'the Maiden of Tennerre - the vicissitudes of the Chevalier and the Chevaliere d''Eon'

'Beaumont, Charles d''Eon de; trans & edited by Roland A. Campagne, Nina Ekstein, Gary Kates'

Published by Johns Hopkins Univ Press, 2001
ISBN 10: 0801866871 / ISBN 13: 9780801866876
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The autobiography of a noted Frenchman who pretended to be a woman. Mint new unread copy of HB 1st. 6-1/4 x 9-1/4, 207 pp, index, biographical glossary, notes, b/w frontispiece of author. Hardcover in maroon cloth boards w silver spine titling; in sepia-photo jacket. Bookseller Inventory #

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"The Chevalier Charles-Geneviève-Louise-Auguste-André-Thimothée d'Eon, after a distinguished career as a soldier, diplomat, and secret agent for the Government of King Louis XV of France, told the world that he was a woman who had disguised herself as a man. But d'Eon was lying. In fact he was a man pretending to be a woman who was now admitting to be a man. Why he did that and what happened to him as a result are the main dishes on Mr. Kates's rich banquet table." -- Richard Bernstein, New York Times, reviewing Monsieur d'Eon Is a Woman by Gary Kates

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 rumors 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 began to compose 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.

This volume includes the first English translations of d'Eon's autobiography (or "historical epistle") and other writings by d'Eon on his life, religious beliefs, and stories of women who concealed their sex to enter religious orders. As historian Gary Kates notes in the introduction, d'Eon's writing can be read on at least two levels: while it ostensibly tells the story of a woman who spent half her life as a man, it is in fact also the story of a man who spent half his life as a woman. As such it demonstrates both the construction and transgression of gender boundaries in personal and historical narrative.

About the Author:

Charles-Geneviève-Louise-Auguste-André-Timothée d'Eon de Beaumont (1728--1810) was a well-known statesman, diplomat, spy, author, and military officer. Roland A. Champagne is a professor of French and chair of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. His many books include Georges Bataille and The Ethics of Reading According to Emmanuel Levinas. Nina Ekstein is a professor of French at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. She is the author of Dramatic Narrative: Racine's Récits. Gary Kates is dean of the college and vice president for academic affairs at Pomona College. He is the author of Monsieur d'Eon Is a Woman: A Tale of Political Intrigue and Sexual Masquerade.

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Bibliographic Details

Title: 'the Maiden of Tennerre - the vicissitudes ...
Publisher: Johns Hopkins Univ Press
Publication Date: 2001
Book Condition: New/New.
Edition: 1st edition, 1st printing..

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