The Woman Behind Talleyrand

Meet the last — and probably greatest — love of Talleyrand’s life

Jenni Wiltz
Feb 1, 2021 · 9 min read
Dorothea, Duchesse de Dino wearing a fur shawl and a row of diamonds in her brown curly hair.
Dorothea by Catherine-Caroline Thévenin, public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

rincess Dorothea of Courland was born in 1793, daughter of the last Duchess of Courland. Her father is a matter of dispute — a running theme in this story. Ostensibly it was Peter Biron, the senile 69-year-old Duke of Courland. But it could just as easily have been Count Alexander Batowski, her mother’s…