Who was le Chevalier D’Eon de Beaumont?

Although the Marquis de Lafayette was my main inspiration for Le Chevalier, I have to admit that I was also inspired by the story of a real-life cross-dressing chevalier – le Chevalier D’Eon de Beaumont. I know, it is an odd inspiration for a romance novelist.

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I was first introduced to this character through an anime called Le Chevalier   The story takes some liberty with history, but I was intrigued enough to dig in and learn more.

De Beaumont was a chevalier in service to King Louis XV – Louis XVI’s grandfather and predecessor, so it's roughly a generation before my own Chevalier de Mont Trignon. De Beaumont also dressed as a woman in service to the king as a spy in the King’s le Secret du Roi. (Think "Secret Service") 

But that’s where the similarities to Mont Trignon end. The real cross-dressing chevalier lived the first part of his life as a man. However, after he retired, he lived as a woman, insisting that he was actually a woman. After his death, doctors confirmed he was male, although somewhat underdeveloped. Definitely not romance novel material!

Rest assured that my chevalier is every bit the man you would expect to find in a romance novel. He even makes a reference to his predecessor when the heroine, Alexandra Turner, asks him if he makes a habit of dressing as a woman. When he replies that he is “no de Beaumont” she is suitably confused, not knowing French history, and wonders if she’s supposed to know the name. Mont Trignon wisely decides not to fill her in on the details.

Happy reading!


P.S. For you anime fans out there, I'd give the anime a 5 out of 10. It was interesting, but not enough to entice me to watch the entire series.

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