These essays draw on new research into Charles d'Eon de Beaumont's unusual life, exploring how a gender identity could come to be negotiated over time. Cross-dressing author, envoy, soldier and spy Charles d'Eon de Beaumont's unusual career fascinated his contemporaries and continues to attract historians, novelists, playwrights, filmmakers, image makers, cultural theorists and those concerned with manifestations of the extraordinary. D'Eon's significance as a historical figure was already being debated more than 45 years before his death. Not surprisingly, such sensational material has attracted the attention of enthusiasts, scholars and literateurs to 'the strange case of the chevalier d'Eon'. He has also attracted the attention of psychologists and sexologists, and for most of the last century his gender transformation has been viewed through a Freudian lens. His cross-dressing, it was usually assumed, must have a psychosexual explanation. The essays in this collection contribute to d'Eon's rehabilitation as a figure worthy of scholarly attention and display a variety of disciplinary approaches.
Drawing on new research into d'Eon's life, this volume offers original and nuanced readings of how a gender identity could come to be negotiated over time.
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC