Chevalier d'Eon(1728-1810), Diplomatist and transvestite
Charles Geneviève Louis Auguste André Timothée d'Eon de Beaumont
Sitter in 4 portraits
The Chevalier d'Eon was a French soldier, diplomat, spy and fencing demonstrator who lived as a woman from 1777. D'Eon first came to London in 1763 to negotiate the end of the Seven Years War. Rumours that d'Eon was a woman in disguise were encouraged by d'Eon and widely accepted. D'Eon used secret letters to blackmail the French king, Louis XVI, and was paid an income from 1777 on the condition that d'Eon wore women's clothes. From 1785, d'Eon achieved fame in Britain as a celebrity female fencer.