Cover image for The maiden of Tonnerre : the vicissitudes of the chevalier and the chevalière d'Eon
The maiden of Tonnerre : the vicissitudes of the chevalier and the chevalière d'Eon
Eon de Beaumont, Charles Geneviève Louis Auguste André Timothée d', 1728-1810.
Uniform Title:
Works. Selections. English. 2001
Publication Information:
Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001.
Physical Description:
xxiv, 207 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Chevalier d'Eon de Beaumont was a diplomat and spy, who was compelled by Louis XVI to dress as a woman. This volume contains his autobiography as well as stories of women who concealed their sex to enter religious orders.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DC135.E6 A3 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Chevalier d'Eon de Beaumont was born in 1728. Raised as a boy, he was educated as a lawyer and entered the service of Louis XV as a diplomat. In 1756 he was sent to the Russian imperial court as a spy and was said to have dressed as a young woman to gain the confidence of the Empress Elizabeth. He later served in Russia (as a man) as secretary to the French ambassador. Returning to France in 1761, he was appointed a captain of the elite Dragoons, and after the Treaty of Paris in 1762 went to England as a diplomat and spy. During that time persistent rumours that he was in fact a woman arose, and he did nothing to dispel them. By 1777 he was officially recognized as female in both England and France. Recalled to France, he was reluctantly compelled by Louis XVI to give up his male attire. In 1785 he published his autobiography, which presented much of his experience in religious terms, and he moved back to London. He lived there as a woman until his death in 1810, at which time his body was discovered to be unambiguously male.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Introductionp. ix
I. The Great Historical Epistle by the Chevaliere d'Eon, Written in 1785p. 1
II. Other Autobiographical Writings and Fragmentsp. 91
D'Eon's Second Visit to Christophe de Beaumontp. 93
Selected Correspondence between d'Eon and His Motherp. 94
From the Letter to the Duchesse, May 1778p. 98
Letter to the Duchesse, June 1789p. 119
Reply from the Duchessep. 125
Christian Reflectionsp. 126
Important Document in My Present Statep. 129
A Special Requestp. 132
III. Historical Precedents Found by d'Eonp. 139
Notesp. 179
Biographical Glossaryp. 199
Indexp. 205