Medical Dictionary

eonism

play
noun eon·ism \ˈē-ə-ˌniz-əm\

Medical Definition of eonism

Biographical Note for eonism

Éon de Beaumont

\ā-ōⁿ-də-bō-mōⁿ\play ,

Charles

(1728–1810), French chevalier and adventurer. Although baptized as a boy, Éon was raised as a girl until he was seven. In 1755 as a secret agent for the French king, he was received at the Russian court as a woman. After several years as a special agent, he served for a time in the military as a dragoon captain. Some years later, while on a diplomatic mission in London, he was ordered by the French king to resume the dress of a woman and to retire from public life. Refusing to comply with either order, he became involved in intrigues and scandals and was the object of open and fierce betting regarding his true sex. Although he returned to France in 1777 in the guise of a man, he was again ordered by the king to dress as a woman. With the personal assistance of the queen, he was eventually presented at court in the full regalia of a woman of fashion. His last thirty-three years were spent as a woman. A postmortem examination revealed that he had male genitalia although his features and physique were very feminine.


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