Lola Montez

Montez, Lola (mŏntĕzˈ) [key], 1818?–1861, Irish adventurer, whose original name was Marie Dolores Eliza Rosanna Gilbert. Her early marriage to an army officer soon ended in divorce. She adopted the name Lola Montez, claimed Spanish descent, and became a dancer. Her dancing was mediocre, but her beauty, extravagant charm, and adventures (in particular her affairs with Franz Liszt and Dumas père) were legendary. She gained sensational success and by 1846 became the mistress of King Louis I of Bavaria, who made her countess of Lansfeld. Her intervention in politics aroused antagonism and helped provoke the Revolution of 1848, when she was banished. She returned (1849) to England and remarried. In 1851 she toured the United States and after the death of her husband married P. P. Hull, a San Francisco newspaperman. After an Australian tour (1855–56), she returned to the United States. She died in New York City.

See biographies by A. Darling (1972), I. Ross (1972), and M. Ophuls (1986).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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