William Pitt the Younger riding on the back of George III while surveying the French squadron, 1803. © Musee de la Ville de Paris, Musee Carnavalet, Paris / Bridgeman Images.

Spies

Volume IX, Number 1 | winter 2016

Miscellany

Charles d’Éon de Beaumont went to Russia in 1755 as a secret correspondent of French king Louis XV. Disguised as a woman, he obtained an appointment as reader to a Romanov empress; he returned for a mission the next year dressed as a man. By the 1770s speculation about his gender reached such fervor that odds were quoted by London brokers. An 1810 postmortem finally confirmed that he was anatomically male; Marie Cole, his companion of fourteen years, reportedly “did not recover from the shock for many hours.”

The first duty of a good inquisitor is to suspect especially those who seem sincere to him.

- Umberto Eco, 1980

Lapham’sDaily

U.S. secretary of agriculture Sonny Perdue meets with German minister of food and agriculture Christian Schmidt, 2017.

DÉjÀ Vu

Equal Climates

2017:

U.S. Department of Agriculture bans words related to climate change.

-350:

Aristotle denies that the climate is changing.

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