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04 May 2022

Charlotte d'Eon: Addendum A - Legacy, Bibliography

Part I: Le Secret du Roi - Russia and then England

Part II: Return to France, Return to England

Part III: Addendum A - Legacy, Bibliography

Part III: Addendum B - Untruths, Comments, What modern label would fit?


Legacy

- Beaumarchais’ Marriage of Figaro, 1781 contains a character, Cherubino, a boy played by a girl, and at one point forcibly disguised as a girl. Some see this as inspired by his interaction with d’Eon.

- In 1893 J Eliot Hodgkin purchased a large collection of d'Eon books and manuscripts, mainly from a Mr. Richardson who was the grandson of the publishers, (themselves nephews of Samuel Richardson, the author), who had been the intended publishers of d'Eon's autobiography. The family had kept those papers until that time.

- 1911 Homberg & Jousselin, in their D’Eon de Beaumont: His Life and Times, state: "After the death of the Chevalier d'Eon in London in extreme poverty in the year 1810, a mass of his unpublished papers and letters, which he had carefully preserved all his life, fell into the hands of one of his creditors, and lay neglected for nearly a hundred years in an English bookseller's shop. There it was that the authors of this book were fortunate enough to discover them by chance at a sale".   It is not clear whether the bookshop was that of the Richardson’s and are these documents supplementary to those acquired by J Eliot Hodgkin?

-  1920 d’Eon’s name was used by Havelock Ellis as a model for transgender persons on the model of Sadism and Masochism, although d’Eon was hardly a typical Eonist. “On the psychic side, as I view it, the Eonist is embodying, in an extreme degree, the aesthetic attitude of imitation of, and identification with, the admired object. It is normal for a man to identify himself with the woman he loves. The Eonist carries that identification too far, stimulated by a sensitive and feminine element in himself which is associated with a rather defective virile sexuality on what may be a neurotic basis.”

- In the 1920s there was a Club D’Eon in Berlin which catered to transvestites.

- In 1929 Lotte Hahm founded the Transvestitenvereinigung D`Eon (Transvestite Association) in Berlin for both male and female transvestites.

- 1930. papers of d'Eon came into the possession of the British Library from the Collection of the Comte de Bastard.

- 1930s Edward Brotherton, the northern industrialist and benefactor of Leeds University purchased the collection from J Eliot Hodgkin. This seems to be a different collection from the one mentioned by Pinsseau as going to the British Library. The collection includes series of account books recording d’Eon’s daily expenditure, together with a collection of shop-keeper's bills and accounts. Brotherton also bought another d'Eon item: seven folio volumes containing the text of Vizetelly's 1895 biography, and numerous letters, prints, documents relating to d'Eon (called the "extra-illustrated" edition of Vizetelly These joined other manuscripts and formed the Brotherton Collection housed in the Brotherton Library, Leeds University. There were largely unread until the 1980s.

- mid 1950s. The word 'chevalier' was used by Susanna Valenti for her Chevalier D’Eon Resort

- 1959, The word 'chevalier' was used by Virginia Prince for her Chevalier Publications

- 1965. Part of d’eon’s name was also taken by The Beaumont Society, the British organization for heterosexual cross-dressers. Again this is hardly appropriate as d’Eon seems to have been asexual, not heterosexual at all. Some Beaumont members refer to each other as Eonists.



Bibliography

Written by d’Eon:

1753

  • Essai historique sur les différentes situations de la France par rapport aux finances sous le règne de Louis XIV et la régence du duc d'Orléans. Amsterdam, 1753.

1760

  • Memoires Pour Servir à l'Histoire Générale Des Finances2 vols. Amsterdam: La Compagnie, 1760.

1764

  • Note remise à Son Excellence Claude, Louis, Francois, Regnier comte de Guerchy. A Londres: De l'imprimerie de Jacques Dixwell, dans la rue St. Martin, 1764.
  • Lettres, Memoires et Négociations particulières du Chevalier d'Eon, ... avec M. M. Les Ducs de Praslin, de Nivernois, de Sainte-Foy, & Regnier de Guerchy.. P. 3 P. 3. Francfort: Dures, 1764.
  • Nouvelles lettres du chevalier d’Eon.London, 1764.

1767

  • Dernière lettre du chavalier d’Eon de Beamont à M. le comte de Guerchy. London, 1767.

1774

  • Les Loisirs du chevalier d’Eon de Beaumont …, 13 vols, Amsterdam, 1774.

1778

  • Pièces rélatives aux démélés entre Mademosielle d’Eon de Beamont … et le Sieur Caron, dit de Beaumarchais. Paris, 1778.
  • Très-humble réponse a … Beaumarchais.London, 1778.
  • Réponse de Mademoiselle d’Eon à Monsieur Beaumarchais.Rome, 1778.

1779

  • With La Fortelle. La Vie militaire, politique, et privée de Madmoiselle d’Eon.Paris 1779. Ghost-written by a friend of d’Eon. Makes the claim that d’Eon was born a girl, but her father needed a son to gain an inheritance.

1788

  • Epître aux Anglais dans leurs tristes circontances présentes.London 1788.

1791

  • Catalogue des livres rares et manuscripts précieux du cabinet de la Chevalière d’Eon …Moniteur, 29 April 1971. Re the sale of d’Eon’s library. Includes a 20-page preface recounting the life of the seller.

2001

  • Translated to English and edited by Roland A Champagna, Nina Ekstein & Gary Kates. The Maiden of Tonnerre: The Vicissitudes of the Chevalier and the Chevalière d’Eon. The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001. Contains D’Eon’s autobiography, some correspondence and her essay re Historical Precedents (ie persons born female who lived as male).

Some of the publications by Others:

1779

  • Pierre-Joseph Baudier de Villemart. Le Nouvel ami des femmes, ou la Philosophie du sex. Monory, 1779. Included d’Eon as one of Europe’s most famous women.

1810

  • Thomas Plummer, A Short Sketch of Some Remarkable Occurrences during the Residence of the Late Chevalier d'Eon in England. London,  Plummer had been hired to work with d'Eon on her autobiography, issued this very soon after her death.

1836

  • Fréderic Gaillardet. Mémoires du Chevlier d’Eon, publiés pour la première fois sur les papiers fournis par sa famille . .. 2 vols, 700 pages, Chez Ladvocat, 1836. Translated into English and abridged by Antonia White with an introduction by Robert Baldick. Memoirs of the Chevalier d'Éon.Corgi Books. 1972. The supposed memoirs, but padded with extremely unlikely escapades such as affairs with Madame de Pompadour, the Empress Elizabeth of the Russias and the wife of George III of England.

1861

  • Louis Jourdon. Un hermaphrodite. E Dentu, 1861. A pirated and abridged version of Gaillardet, 1836 retaining all the fictional bits. Online.

1866

  • Fréderic Gaillardet. Mémoires sur la Chevalière d'Eon, avec son portrait d'après Latour. La vérité sur les mystères de sa vie d'après des documents authentiques. Paris, 1866. Jourdon’s pastiche inspired Gaillardet to write a proper biography without the fictions. However both the Gaillardet family reprint in 1935 and the Antonia White 1971 translation used the 1836 edition.

1867

  • William John Thoms. Hannah Lightfoot.-Queen Charlotte and the Chevalier d'Eon.-Dr. Wilmot's Polish Princess. (Lord Chatham and the Princess Olive.)

1885

  • J Buchan Telfer. The Strange Career of the Chevalier D’Eon de Beaument. Longmans, Green and Co, 1885. Online.

1895

  • Ernest A. Vizetelly. The True Story of the Chevalier d'Eon: : his experiences and his metamorphoses in France, Russia, Germany and England, told with the aid of state & secret papers. Tylston and Edwards and A.P. Marsden, 1895. Online.

1910

  • Bram Stoker. “Chevalier D’Eon”. Famous Impostors. Sidgwick & Jackson, 1910. Online.

1911

  • Octave Homberg & Fernand Jousselin, translated into English by Alfred Rieu, D’Eon de Beaumont: His Life and Times.Martin Secker, 1911. Online.

1913

  • Émile Langlade, translated into Englisg by Angelo S Rappoport. “Chp II: Rose Bertin and the Chevalier D’Eon” in Rose Bertin: The Creator of Fashion at the Court of Marie-Antoinette. Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1913: 79-86.

1926

  • Oscar Paul Gilbert, translated into English by Robert B Douglas. “The Chevalier D’Eon”. 5 chapters in Men in Women’s Guise. John Lane 1926. Online.

1945

  • Pierre Pinsseau. L'Etrange destinée du chevalier d'Eon.Clavreuil, 1945.

1953

  • Cadéac. Le Chevalier d'Eon et son problème psycho-sexuel: Considérations sur les états psycho-sexuels et sur le "travestisme".Paris, 1953.

1966

  • Edna Nixon. Royal Spy: the Strange Case of the Chevalier D'Eon. Heinemann, A standard biography, but uncritical about such events as his supposed cross-dressing at the Russian court.
  • Cynthia Cox. The Enigma of the Age: the Strange Story of the Chevalier d'Eon. 1966. Previously, the best biography in English. Refutes the dubious parts of the legend.

1987

  • Michel de Decker. Madame le chevalier d'Eon. Librairie Academique Perrin, 1987.

1991

  • Gary Kates. “D’Eon Returns to France: gender and Power in 1777”. In Julia Epstein & Kristina Straub. Body Guards: The Cultural Politics of Gender Ambiguity. Routledge, 1991.

1995

  • Gary Kates. “The Transgendered World of the Chevalier/Chevalière d'Eon”. The Journal of Modern History,67,3,1995.
  • Gary Kates. Monsieur d’Eon is a Woman: A Tale of Intrigue and Sexual Masquerade. Basic Books 1995.
  • N. Furbank. “Dress for Success: a review of Gary Kates, Monsieur d’Eon is a Woman”. London Review of Books, Nov 1995:8. Online.

1996

  • Debra Bronstein. “Chevalier D’Eon and the Problem of Womanhood” in Tadeusz Rachwal & Tadeusz Slawek (eds). Word Subject Nature: Studies in Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Culture. Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego, 1996: 141-152.

2002

  • Peter Farrer. “D'Eon De Beaumont, New Facts, Or Fiction”. GENDYS 2002, The Seventh International Gender Dysphoria Conference. Online.

2003

  • Patrick Califia.Sex Changes, Transgender Politics. Cleis Press, 2003:11-12.
  • Annie Richards. “The Chevalier and the Chevaliere d'Eon”. Second Type Woman, 4 May 2003. Online.

2004

  • Wendy Doniger. “The Mythology of Self-Imitation in Passing: Race, Gender and Politics”. Martin Marty Center Religion and Culture Web Forum,Dec 2004. Online.

2005

  • Rictor Norton, "The Case of Chevalier D'Eon, 1777", in Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook, 2005. Online.

2006

  • Simon Burrows, Russell Goulbourne, Valerie Mainz & Jonathan Conlin (eds). The Chevalier D'Eon and His Worlds: Gender, Espionage and Politics in the Eighteenth Century.Continuum, 2010. Revised versions of papers given at the conference of the same name held under the aegis of AHRC at Leeds University, 19-22 April 2006.
  • James Lander. “A Tale of Two Hoaxes in Britain and France in 1775”. The Historical Journal, 49,4, 2006.

2009

  • Joel Richard Paul. Unlikely Allies: How a Merchant, A Playwright, and a Spy Saved the American Revolution. Riverhead Books, 2009.

2011

  • Danielle Daniels. “Biography of Chevalier Beaumont”. Beaumont Society, 3 May 2011. Online.

2015

  • Nicole Bauer. “The Fate of Secrets in a Public Sphere: the Comte de Broglie and the Demise of the Secret du roi”. Journal of the Western Society for French History, 43, 2015. Online.

2017

  • The Idle Woman. Monsieur D’Eon Is A Woman (1995): Gary Kates. The Idle Woman, February 16, 2017. Online.

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Here is a 12 minute video co-produced by the BBC with input from the Beaumont Society.   

Please note:

Philippe Luyt cannot be a descendent of Charlotte d'Eon as she never had any children.  If he is descended from Charlotte's sister or a cousin, that is what should be said.

They never call her Charlotte or 'she'.  Always Charles or 'he'.

Gary Kates blows up the maybe of d'Eon cross-dressing for a Moscow masquerade ball, although there is no evidence to support it.

Kates here says that d'Eon was 'transgender'.  This is of course a reversal of what he wrote in 1991 when he was emphatic that d'Eon was not a transvestite, not a transsexual and not an Eonist.

Kates never referred to d'Eon with female pronouns in his book - he used 'he' throughout.  He still does not.  He now uses 'they'.  If trans the best term is 'she';  if someone lives as female for 30+ years for reason that we do not understand, the best term is 'she'.  To say  'they' is to deny both her gender identity and her life achievement.

The Beaumont Society claims too much much when they say that they were the first British trans group.

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