This event is part of our themed programme. Diplomacy is at the heart of all human interaction. Whether between international states and colonies, monarchs and their ministers, the major players in the theatres of war, kith and kin, or friends and enemies: diplomacy - or lack of it - will play its part. This programme of events aims to reflect the broad spectrum of interpretations of historical diplomacy and the art of peace-making.
In 1763 peace broke out between France and Britain, ending the Seven Years War. The defeated superpower France was left nursing its wounds, as well as thoughts of revenge. While King Louis XV's foreign minister sought to maintain the peace, the King's spy network, "the King's Secret" developed plans to invade England. These conflicting agendas were embodied in the Chevalier d'Eon, France's minister in London. A Georgian Edward Snowden, shortly after his arrival the Chevalier began publishing confidential diplomatic despatches and blackmailing his King. The Chevalier escaped assassination and imprisonment by becoming a woman in 1777.
Dr Jonathan Conlin teaches modern British history at the University of Southampton, where he is currently researching a biography of the Anglo-Armenian oil magnate Calouste Gulbenkian. His books include Tales of Two Cities: Paris, London and the Making of the Modern City.
When & Where
The National Archives
The National Archives is the official archive and publisher for the UK government, and for England and Wales. We are the guardians of some of our most iconic national documents, dating back over 1,000 years.
The National Archives' collection of over 11 million historical government and public records is one of the largest in the world. From Domesday Book to modern government papers and digital files, our collection includes paper and parchment, electronic records and websites, photographs, posters, maps, drawings and paintings.