Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday Mieography

This particular lady actually lived in the area I am living in now. I was kind of curious about her, and now I know, much more!

Eliza Gilbert was born in Limerick, Ireland, in the year of 1818. The world knows her, however, as Lola Montez.
She claimed, through out her life, to be an illegitimate daughter of Lord Byron. Or, depending on when you asked her, a matador.
Her father was, in fact an eighteen year old member of the British Army. Her mother was only 13 when she was born. Her father died of cholera when she was eight.
Her mother remarried, and shipped Eliza "home" to Scotland, to her new husbands pious Presbyterian parents. She responded by running through the streets, stark naked. They sent her to Paris, and school, where she developed a gift for languages, and honed her violent temper. Finished with school when she was nineteen, she eloped to Ireland with a young lieutenant named Thomas James. However, he soon ran off with a captains wife, leaving her without friends.
She desired to be an actress, yet, she found she could not act. With the help of "friends" Lord Malmesbury, and Lord Brougham, she changed her name to Lola Montez, and billed herself as a "Spanish Dancer". She could not dance, either. She was boo'd and hissed off the stage in London. Taking it in stride, she decided that the 'oafs' didn't know a star when they saw one. She drifted around Europe, dancing at times, and taking lovers where she could find them.
Always one to carry a whip, Lola would get annoyed with a man, and slash him in the face with it. On one documented occasion, when a lover disappointed her, she shot at him, and he ran from the room with his pants around his ankles, dodging the ricocheting bullets.
She could be charming, though. Just ask the Czar of Russia (who gave her 1,000 rubles for "services provided"
Or Franz Liszt. Until she got jealous of his fame, and jumped up on the banquet table where royalty was present, and proceeded to "dance", spilling consomme in the lap of a duke. She managed to wear Liszt out, and, being a smart man, he locked her in a hotel room, and fled. Before he left the hotel, though, he left a large amount of money for the furniture he knew she would break.
She moved on to Poland, and was offered mounds of diamonds and a country estate if she would be the mistress of the Viceroy. She found him repulsive, however, and refused. He tried to get her fired from her dancing engagement, and she retaliated by telling the story of his offer of amour. His wife, his other mistress, and the theater audience all took exception to this.
She did find love, once, but, the man was promptly killed in a duel. She continued her European drifting, landing in Germany, where, a theater owner decided she had no talent, and fired her. She barged into King Ludwig's private study, demanding justice. Taken aback, the king struggled for words, until she swiped the scissors off his desk, and cut her blouse open, revealing her breasts. The theater manager got fired, and she got a substantial engagement at the theater. The king decided to love her, and paid her an allowance directly from the public treasury. He built her a palace, and it had a fountain, designed by the king, that sprayed perfumed water. He was an aged man, and Lola was soon "assisting" him to rule the country. She made a lot of enemies, fast. She was offered large amounts of money to leave, which she refused. Soon, revolution was imminent. King Ludwig stuck by his woman, proclaiming 'My crown for Lola'. She, however, was on the very next train out of town.
Things went a little down hill after that. She was arrested, for bigamy, and for stabbing a man, and for the mysterious disappearance of one of her lovers, from a ship anchored in a harbor in Fiji. But, nothing could ever be proven.
At 35 years old, she needed a fresh start, and left for California. She opened a frontier saloon in Grass Valley, which, with the help of all the money and swag she had, and the frequent visits from every Governor, Senator, or millionaire she could lure in, was a success. In letters found after she died, it was discovered that she was trying to plot a "capture" of California, make it an independent state, and call it "Lolaland". She was, of course, going to be it's Queen.
She began to get delusional, and started to lose herself in astrology, and mysticism. She did actually, write a book during this time, about beauty secrets. To prevent wrinkles, she suggests you tightly bind raw beef about your face, except the eyes. Until the "vibrant energy" soaks in.
She also went and lectured. "Let historical justice be done to the intellect of woman" she used to say.
When she was forty one, she had a "schizophrenic collapse", abandoned California, (or, "Lolaland" as I will now, forever think of it as) and spent her last two years a pauper, on the streets of NYC, shuffling along, talking to herself, asking God to forgive her wicked life. She died of a stroke at age forty three, in a boardinghouse, alone.
She did leave two children in California, one who was running a lamp shade store. They both declined to claim the body. They were "constrained by the pressures of business." Interesting considering the lamp shade thing, and the fact that her second child was in in jail at the time.


sybil law said...

"She began to get delusional,...."

Wait - WHAT?!!! She was always delusional! She was batshit nuts!!
But fun to read about, for sure!

mielikki said...

okay maybe that should read "she began to get MORE delusional", lol
she was interesting, that's for sure

Daryl said...

Whatever she was, she was NOT dull

Mary said...

Wow! I never heard of her. She must have had some pretty darn amazing breasts to get a king to be willing to give up his country after being flashed. Imagine how far she might have gotten if she had gone to New Orleans instead of Lolaland. Mardi Gras as we know it now would seem awfully tame.

Eaton Bennett aka Berenice Albrecht said...

I've heard of her all the way in Oz.
I thought she was a dancer, but I had no idea she had such a wild and wicked personality and life. She must have had some amazing attributes along with the breasts...
Lolaland indeed. :)