Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Born 1820; Died 1861
Age 27, 56″, An attractive woman with black hair, blue eyes, and light skin, usually provocatively dressed with tobacco-stained fingers.
Quirks: Claims her enemies are tools of the Jesuits; Fond of dogs; Likes to flirt
Montez commonly has a knife and a pistol concealed in her clothing.
Montezs wealth was a gift to her from her patron, Ludwig I of Bavaria; her fortunes rose and fell throughout her life, helped with her inability to resist spending money or going into debt. While she performed on stage, her personality and mannerisms seem to have been more important than her skill as a dancer, which critical audiences never felt to be up to professional standards. This version makes her more attractive than photographs taken in her 30s, but less so then her admirers thought; their judgement may have been weakened by her seductiveness and intense personality.
Lola Montez was the assumed name of Eliza Gilbert, the daughter of an English army officer and an Irish girl of 14. Her parents went to India when her father gained reassignment there, though he died the very day he reported to his new regiment. Her mother soon remarried, and in 1826, Eliza was sent back to school in England. At 17, she married Lieutenant Thomas James and went back to India with him, but returned to England in 1841, where she became involved with other men and studied for a theatrical career. Her husband sued for separate maintenance (called divorce, but they could not legally remarry) and was granted it in 1842.
Subsequently, Montez emigrated to the United States, where she became popular lecturer, writing much of her own material. Her speaking tours of took her to California, Australia, Ireland, and England. A stroke left her partially paralyzed in 1860, but she was recovering when she caught pneumonia, from which she died in early 1861.
Montez was the prototype of the professional celebrity; she had only moderate talent, but attracted large audiences by the force of her personality and the fascination of her scandalous life. She helped break down the old restrictions on women by her fame for ignoring them which is rather ironic, given her own generally romantic-conservative views.
Seymor, Bruce: Lola Montez: A Life
Varley James, F.: Lola Montez, The California Adventures of Europes Notorious Courtesan.
[edited for removal of game specific content]