nine Sisters 162
La Sentinelle 201 Lodoïska, fictional character and real wife of
Latour, Germaine 78 Louvet de Coudray 201, 202, 209
law suits, see court cases Loisirs du Chevalier d’Eon 5, 11 n.15, 63, 215,
lazaroni regiment 22 n.37 217–20, 223, 224, 225 n.3, 226 n.19, 226 n.29
Le Bac, Mademoiselle, (d’Eon’s alter ego?) 15 Lomonossov, Mikhail 168
Lebel 14 London Evening Post 226 n.29
Le Comte, Mme 104 London Magazine 86, 90, 125
Leeds archive (of d’Eon’s papers) 234–8, 229–32 London mob 9–10, 46, 50
Leeds University Library, see Brotherton Library Long Parliament 215
Leeds University, see University of Leeds Lorraine, Prince de 77
Legrand, Marc-Antoine 167 Louis XIV 119, 233
Le Moyne, Pierre 169 Louis XV ix, 25, 51, 107, 133, 158 n.3, 210, 233
Lenglet Dufresnoy 169 and Beaumarchais 58, 60, 61
Lennox, Charles, see Richmond, Charles Lennox, and Comte de Broglie 4, 5, 26, 81–2
3rd Duke of and Conti 4
Leroy, Alphonse 168 and d’Eon’s pension 5, 137
Lesage, Alain René 167 and du Barry 60
lesbianism 126, 195–6 and Pompadour 5
Le Secq 74 and Secret du Roi 4–5, 14, 26, 81–3 passim
Le Sénéchal family 77, 134, 145 n.36 and Wilkes 46
Lesuire, Robert Martin 167 death 5
Letters to Serena 222 foreign policy 26–7, 41, 82
Lettre de Mlle Le Bac de Saint-Amant 15 reports d’Eon is a woman 84
Lettres, mémoires et négociations 1, 5, 14–15, 26, 46, secret orders to d’Eon 4, 14, 27, 45, 82, 83
63, 133, 134, 169, 238 Louis XVI 6, 74, 89, 100, 150
Liaisons dangereuses 202, 208, 211, 213 n.30 and Beaumarchais 58–67 passim
libel 46, 52 and Choiseul 217
d’Eon’s conviction for 17, 19, 20, 51 execution 201
Libertas 17 foreign policy 41
libertines 194 impotence (alleged) 208–9
liberty 7, 18, 28, 50, 53, 83, 114, 125, 171, 193, 216, orders d’Eon to dress as woman 62–3, 91, 99,
218–24 passim 150, 234–5
British 18, 20 pamphlets concerning 57, 58
d’Eon as a symbol of 18 presentation of d’Eon to 6, 102
of expression 83, 114 Louise de France, Madame 236
library, d’Eon’s 2, 6, 109, 168, 172, 187, 192 Louvet de Coudray, Jean-Baptiste 201–12 passim
Licensing Act 83 inspired by d’Eon 203
Life and Death Contrasted, or an Essay on Woman 92 Lovzinski, fictional character 209
Lignolle, Comte de 202, 208–9 Luchet, Marquis de 167, 168
Lignolle, Comtesse Eléonore de, fictional character Ludlow, Edmund 216
202, 208, 210
Ligonier, Lady 118–19 macaronis 6, 7, 95 n.57, 119, 194
Ligonier, Lord 29, 119 Macaulay, Catherine 195, 204, 220–1, 224, 227
Linguet, Simon-Nicolas-Henri 166, 170, 173 n.44, 227 n.52
250 INDEX

Machiavelli, Niccolo 219 Mémoires secrets d’une femme publique 51–2, 142
Mackenzie, Alexander 4, 14, 141, 166, 171, 175 n.33 Mendelssohn manuscripts 230
Mademoiselle de Beaumont, or the Chevalier d’Eon Mercier-Faivre, Anne-Marie 8
90–1, 126, 132 n.73 Mercurius Politicus 215–16
madness, alleged, of d’Eon 39, 44 n.80 Merteuil, Marquise de, fictional character 202, 208
Magdalene institution 220 Mesmerism 209, 210
Magna Carta 50 mezzotint process 120
Maiden of Tonnerre: The Vicissitudes of the Michaux, Madame 106
Chevalier and Chevalière d’Eon 8, 147–158 military service, of d’Eon 4
Maillet de Régnière, Françoise Charlotte 78 see also dragoons
Maillet de Régnière, lieutenant 78 Milton, John 216, 217
Maillot, Antoinette 103, 106, 109 Minden, battle of 21 n.8
Maillot, Génévieve 77, 103, 106, 109 Minerva 63, 87, 91, 102, 127, 142, 168, 173
Maillot, wigmaker, cousin to Geneviève and Mirepoix, ambassador to Britain 34
Antoinette 106 misogyny 117, 120, 127, 129, 157, 167
Mainz, Valerie 8 missions of d’Eon
Mairobert, see Pidansat de Mairobert, Mathieu- to London 4, 5, 26–41, 82, 83
François to Russia 4, 136–7, 141, 166–7, 171, 175 n.33
make-up 85 Mohammed the Prophet 168
Making of the Modern Self 188 Molas, Marquis de 134
Malesherbes, Chrétien-Guillaume de Lamoignon Molesmes 78
de 4 Molière 201
Mallet, Mrs 107 mollies 194
Mandar, Théophile 224 Moncrif, François-Augustin Paradis de 167
manhood, see masculinity Monet, General 84
Manon Lescaut 169 Monica, mother of Saint Augustine 237
Mansfield, William Murray, Earl of 91, 117, 125, monkey, satirical image 115, 190
126, 194–5 Monsieur d’Eon is a Woman 2–3, 82, 229
Marat, Jean-Paul 9, 222–4, 228 n.58, 228 n.69 see also Kates, Gary
Mariage de Figaro 59–60, 170, 177, 202, 203, 211 Montagu, Lady Mary Wortley 157
Marie-Antoinette 58, 77, 97, 99, 102, 105, 106, 109, Montesquieu 28, 49, 226 n.39
150, 152, 161, 211, 217 Monthly Review 14
Marivaux 64, 167, 169, 201 Montmorency-Bouteville, Duchesse de 103, 107,
Marphise 165 149, 184, 234–5, 236, 237, 238
Marriage à la Mode 127 Moore, Lisa 156
masculinity 120, 156, 181–3, 184, 190, 196, 236 Morande, see Théveneau de Morande, Charles
d’Eon and 8, 21, 81, 82, 85, 86, 88, 90–3 More, Hannah 194, 195
passim, 98, 125, 136, 141, 154, 162, 172, Moreau le jeune, Jean-Michel 162
192, 195 Morel, Jean-Marie 76
masquerade balls 97, 98, 193 Morning Chronicle 193
Maupeou 74, 217, 224 Morning Post 63, 65, 66
Maurepas, Comte de 60 Morris, Marilyn 8
Maurepas, Comtesse de 103, 107 mouches 127
Mayor, Godefroy 231 Mouffle d’Angerville, Barthélemy 133
Maza, Sarah 133 Moullet de Monbar, Abbé 165
medical fraternity 122 Mount Olympus 123
Medmenham Abbey 117 murder, see plots, to murder or kidnap d’Eon
Meister, Henri 162 Musée de Tonnerre 107, 109, 112 n.87
Mémoire pour la chevalière d’Eon 77 Musgrave, Dr Samuel, 51, 55 n.48, 55 n.50, 114–16
Mémoires du Chevalier d’Eon (Gaillardet) 201, 209 Muslims 168
Mémoires pour servir à l’histoire générale des Musson, painter 142
finances 4, 25 Mystery of Masonry Brought to Light by ye
Mémoires secrets 100–1, 105 Gormagons 122, 125
INDEX 251

myths Onfroi, publisher 134


of Amazons 167–73 passim Orabi, Ahmed 230
inspirations for d’Eon’s autobiography 178 Order of Saint-Louis 115
surrounding d’Eon 1–3, 143, 147, 158 n.3, 161 see also Cross of Saint-Louis
see also Amazons; Beaumont, Lia de; Orléans, Duc d’ 88
Gaillardet, Frédéric; Russia myth Orneval, Jacques-Philippe d’ 167
Ossory, Lady 84
Namier, Sir Lewis 29 outlawing
Narrative of the Life of Mrs Charlotte Charke 156 of d’Eon 20
native Americans 116 of Wilkes 193
Nedham, Marchamont 215–17, 218, 220, 221, 224, Oxford Magazine 113–14, 116
225 Ozanam, Didier 26
New Testament 158–9 n.15
theology 237–8 Palais Royal 202
New World 167 Pallas 139–142 passim, 165, 166, 169, 170
Newcastle, Duke of 28, 30, 32, 123 pamphlets
Newcastle-upon-Tyne 228 n.63 British republican 216
election (1774) 223 revolutionary 133
newspapers 7, 9, 15, 50, 57, 83, 90, 193, 211, use by d’Eon, 190
215–16, 220–1, 234, 235 Panaetius 218
British 122 Panza, Sancho 125
comment, on d’Eon’s gender 83–4 Parlement of Paris 4, 135, 141, 169
manipulated by d’Eon 13–20 passim, 50–1, 83 parlementaires 53
see also under titles of individual newspapers Parlements 49, 211, 217, 224
Ninias 169 Pascal, Blaise 238
Nivernais, Louis-Jules Mancini-Mazarini, Duc de Pascal, Roy 158
14, 15, 26, 28, 29, 37, 42 n. 32, 58–9, 60, 94 n.22, patriot party
137 in France 217
career 25 in Britain, see British Patriot Party
decorates d’Eon 4–5 patriotism, of d’Eon 7, 25, 30, 33, 40, 47–53 passim,
despatches 25, 30 219, 224, 233
embassy to London 4, 25, 30, 32, 82 patronage 4
negotiates Peace of Paris 4, 25, 30, 32, 82 Peace of Paris 4, 8, 27, 32, 34, 41, 82
opinions of Pitt 32 Peace of Utrecht 38
North Briton 30, 46, 48 pension, of d’Eon 5, 6, 62, 75, 83, 87, 91, 95 n.63,
North, Frederick, Lord 28, 32, 52 99, 109, 110, 137
Notre-Dame-du-Pont 73, 76 perceptions
Nouveau Gulliver 167 of d’Eon among his contemporaries 3, 81–2,
Nouvelle colonie ou la Ligue des femmes 167 84–5, 89–93, 104
Nouvelle Héloïse, see Julie ou la Nouvelle Héloïse of the modern self 3
novels 154–5, 156, 172, 203, 211 Percy 195
Nussbaum, Felicity 149, 153, 155, 157 performance of gender, see gender, performance of
Peters, Marie 53
O’Gorman, Madame (d’Eon’s sister) 73–4, 75 Petit, Pierre 167
O’Gorman, Thomas, Chevalier d’ 67, 73, 74–5, Petite réponse au Grand Voltaire 169
77–8, 194, 210 Peyraud de Beaussol 145 n.36
obituaries, of d’Eon 235 phallic objects 161–2
obscene libel 212 phallic power 117
Observateur anglais 211 Phileultheros (pseudonym) 17
old age, of d’Eon 6–7, 92, 109, 152 Phillips, Constantia 155
Old Bailey 19 Phipps, Constantine John 223
Olympe de Gouges, Marie 173 physical appearance, of d’Eon 8, 81, 85, 99, 113,
one-sex model 151 117, 129, 141, 162–3
252 INDEX

physionomy 208, 210 Princeton University Library 231


Picot, V. M. 87, 95 n.51 print culture 114
Pidansat de Mairobert, Mathieu-François 211 print shops 120, 131 n.46
Pile (or Pille), Barthélemy known as La Grenade private sphere 133
75, 77 promotion, of d’Eon, to Chevalier 5, 89
Pilkington, Laetitia 155 Prosser, Jay 150–5 passim
Pinsseau, Pierre 73, 134 prostitutes, prostitution 14, 127, 194
Pitt, William, the Elder 29, 30, 43 n.50, n.63, 48, Protestant Reformation 188
49, 54 n.9 Pruneveaux, M. 60, 69 n.10
and George III, 35, 43 see also Pommereau
and Nivernais 32 Pruneveaux, Mme 60
comparison to Choiseul 47 pseudonyms, use of 17
d’Eon’s opinion of 31, 32, 34, 37–41, 42–3 n.49, psychologists views of d’Eon 2
45, 48 Public Advertiser 16, 17, 18, 51, 83, 220–1
foreign policy 35, 36–41, 45, 48 public opinion 50, 133, 156, 158, 194–5
political style 7, 47, 54 n.20 public sphere 13, 20, 113–14, 119, 133
return to power 35–7, 45, 48 Publicus (pseudonym) 17
plots, to murder or kidnap d’Eon 2, 7, 13–14, publisher’s advances 109
16–20, 46, 52, 83, 122–3 Pucelle de Tonnerre, see Maiden of Tonnerre
Poland 4, 209, 218 Puritan autobiography 147–8, 153
police of Paris 15 Puritan conversion narratives, see conversion
political skills, of d’Eon 48 narratives
political writings, of d’Eon 235 Puritans 148–9
Polybius 218
Pommereau, Marquis de 57, 58–9, 69 n.10 Quakerism 231, 232
Pompadour, Madame de 5, 14, 82, 171, 210, 217 Queer identities 159 n.46
Pontigny 78 Queer studies x
Pope Joan 149, 162, 170, 193 Quérard, Joseph-Marie 145 n.36
pornography 193 querelle des femmes 2, 167
Porter, Roy 83, 93 n.2 Quinault 163, 177
post-mortem examination of d’Eon 81, 89, 109, 147
Poullain de Saint-Foix 211 Rabelais 135
Praslin, Gabriel de Choiseul-Chevigny, Duc de 15, Radix de Sainte-Foy, Claude-Pierre Maximilien 45,
22 n.41, 25, 26, 41 n.2 46, 49, 211
and d’Eon’s Lettres, mémoires et négociations 5 Ranke, Leopold von 233
and Guerchy 5, 14, 18–19 Rariora 231
attitude to Pitt 32 recall, of d’Eon 14, 82, 116
correspondence from d’Eon 27–8, 33, 34, 36, Recherches sur les habillements des femmes et des
37, 39, 40 enfants 168
foreign policy 27 Recruiting Serjeant or Brittannias Happy Prospect
plots to kidnap d’Eon 19 116
plots to murder d’Eon (allegedly) 18–19 Reine de Benni 167, 168
Préchac, Jean de 169 religion, and gender change 234–8
précieuses 167 see also Christianity
predestination 148 religious conversion of d’Eon 152, 153, 165, 172,
presentation, of d’Eon at court 102, 103, 104 179, 235, 236
press, see newspapers see also Christianity
Prévost, Antoine François, Abbé 169 Remarques véritables et très remarquables, sur les
Price, Chase 119 Audiences de Thalie 166
Price, Munro 60 republican virtue 53, 120
priests 49 republicanism 215, 216–17, 219–20, 222, 224–5,
Prince of Wales, see George IV 225 n.3
Prince Regent, see George IV reputation of d’Eon, as a writer 118
INDEX 253

return of d’Eon Saint-Foi, see Poullain de Saint-Foix


to France (1777) 67, 110 n.3 Saint-Georges, Chevalier de 6, 87–8, 128–9, 210,
to London as woman 6 213 n.60
Reynolds, Sir Joshua 13, 119 Saint-Petersburg 4, 166, 168, 171
Riballier 173 Sainte-Foy, see Radix de Sainte-Foy
Riccoboni, Marie-Jean 211 Sainte-Suzanne 74
Richardson, bookseller 224 sales, of d’Eon’s possessions 6, 7, 109
Richardson, Jonathan 131 n.44 salvation by faith 148
Richardson, Samuel 157 same sex relationships 159 n.46
Richmond, Charles Lennox, 3rd Duke of 52, 56 n.58 Sandwich, Lord 44 n.74
Ridley, Matthew 223 Sapphick Epistle 196
Ridley, Sir Matthew White 223 Sartine, Antoine-Gabriel de 57, 68
Rigoley, Charles François 78 satirical prints 113, 119
Robbins, Caroline 220 Satyr Against the French, 115
Robespierre, Maximilien 201, 202 Saucière de Tenance, Antoine-Nicolas de 74
Robineau, Charles Jean 87, 93 n.1, 128 Sawbridge, John 221
Rochford, William Henry Nassau de Zuylestein, Sayre plot 52
4th Earl 47, 52, 55–6 n.57, 56 n.58, 66 scandal, scandals 1, 5, 13–14, 29, 51, 118–24, 133,
Rogister, John 11 n.6 141, 155–6, 177, 211
role models, for d’Eon 10 scandalous biographies 142, 147–8, 155–6
Roman Catholicism 148 scandalous memorialists, 155–8 passim
see also Christianity Scavoir Vivre club 194
Roman Empire 34–5 Scipio 217–18
Roman Republic 220 Scots 35
Rome 221 Scots Magazine 85
Rosambert, Comte de, fictional character 203, 204, Scythia 169
206, 208, 211 Scythians 168
Rosenthal, Michael 119 Secret du Roi 4, 5, 14, 26, 27 33, 37, 40–1, 45, 46,
rouge 95 n.41 82–3, 91, 94 n.14, 171, 233
Roulière, Jeanne, known as Jeannette 77, 78 secret service (French), see Secret du Roi
Rousseau, Jean-Jacques 9, 204, 209, 213 n.28 Seigel, Jerrold 197
and d’Eon 9, 48, 155, 160 n.49, 187–91, 196–8, self, conceptions of 113, 187–98 passim
233–4, 238 d’Eon’s 189–98
Rowlandson, Thomas 87 Selwyn, George 97
Royal Academy 119 Sémiramis 168, 169
Royal Collection 87 servants 76–7
Royal Navy 27, 32 Seven Years’ War 4, 16, 26, 27, 28, 30, 32, 33, 34, 45,
Rubens, Peter Paul 125 47, 82, 115, 116, 233
rumours, about d’Eon’s sex 2, 6, 7, 83, 98, 117, 192 sex reassignment surgery 148, 151, 159 n.46
194 sexologists views of d’Eon 2
Rump Parliament 216 sexual difference, notions of 120
Russell, John, 4th Duke of Bedford, 38–9, 44 n.74, sexual exploits of d’Eon (fabricated) 2, 213 n.48
52, 55–6 n.57, 116 Shelburne, Lord 29
see also Duke of B-d’s Reception at Exeter Sheppard, Christopher 9, 234
Russia ix, 2, 4, 9, 97, 141, 158 n.3, 167–9 passim, Shirley, Washington, 5th Earl Ferrers 5, 62, 65
171, 175 n.33, 192 shoes, 106
Russia myth 10 n.3, 158 n.3, 166–7, 171 Sidney, Algernon 216, 217
Rustaing de Saint-Jorry, Louis 167, 168 signature, of d’Eon 66
Rutgers University 230 Silhouette, Étienne de 49, 54 n.29, n.30
Ruvat, Mrs 107 Simon Magus 17
Simons, Henry 17, 22 n.28
Sackville, Frederick John, 3rd Duke of Dorset 107 Sir Charles Grandison 157
Sade, Marquis de 193 skin 151–2, 172
254 INDEX

Smith, Adam 47 Tercier, Jean-Pierre 14, 27, 43 n.58, 171


Smollett, Tobias, 54 n.17, 227 n.42 Terrier de Cléron, Claude-Joseph 133
sociability, d’Eon’s 77–8 Thalestris, Queen of the Amazons 168, 173
Society of Anti-Gallicans 50 theatre 98, 99, 127, 156, 162–3, 201
Society of Friends 232 Théâtre Français 145 n.36
sodomy, sodomites 98, 194, 198 Théveneau de Morande, Charles 68, 142, 195
Some Sober Inspections 216 allegations against d’Eon 23 n.45, 194, 195
Sophie (character in Rousseau’s Emile) 187 and Beaumarchais 58, 60, 61, 63–4, 69 n.2,
Sophie, Faublas’ wife, fictional character 202, 70 n.17
203–4, 209, 210 and Choiseul 226 n.25
Soufflot, Dame 106 attempted kidnap 20
Soumarokov, Aleksandr Petrovich 168 blackmails du Barry and Louis XV 51, 52, 58,
Spacks, Patricia Meyer 157, 158 60
Special Request by Mademoiselle d’Eon 147, 154, challenged to duels by d’Eon and others 194
237 encourages wagers on d’Eon’s sex 63–4
Spinelli, Donald 7 pamphlets 18, 51
squibs, poetic 115 uses d’Eon’s library 18
spiritual autobiography 147–8, 153, 155 was possibly Angelucci 69 n.2
spiritual conversion 147, 148 see also Mémoires secrets d’une femme
spiritual diaries 188 publique
Spring Gardens 17, 19 Thibault, Mme 74
St Augustine 148, 153, 237, 238 Thompson, Lynda 156
St George & The Dragon and Madlle d’Eon riposting Thomson, Charles 78
128–9 Thomson, Mr 78
St James Chronicle 17, 18 Tillyard, Stella 13
St James’s Macaroni 132 n.60 Toft, Mary 17, 122, 131 n.51
St Paul 148, 237 toilette 150, 152
St Ursula, 139, 161 Toland, John 222
Standards of Care: the Hormonal and Surgical Sex Tolkien, J. R. R. 229
Reassignment of Gender Dysphoric Persons 150 Tom Jones 202
Staunton Harold 5 Tombs, Isabelle 217
Stone, Sandy 151 Tombs, Robert 217
Strange Career of the Chevalier d’Eon de Beaumont Tone, Wolfe 202
81 Tonnerre x, 2, 3, 7, 73–9, 92, 101, 107, 152, 172,
Stroev, Alexandre 3, 8 174 n.4
Sully, Maximilien de Bethune, Duc de 193 d’Eon’s building projects in 75–6
summary biography of d’Eon ix, 4–8 d’Eon’s influence in 79
Suzanne, fiancée of Figaro, fictional character 59, wines 73–5
211 Tonnerrois 73
Sweden 51 Tories 29, 48
Swedish ‘Patriot’ party 51 Tourvel, Présidente de, fictional character 202
Swinton, Charlotte 70 n.42 Town and Country Magazine 117
Swinton, Samuel 66, 70 n.42 Town Moor affair 223
Symington, J. A. 229–32 Transaction, The 6, 63, 66
syphilis 127. transdisciplinarity ix
transgender(ed)
Tasso, Torquato 165 canon of writings 148
taste 120, 131 n.43, 131 n.44 identities 151
tax farmers 49 persons 159 n.46
Taylor, Charles 188, 189 spirituality, of d’Eon 237–8
Telfer, J. B. 81, 94 n.30 studies x, 10
Temple 43 n.49, 46, 54 n.9, style 153–4
Tendre ami des mères nourrices 145 n.36 transgendering 81, 86, 92
INDEX 255

translations, of English republican works 216–17 Vergy, Pierre-Henri Treyssac de 15, 18–19, 22 n.41,
transmen 151 22 n.43
transsexual(s) 8, 86, 150–1, 152 commits perjury for d’Eon 19, 23 n.45
definitions of 148 d’Eon’s defamation of 15
female to female (FTF) 154 Vernet, Joseph 162
female-to-male (FTM) 150, 151 Versailles 19
identities 150–1 Vie de Marianne 169
male to male (MTM) 151 Vie militaire, politique et privée de Melle d’Eon 8, 77,
male-to-female (MTF) 150, 151, 156 133–44, 145 n.36, 235
narratives 147–8, 150–4 Vie politique et militaire de M. le maréchal duc de
scholars 150 Bell’Isle 133
writers 159 n.46 Vie privée de Louis XV 133
transsexualism, transsexuality 8, 147, 148, 150, 152, Vie privée et criminelle d’Antoine-François Desrues
253, 159 n.22 133
d’Eon and 2, 147–8, 153–4 Vies des femmes illustres de la France 168
transvestite(s) 84, 98, 203 vies privées, literary genre 8, 133–44 passim
memoirs 177–86 Vignoles, Jean-Joseph de 77
transvestitism 2, 8, 84, 93 n.10, 94 n.29, 98, 177–86 Vignoles, Mademoiselle 77
Treaty of Paris 4, 27, 34, 114–15, 116 Villinghausen, battle of 4
Trenchard, John 222 Vilmorin-Andrieux, M. 76
Tressan, Comte de 165 Virgin Mary 124, 139, 142, 145 n.24, 234–5
Trial of M. D’Eon by a Jury of Matrons 117–18, 119 virginity 140, 141, 151, 153, 154, 172, 189, 196
Trinity 153 Viry, Comte de 28, 38, 44 n.20
True Story of the Chevalier d’Eon 81, 231 visual images of d’Eon 3, 8, 86–92, 108–10, 113–29,
Turgot, Anne-Robert-Jacques 233 139–40, 161, 162, 166
Turkey 168 as fraudster 120–2
two-sex model 151 reading of x
tyranny, tyrants, see despotism market for 88–9
viticulture 73–5
underpants 98 Vizetelly, Ernest 81, 231
unicorn, symbolism of 116 Voltaire 28, 93, 95 n.32, 162, 168, 169, 209, 212
United States 41 n.14, 219, 221, 233–4
University of Leeds Library, see Brotherton Library Vorontsov, Count 166
University of Leeds x, 2, 3, 9, 82, 97, 147, 220, Voyage dans l’île des plaisirs 167
229–32, 234
University of Leiden 222 wagers, on d’Eon’s sex ix, 6, 63–4, 66, 90–1, 117,
Urquhart, bookseller 224 120, 123, 126, 140, 149, 194, 195
Wahrman, Dror 3, 11 n.15, 113 188–9, 194
Valade, publisher 134 Wales, Princess of 36
Van de Pol, Lotte 178 Walpole, Horace 84, 100
Van der Cruysse, Dirk 183 Walpole, Sir Robert 39–40.
Van Dyck, Antonis 125 Walpole, Thomas 28
Vane, Lady Frances 155, 200, 227 n.42 wardrobe, of d’Eon 97–110
Vanguin, Sieur 106 bills 97
Vanneck, Sir Joshua 28 list 105
Vaucher, Paul 28 Warens, Mme de 204
Vaulavré, Jacquillat de, (cousin of d’Eon) 74, 78, 79 Watkins, Owen C. 148–9
Vaulichères 73–4 Westminster Gazette 193, 194, 195
Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens 87 Whately 55 n.48
Venus 142 Whigs 29, 195
Vergennes, Charles Gravier, Comte de 6. 41, 47, Whisperer 193
52, 58–9, 60, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 71 n.51, Wikipedia ix
99, 142 Wilkes affair 3
256 INDEX

Wilkes, John 17, 19, 53, 54 n.9, 56 n.66, 63, 190, pornographic publications 193
227 n.52, 228 n.69 rumoured to be in French pay 51
and Catherine Macaulay 221 Wilkites 7, 15–16, 35, 46, 47–8, 49, 50, 53, 114, 116,
and Commonwealthmen 221–2 117, 121–2, 222–4 passim, 228 n.64
and d’Holbach 222, 227 n.54 Willermawlaz, Thérèse de 70 n.14
and Marat 222–3, 228 n.58 Willis, Dr 210
and North Briton 30, 48 wine 73–5, 79 n.6, 95 n.35
attacks on Bute 30, 48 Wode 137
condemns sodomy 194 Wollstonecraft, Mary 157
d’Eon sees as potential French tool 35, 48 women, political influence of 193
d’Eon’s relationship with 114, 221, 233 women’s autobiographies 157
election in 1772 194 women’s novels 157
emulated by d’Eon 193 Woronzow, comte 137–8
flees to France 16 Wortley Montagu, Lady Mary 8
lampooned with d’Eon 115–16, 122–4, 124, 221 Woulf, banker 74
outlawed 193
parallels with d’Eon 15–16, 45–6, 53, 94 n.10, Zeus 123
193, 198