About Charles Maurice de Talleyrand:
Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord was a French bishop, politician and diplomat. Due to a lame leg, he was not able to pursue the military career that had originally been foreseen for him by his family. Instead he studied theology. In 1780, he became Agent-General of the Clergy and represented the Catholic Church to the French Crown. He worked at the highest levels of successive French governments, most commonly as foreign minister or in some other diplomatic capacity. His career spanned the regimes of Louis XVI, the years of the French Revolution, Napoleon, Louis XVIII, and Louis-Philippe. Those he served often distrusted Talleyrand but, like Napoleon, found him extremely useful. The name "Talleyrand" has become a byword for crafty, cynical diplomacy.