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Lola Montez

Lola MontezAKA Eliza Rosanna Gilbert

Born: 17-Feb-1821
Birthplace: Grange, County Sligo, Ireland
Died: 17-Jan-1861
Location of death: New York City
Cause of death: Pneumonia
Remains: Buried, Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY

Gender: Female
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Dancer

Nationality: Ireland
Executive summary: Mistress of Ludwig I of Bavaria

Dancer and adventuress, the daughter of a British army officer, was born at Grange, County Sligo, Ireland (not Limerick), in 1818. Her father dying in India when she was seven years old, and her mother marrying again, the child was sent to Europe to be educated, subsequently joining her mother at Bath. In 1837 she made a runaway match with a Lt. Thomas James of the Indian army, and accompanied him to India. In 1842 she returned to England, and shortly afterwards her husband obtained a decree of divorce. She then studied dancing, making an unsuccessful first appearance at Her Majesty's theatre, London in 1843, billed as "Lola Montez", Spanish dancer. Subsequently she appeared with considerable success in Germany, Poland and Russia. From there she went to Paris, and in 1847 appeared at Munich, where she became the mistress of the old king of Bavaria, Ludwig I; she was naturalized, created comtesse de Landsfeld, and given an income of 2000 a year. She soon proved herself the real ruler of Bavaria, adopting a liberal and anti-Jesuit policy. Her political opponents proved, however, too strong for her, and in 1848 she was banished. In 1849 she came to England, and in the same year was married to George Heald, a young officer in the Guards. Her husband's guardian instituted a prosecution for bigamy against her on the ground that her divorce from James had not been made absolute, and she fled with Heald to Spain. In 1851 she appeared at the Broadway theater, New York, and in the following year at the Walnut Street theater, Philadelphia. In 1853 Heald was drowned at Lisbon, and in the same year she married the proprietor of a San Francisco newspaper, but did not live long with him. Subsequently she appeared in Australia, but returned in 1857 to act in America, and to lecture on gallantry. Her health having broken down, she devoted the rest of her life to visiting the outcasts of her own sex in New York, where, stricken with paralysis, she died on the 17th of January 1861.

Husband: Lt. Thomas James (Indian Army)
Boyfriend: Franz Liszt (composer)
Boyfriend: Alexandre Dumas fils (novelist)
Boyfriend: Ludwig I of Bavaria (as Comtesse de Landsfeld, 1846-47)
Husband: George Heald (m. 1849, d. 1853 drowning)
Husband: Patrick Hull (San Francisco newspaper proprietor, m. 1853)

    Stroke 30-Jun-1860 (paralytic)

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