Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Monsieur d'Eon Is a Woman: A Tale of Political Intrigue and Sexual Masquerade” as Want to Read:
Monsieur d'Eon Is a Woman: A Tale of Political Intrigue and Sexual Masquerade
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Monsieur d'Eon Is a Woman: A Tale of Political Intrigue and Sexual Masquerade

3.61  ·  Rating Details ·  70 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Born in 1728, French aristocrat Charles d'Eon de Beaumont had served his country as a diplomat, soldier, and spy for fifteen years when rumors that he was a woman began to circulate in the courts of Europe. D'Eon denied nothing and was finally compelled by Louis XVI to give up male attire and live as a woman, something d'Eon did without complaint for the next three decades ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published August 21st 2001 by Johns Hopkins University Press (first published 1995)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Monsieur d'Eon Is a Woman, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Monsieur d'Eon Is a Woman

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
The Idle Woman
4.5 stars.

The Chevalier d'Eon is one of the most fascinating figures of the 18th century: he lived the first 49 years of his life as a man and the last 33 as a woman, and his story is a remarkable testament to the power of self-fashioning in ancien regime France. But that story has been muddied by the Chevalier's own reinventions over time, and nowadays it can be difficult to get at the fact behind the legend. This book is the place to start. I agree, the title looks a bit sensationalist on firs
Un aprile ben misero, in quanto a letture: sono stata distratta da questo e da quello, e ho impiegato un mese per finire "appena" due libri, e temo anche di non aver dedicato loro la dovuta concentrazione.

Non so ricostruire il percorso che mi ha portato alla lettura di questo saggio, sicuramente ho appreso la curiosa e affascinante vicenda del Cavaliere d'Eon da una pagina di Wikipedia, ma non ricordo se vi ero giunta per caso o per altri collegamenti. La biografia scritta da Gary Kates è stata
Mar 07, 2017 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was interesting to learn more about d'Eon and the time period before the American and later French revolutions. I will say it felt a bit dated (being from 1995) in how it referred to d'Eon (in terms of pronouns and other language) especially after her transformation into a woman. The author makes it clear that he struggled with the idea that d'Eon could be female if she was born with a male body and preferred clothing typical for men of her time. So overall an ok read but be forewarned about ...more
Jun 07, 2008 Manda rated it liked it
An incredibly curious figure, d'Eon was a man who was "discovered" to be really a woman who had been raised as a boy and was ordered by the king to return to France to live as a woman, only to be discovered upon his death as an émigré in England years later to have been a man all along. He seems to have gone along willingly with the French royal orders for his own reasons, even having gone so far as to encourage their outcome, and had a marked interest in early feminist theory, collecting early ...more
This is an academic-style text on the life and motivation of the Chevalier d'Eon, who lived the first half of his life as a distinguished male soldier, then lived the second half as a woman (I am using the male pronoun, as used throughout this book). He claimed that he had been a woman all along, but was forced to adopt male clothing from infancy by his father. However, upon his death, an autopsy by no less than ten different doctors confirmed his was a perfectly healthy male. I enjoyed this boo ...more
Nov 02, 2009 Viridian5 rated it liked it
I felt that the book didn't prove all its points and that it wandered too far away on tangents in some sections, but it's an interesting look at politics and gender roles in Europe of the time. D'Eon's dual life as diplomat and spy even before he officially declared himself a woman is sometimes brainbending to read and most have been stressful to live. I was surprised by what the research shows about how women lived their lives and what some of them wrote about it.
Kelly Shannon
Dec 15, 2008 Kelly Shannon rated it really liked it
Amazing account of the 18th century Chevalier who elected at mid-life to live as a woman after a successful espionage career in Russia. mid-career. D'Eon was declared to be legally a woman by Louis XVI in 1776. D'Eon explained that he had been born female but raised as a male by a father desperate for a son. At his death, 35 years later, it was discovered that d'Eon was really a man. This book was thoroughly and meticulously researched. D'Eon's story is truly remarkable.
Mar 23, 2016 Alana added it
Chevalière d'Éon was a fascinating person that I would love to know more about. But I keep cringing at how many examples this book provides of how *not* to write about trans people -- including the Goodreads summary that describes a transwoman as "unambiguously male" thirty years after her transition. Are there any biographies of d'Éon written by a trans historian, or at least a better ally?
Jason Vanhee
May 23, 2016 Jason Vanhee rated it it was ok
Oddly written and poorly organized life of a fascinating real historical figure that manages to not really tell us much about that person. There's enough here to be almost satisfying, but it fails to achieve any true success as a biography.
Nov 06, 2015 Gail rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read for my Ordinary People course.
Eileen rated it really liked it
Jul 02, 2007
Tony rated it liked it
Jul 05, 2007
Mark rated it really liked it
Feb 13, 2009
Matt rated it really liked it
Jun 22, 2008
Shari Rosenblum
Shari Rosenblum rated it really liked it
Jan 08, 2015
Nicodemus rated it it was amazing
May 08, 2011
Kate rated it liked it
Dec 29, 2015
Kelsey rated it liked it
Apr 10, 2015
Todd Strohmeyer
Todd Strohmeyer rated it it was ok
Jul 02, 2014
Heather Poinsett Dunbar
Heather Poinsett Dunbar rated it really liked it
Jul 03, 2009
Robert rated it liked it
Apr 20, 2013
Steven rated it really liked it
Aug 24, 2011
Kat rated it really liked it
Dec 18, 2014
Amanda Addeo
Amanda Addeo rated it really liked it
Jul 30, 2014
Melissa Dennis
Melissa Dennis rated it really liked it
Nov 07, 2014
D rated it really liked it
Mar 16, 2016
Jennifer rated it really liked it
Nov 22, 2011
Holland Thomas
Holland Thomas rated it it was ok
May 08, 2016
Steampunk rated it it was amazing
Feb 07, 2015
Leah Brown
Leah Brown rated it really liked it
Mar 16, 2015
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Share This Book