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Lola Montez

(1818—1861) Irish dancer


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(orig. Marie Dolores Eliza Rosanna Gilbert; b Limerick, 1818; d New York, 16 Jan. 1861)

Irish dancer. Although she made her living as a dancer, she made her reputation as an adventuress, and was a source of scandal from Europe to Australia. Her dancing credentials were based on lessons she took in Seville. From there she toured Europe as a Spanish dancer, gathering lovers in her wake. She became the mistress of Ludwig I in Munich in 1846, an affair which eventually led to the King's abdication in 1848. There were further scandals in Paris, London, and Sydney before she finally settled in New York, where she spent the rest of her life. Her colourful story has inspired several novels, plays, and films while her character has appeared in several ballets, including Massine's Bacchanale (1939), Caton's Lola Montez (1946), and J. Carter's The Life and Death of Lola Montez (1954).

Subjects: Literature.


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