J. H. Gelernter #Unbound. Napoleonic-era espionage. The complete, twenty-minute interview. May 3, 2021. LXX GLXXG

Oct 25, 01:00 AM

Photo: Eighteenth-century espionage: Charles-Geneviève-Louis-Auguste-André-Timothée d'Éon de Beaumont (5 October 1728 – 21 May 1810), usually known as the Chevalier d'Éon, was a French diplomat, spy, and soldier. D'Éon fought in the Seven Years' War, and spied for France while in Russia and England. D'Éon had androgynous physical characteristics and natural abilities as a mimic and a spy. D'Éon appeared publicly as a man and pursued masculine occupations for 49 years, although during that time d'Éon successfully infiltrated the court of Empress Elizabeth of Russia by presenting as a woman.

Here:  Caricature of d'Éon dressed half in women's clothes, half in men's clothes

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J. H. Gelernter #Unbound. The complete, twenty-minute interview. May 3, 2021. LXX GLXXG

Hold Fast: A Novel.   Hardcover – May 4, 2021, by J. H. Gelernter 


It’s 1803. The Napoleonic Wars are raging, Britain is on her heels, and His Majesty’s Secret Service has just lost its best agent, Thomas Grey. Deeply depressed by his wife’s untimely death, Grey resigns from the service and accepts an offer to join a lumber firm in Boston. But when a sea battle with a privateer forces the ship carrying him west to make port in neutral Portugal, Grey is approached with a counteroffer: become a wealthy man by selling out Britain’s spy network to France. The French take Grey for a disgruntled ex–naval officer, blithely unaware that Grey had lost his wife to an unlucky shot from a French cannon.


Now, after many years serving King and Country, Grey seizes the opportunity to fight a covert war of his own. He travels to Paris, and―playing the part of the invaluable turncoat the French believe him to be―proceeds to infiltrate the highest levels of Napoleon’s government. If he can outwit his handlers, outmatch his French counterparts, and outrun Napoleon’s secret police, Grey may just avenge his wife’s death and turn the tide of war in England’s favor. Bursting with action and intrigue, Hold Fast sends readers headlong into an unrelenting spy thriller