>I was at the Munich City Museum last week, and came across large portraits of King Ludwig I of Bavaria, and of Eliza Gilbert, better known to the world as the “Spanish dancer” Lola Montez. A mistress of Ludwig’s who led to his eventual abdication, I first thought of her as a sort of 19th-century Monica Lewinsky, but she was a bit more — imagine Clinton having an affair with, say, Madonna.
Born in Ireland, raised in India, schooled in England, Ms. Gilbert was not known for being a well-behaved little girl. After a short-lived marriage to an Englishman (which went under in Calcutta,) she wafted around bohemian Paris for a while, and had an affair with Franz Liszt. After the death of another lover she moved to Munich and hit it off with King Ludwig, who made her “Countess of Landsfeld” as a birthday present to himself. Her presence in his life fed the mounting opposition to his rule, and in 1848 he stepped down in order to stave off a revolution.
Lola fled Bavaria for Switzerland, hoping Ludwig would follow her. When he didn’t, she went to London, re-married (scandalously, as it violated the terms of her divorce, and they had to leave England), and eventually split again for the USA. After more adventures in California and Australia, in ill health, she lived out her last days in New York, and died at the age of 42. She’s buried in the Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn.

3 thoughts on “>Lola-gate

  1. >This is very interesting!For more scandlaous ladies from our more recent past…Thanks to the success of the suffragettes, women now have voices and choices!We can vote for a John McCain or NOT!Most people are totally in the dark about HOW the suffragettes won, and what life was REALLY like for women before they did.Now readers can discover the shocking truth, and it’s as easy as opening their e-mail.”The Privilege of Voting” is a new free e-mail series that follows eight great women from 1912 – 1920 to reveal ALL that happened to set the stage for women to win the vote.This is no boring history report.Two beautiful and extremely powerful suffragettes — Alice Paul and Emmeline Pankhurst are featured, along with Edith Wharton, Isadora Duncan, Alice Roosevelt and two gorgeous presidential mistresses.There are tons of heartache for these heroines on the rocky road to the ballot box, but in the end, they WIN!Unique sequential e-mail series — each exciting episode is about 10 minutes — perfect to enjoy during coffeebreaks, or anytime.We’re delivering women’s history – and making it free, fast and FUN!Subscribe free atwww.CoffeebreakReaders.com/subscribe.html


  2. >If you enjoyed her life story, you might enjoy Max Ophuls’s screen version, Lola Montès (1955)… much of which is dated, but much of which thus makes for campy fun.


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