Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord
Biography of Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord
Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, Prince de Bénévent, then Prince de Talleyrand (1754–1838) was a French diplomat. He worked successfully from the regime of Louis XVI, through the French Revolution and then under Napoleon I, Louis XVIII, Charles X, and Louis-Philippe. Known since the turn of the 19th century simply by the name Talleyrand, he remains a figure that polarizes opinion. Some regard him as one of the most versatile, skilled and influential diplomats in European history, and some believe that he was a traitor, betraying in turn, the Ancien Régime, the French Revolution, Napoleon, and the Restoration. He is also notorious for leaving the Catholic Church after ordination to the priesthood and consecration to the episcopacy.