gray eminence


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gray eminence

The power behind the throne; a person who wields considerable power but secretly or surreptitiously. The term is a translation from the French of éminence grise. This phrase originally referred to François Leclerc du Tremblay (1577–1638), the trusted behind-the-scenes adviser of Cardinal Richelieu. The term came into English in the early 1940s when Aldous Huxley wrote a book about Tremblay entitled Grey Eminence (1941). See also power behind the throne.
See also: eminence, gray