"The original 'International Man of Mystery,' Count St. Germain, was an 18th century European aristocrat of unknown origin. He had no visible means of support, but no lack of resources, and moved in high social circles. He was a renowned conversationalist and a skilled musician. He dropped hints that he was centuries old and could grow diamonds. He never ate in public, was ambidextrous, and as far as anyone could tell, totally celibate. He served as a backchannel diplomat between England and France, and may have played some role in Freemasonry. He hobnobbed with Marie Antoinette, Catherine the Great, Voltaire, Rousseau, Mesmer, and Casanova. He dabbled in materials and textile technology as well as alchemy, as did many intellectuals of the time (e.g., Newton). These are established historical facts, documented by the extensive collection of contemporary accounts in this book.
Modern Theosophists consider St. Germain to be an adept or mahatma (a "great soul")—one who had a specific mission to fulfill in Europe during the 18th century. Much has been written about him, including much that is unsubstantiated. The present book will provide, as much as is possible, a detailed account of what is known, and a few hints as to things that are not known for certain about this enigmatic character."