→Before and After the French Revolution
Prior to the French Revolution, France had begun developing elaborate spy networks that spanned Russia to the East and England to the North. Famous spies included Chevalier d'Éon, who had androgynous characteristics, making him also suitable as a female spy. In fact, he was known as a woman for over 33 years and penetrated the Russian court as a female spy. However, in other aspects, the Chevalier performed as a male spy and soldier.
During the French Revolution, many spies, often working for multiple sides, arose. The French Revolution was, on the one hand, a great fear for the monarchies in Europe, but on the other hand also an opportunity to infiltrate France by outside powers. One such spy was Emmanuel Henri Louis Alexandre. He initially supported the French Revolution and became an early member of the National Constitutional Assembly that formed after the deposing of the French (Bourbon) monarchy. He famously changed his mind, after Marie Antoinette, a former love interest, was seized by the revolutionaries .