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Lola Montez (1821-61)

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[vars. 1818; c.1820; b. pseud. of [Marie Dolores - hence “Lola”] Eliza [Rosanna] Gilbert; Gräfin (Countess) von Landsfeld; known as “Lollita” by Ludwig I; named Mrs Eliza Gilbert on her grave-stone in Greenwood Cem., Brooklyn, NY] b. 7 Feb. 1821, at Grange, Co. Sligo [var. Limerick], dg. of Capt. Gilbert, a penniless Scottish officer, arriving with his regt. in Ireland in Dec. 1818; and a 14-year old milliner, herself the illeg. dg. of Sir Charles Oliver, a  High Sheriff of Cork and MP for Kilmallock, last of four with his mistress Mary Green, born in the year of his marriage at 40 and subseq. in receipt of £500 each in his will; the young couple were married at Christ Church, Cork, with family notices, where his regiment had moved; lived at King House, Boyle, Co. Roscommon, and then in Liverpool before going to India, 1823; Gilbert - whom she called Adjutant-General to Lord Auckland, Viceroy - dies of cholera soon after on arrival, 1864; Eliza raised by her mother and Capt. [afterwards Gen.] George Craigie, whom her mother married in India; sent home to Scotland for education with her caring step-father’s Presbyterian grandfather, Patrick Craigie at Montrose, nr. Dundee, 1827, [aetat. 9], and later in Sunderland with his step-aunt Catherine Rae, who moved south to Monkwearmouth, Durham, and established a school there, 1831; next attended the Misses Aldridges’ Ladies’ Boarding Academy, a finishing-school on Cambden Circle [actually a crescent] in Bath; at 16 [var. 17] she was apparently promised a Sir Abraham Lumly to eloped instead Lt. Thomas James, a penniless Irish lieutenant [‘poor ensign’ - acc. Emily Eden, dg. of Lord Auckland in her Indian diary], in 1837 - he being 27 and apparently the friend of her mother from shipboard times; visited Ireland, unmarried, first staying in a Westmoreland St., Dublin, and then at his family home in Ballycrystal House, Co Wexford; greatly bored by Anglo-Irish country-house life - especially the ‘endless cups of tea’ consumed by his female relatives (Do.); afterwards married with her mother’s consent but without her blessing;
travelled to India to Thomas, reaching Calcutta on 25 Jan. 1839; stationed at Karnal; contracted malaria in India; vacationed in Simla, Sept. 1839; discovered her husband to be violent and unfaithful [with a Mrs. Lomer]; reunited with her mother in Calcutta and afterwards returned to England, 1840; placed in the care of David Craigie, a family member in Perth, Scotland, but refused to stay with the “blue Calvinist”; remains in London with the £1,000 income settled on her [which ‘disappeared .. by a sort of insensible perspiration’]; learnt stage-craft from Fanny Kelly and trained in Spanish and acquired a Spanish accent; divorce proceedings initiated by James, citing George Lennox, 1842; commenced a stage career in London as Donna Lola Montez, exotic dancer and war-widow at Her Majesty’s Theatre, 3 June 1843, but soon detected as Mrs. James and castigated in the press; travelled to Spain and elsewhere in Europe to study her rôle - purportedly visiting the Montalvos from whom she claimed to be descended; unsuccessful operatic début in Le lazzarone by Halévy, Paris 1844; reputedly had affairs with Franz Liszt, Alexandre Dumas, and newspaper editor Henri Dujarier - who died in a duel with a political opponent Beauvallon, having left a letter to her excuseing his absence from her bed; travelled to Bavaria with an introduction to the royal court; met in Munich King Ludwig I of Bavaria (aetat. 60), in her character as a Spanish dancer, 8 Oct. 1846 - and apocryphally reported to have removed clothing to show how little she needed stays [to support her bosom]; created Countess of Landsfeld by him (25 Aug. 1847), with a substantial life-pension [£2,000 p.a.; afterwards discontinued in at regime-change]; Ludwig commissioned a portrait by Josef Stieler for his Gallery of Beauties [Schönheitsgalerie], now displayed in Nymphenburg Palace (Munich); he commissioned another in oil from Wilhelm von Kaulbach, which the King rejected, 1847; became his mentor in political matters, turning him against ‘the cloven foot of Jesuitism’; instigated his closure of the universities and was condemned by the republican students [‘Down with the concubine!’]; banished ‘hopelessly’ [Autobiography] from Bavaria two weeks before his forced abdication, 1848;
vainly awaited Ludwig in Switzerland, and moved to London, where she married an English cavalry officer, George Trafford Heald in Paris, 1849 - though debarred by terms of her divorce with James from remarriage; exchanged letters with Ludwig I, thenat Berchtesgaden, denying that she was ‘in love’ with Heald (‘it is a completely different sentiment’) and offering to renounce the intended marriage; hounded by an outraged aunt of Heald, subjected to satirical cartoons and removed to the continent in face of a bigamy scandal, living in France and Spain; Heald apparently dies by drowning in Europe; Montez travels to America, arriving ; photographed by Meade Bros. in New York, 22 Dec. 1851; a daguerrotype portrait is made by Marcus Root, accompanied by another in which she links arms with Light in the Clouds, an Arapaho Chief in the studio, 2 Feb. 1852; (Harvard. Lib.); successfully toured her stage-show Lola Montez in Bavaria in the USA and Australia, investing profits in gold speculation in Sierra Nevada and Australia; reached San Francisco, on the Northerner, 21 May 1853, and played Lady Teazle in Sheridan’s School for Scandal five days later [27 May]; m. Patrick Purdy Hull, a newspaper man whom she had met on board, 2 July 1853, in a ceremony at San Francisco Mission Church, but separated after two months and settled at Grass Valley (Ca.), late Aug. 1853; a physician who was afterwards murdered was as correspondent in the ensuing divorce; remained some years in Grass Valley, latterly restored as a historical landmark; travelled to Australia as a dancer, Aug. 1855; danced the Spider Dance on stage in Adelaide [Sandhurst (Victoria), and Melbourne], Sept. 1855, incurring the moral wrath of polite society; performed the same before 400 miners to rapturous applause at Castlemaine, but alienated the audience in response to mild heckling, April 1856; later attacked the editor of the Ballarat Times with a whip;
returned to San Francisco, May 1956 - suffering the loss of her lover-manager Frank Folland [var. Noel Follin] who went overboard 18 days from the Golden Gate; reached San Francisco, 26 July 1856, writing to Folland’s widow with an offer of support; settled in San Francisco with a house-hold of exotic birds from Australia incl. talking cockatoo, and the lap-dog Gip; returns successfully to the San Francisco stage, Aug. 1856; met Charles Chauncey Burr, a journalist an elocutionist who prepared her for a lecturing career; with him, she encountered the evangelist Thomas Harris who shaped her ultimate religious outlook; moved into the Follin [sic Seymour] home at Stuyvesant Place (NY), with Follin’s step-mother [Susan Dorothy Follin] and his sister Miriam, Jan. 1857; plays Forbes Theatre, Providence with Miriam [“Minnie”] and afterwards in Albany, Buffalo, &c.; inaugurated her lecture career with “Beautiful Women” in Hamilton, then Buffalo, where she introduced her second lecture, “The Origin and Power of Rome” [later published as “Romanism ”], July-Aug. 1857; lectured in Montreal; first steamer trip to England, autumn 1857; deceived by marriage promises of exiled Austrian Prince Sulkowski in Paris; returns to Boston via Liverpool, Jan. 1858; appeared as a character-witness in the debt case of David Wemyss Jobson;
wrote up her lectures as a book at the end of season, residing at Yorkville, NY, summer 1858; gave charity lecture to rebuilt Good Shepherd [Episcopalian] Church, Oct. 1858; travelled to Ireland on new New York-Galway steamship Pacific, 8-23 Nov. 1848, with Burr and his father Heman (as tour manager); visited Cork and Limerick; defended herself in the Dublin press against charges of courtesanship and bad faith in her connections with Dujarier, and Ludwig I; lectures on “America and Its People” in the Rotunda, Dublin; 8 Dec 1858; gave “Comic Aspects of Fashion” as her second Rotunda lecture and “English and America Character Compared” as the third; spoke of anarchy in America (e.g., vigilantes) and the superiority of monarchy as a system of government; lectured twice in Cork and once in Limerick (skipping Belfast) before returning to England, 1858; spoke in Edinburgh, and Glasgow; proceeded to Sheffield, Nottingham, Leicester, Wolverhampton, and Worcester and York (16 Feb. 1859); lectured on “Slavery in America”, condemning the Abolitionists but acknowledng the evil of the institutions; also spoke on the topics of “Strongminded Women” and “Women’s Rights in America” - accusing women of imitating the follies of men; resided at Park Lane with dwindling income until the lease was sold; moved for shelter to Derby as country-house guest of an English couple; attended Methodist services; quarrelled with her host and returned to London; took ship to America from Southampton on the Hammonia, logged as Mrs. Heald, Sept. 1859; rebutted charges of anti-Americanism in newspaper letter; gave lecture on “John Bull at Home”, 15 Dec. 1859;
Montez issued The Art of Beauty (1858; French trans. 1862) - which exposes the lucrative concoctions of fake cosmetic products and recommends some inexpensive recipes of her own, together with moderation, freedom from alcohol, exercise, and personal hygiene (frequent baths); she turned philantropist on recommendations of a former schoolfriend, and spent last years visiting former prostitutes in Magdalen Society [Asylum], 88th St., NY; a heavy smoker, she reputedly suffered from tertiary syphilis; suffered a stroke in June 1860, and succombed to pneumonia following an outdoors walk in New York during convalescence, 17 Jan. 1861; received unwelcome visit by her mother Eliza Craigie, apparently seeking to inherit her supposed fortune, autumn 1860; nursed in New York by Maria Buchanan and husband; attended inher final illness by her minister Francis Lister Hawks; assigned $300 to the Magdalen Society; d. in Brooklyn [aetat. one month short of 40; 41; vars. 42 &c.]; bur. in Green-wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, under a now-eroded gravestone with an illegimate epigraph bearing the inscription “Mrs. Eliza Gilbert, died 17 January, 1861, AE 42 [sic])” [from a 19th c. photograph]; she was survived by [now] Capt. Thomas who went on permanent leave and then retired in unhappy circumstances, 1856; letters were exchanged between Mrs Buchanan and Ludwig I after her death; much misinformation about her origins and career has been circulated in standard references works, viz., The American Cyclopaedia (1879); she has often been called the most famous Victorian woman after Queen Victoria; the authoritative life is by Bruce Seymour (1996, rep. 2008); subject of numerous biographies and novels incl. Marion Urch, An Invitation to Dance (2009) [as infra]. DIW

A Gallery
Portrait by Joseph Karl Stieler (1847)
Montez by Josef Heigel (c.1840) Daguerrotype by Marcus Root (1851) Spanish lace and Irish plaid
Lola Montez
Kaulbach, pinct. 1847 Coll. Roger Viollet, Paris ‘... men and women who trust their own souls ...’
Note: There is a Wikipedia entry with copious portrait-illustrations from which these are extracted [online] excepting the last two which have been contributed by Marion Urch (11.12.2014).

The legacy ...

Montez is remembered as a proto-feminist and a radical exponent of individualism. Her breaches of decorum - real and imagined - which shocked and thrilled contemporaries are taken as tokens of an anti-conventional attitude pointing towards a philosophy of personal liberation. Contradictorily, her involvement in social welfare for prostitutes in New York is sometimes yoked to a confessional narrative of redemption through in evangelical Christianity while her flighty character is seen as a redeeming trait in a secular-liberal context.
  The account of her life given in the third person in her Lectures and Autobiography of Lola Montez (1858) is sometimes said to have been ghost-written by Rev. C[harles] C[hauncey] Burr - an American journalist and eponym of a well-known modern High School School who acted as her publicity agent and went on to become an opponent of the anti-slavery liberationists such as Harriet Ward Beecher - whom he accused of being in league with the devil on account of the strident rhetoric of their speeches. How far he contributed to the writing or research involved in his lectures is unknown, but the indications are that these were very much her own in conception and expression. Thus her modern biographer Bruce Seymour writes:

‘Although [C. C.] Burr was then and is still frequently credited with writing Lola’s lectures, it is clear from Lola’s numerous published letters to editors and her surviving manuscript letters in English that she had a marvellous command of her native language and certainly had the wit and style to write everything she spoke from the platform. The manuscript of her lectures are nearly all in her own hand, with many of her own editorial corrections. Even in her first lectures, when Burr was helping her, most of the ideas appear to be her own; moreover, the style of the lectures resembles Lola’s other writings but is dramatically different from Burr’s published works. Lola’s statements must always be examined with healthy skepticism, but the best evidence is that she was indeed the author she claimed to be.
—Bruce Seymour, Lola Montez: A Life [1996] (Harvard UP 2008), p.359.

 Apparently six lectures - published as Lectures [...] including an Autobiography in New York and in London during 1858 - were planned but only two produced at the first season in Yorkville (NY) during the summer of 1857. These proved enough for the first tour, though others were shortly added. In scope and style, each oration, as the series as a wholedisplays a synoptic knowledge of history and literature which comes as a surprise in a woman with her career but is not untypical of the material available in sundry volumes about woman-heroines and “Female Worthies” published in the Victorian period. (The Anglo-Irishwoman E. Owen Blackburne's Illustrious Irishwomen of 1877 is a case in point.) Nevertheless, her anti-feminism has a fresh tone which evidently pleased its audience, sometimes to the extent of an ovation, and she cannot have lost friends when she bereated the ‘gentlemen’ present for unfairly judging women by standards which they do not trouble to observe themselves.
 One of the striking features of Montez lectures is her fluence in quotation from the English writers and further afield in European literature. Thus, in her piece on “Beautiful women”, she is able to recall the surprise with which, when younger, she ‘read out of Mr. Hume’s Essays, that ‘there is nothing in itself beautiful or deformed, desireable or hateful; bt these attributes arise from the peculiar constitution and fabric of human sentiment and affection.’ She goes on: ‘though I am not prepared to argue the truth of Mr. Hume’s proposition in its full extent, yet I am free to confess that I find the greatest difficulty in sketching in my own mind the details of any infallible standard of a beautiful woman.’ (Lectures, London: 1858, p.89.) A little later, she quotes John Milton from Paradise Lost (Bk VIII) on the vanity of mortal beauty:

“For what admir’st thou? what transports thee so?
An outside? Fair, no doubt, and worthy well
Thy cherishing, they honouring and they love, -
Not they subjection!”
Ibid., p.92.

- and, still later, she harps on Milton again when she recounts the progress of age in young women - setting the ‘meridian’ of beauty a little earlier than modern taste and morals allow: ‘Mary passes her teens, and approaches her thirtieth year [...] she may then consider her day at the meridian [...] A few short years, and the jocund step, the air habit, the sportive manner, must be all exchanged for the “faltering steps and slow.”’ (p.110.) Here she is slightly misquoting the last lines of Paradise Lost which show us Adam and Eve departing from Eden, ‘hand in hand, with wandering steps and slow”. (Milton does, however, used “faltering” elsewhere where ‘Old Anarch’ addresses Satan as one of his own: ‘with faltering speech, and visage uncomposed / “I know thee, stranger; who thou art [...]”’ In this case, therefore, the erroneous allusion suggests the depth of her familiarity with its classic source.
 An explanation for the cultural adroitness of Montez’ lectures, to which she took with such panache immediately after abandoning a career as an ‘exotic dancer’, can be sought in her education at the hands of the Misses Aldridge in Bath with its emphasis on classical languages and French accomplishments. According to her own account, her interest in politics was fired by her affair with Henri Dujarrier at the heart of Republican politics in France, her enthusiasm for which caused her to feel ‘almost sickened that she had not been made a man’ by her own account (Autobiography, pp.36-37). It was obviously sharpened by the opportunities of influence affairs during her days as mistress of the King of Bavaria and was never, at any point, of the whimsical kind which she ascribes to various amants of powerful men whose influence led to their lover's ruin - examples of which she blithely enumerates from classical times and modern Asia, with emphasis on the misdeeds of such women among the Mohammedan princes of the Raj.
 In gender politics, as in state politics, she was a liberal and a disbeliever in the inequality of men and women in any important sense. It is difficult, however, to cast her as a progressive in current terms since she was also capable of lending support to slavery and monarchy, as she did in her account of America during the English lecture series of 1859. On these subject she has clearly been wrong-footed by history though she was not in principle an opponent of human rights. That is not to say she was without prejudice since, in an erased sentence in her Autobiography - discovered by Seymour in the manuscript - she writes that she does ‘not hate the Negro because the soul has no colour’, implying that she does dislike the colour. Similarly, as regards feminism, she took an Emersonian view of the centrality of the human soul - our ‘individuality’, as she puts it in the hyperbolic dedication to The Arts of Beauty (1858) [as infra] - but simultaneously condemned the ‘women’s rights’ activists whom she saw as trying to emulate the follies of men. Women writers and women scientists won her admiration.
 When she spoke of ‘gifted’ and ‘intellectual’ women she evidently meant herself along with the others of that kind whom she admired. (In this spirit, the beauteous Duchess of Wellington is written off as a cold sculpture without any intellectual side.) She was clearly a reader as well as an observer - though many of her observations had less to do with personal experience than the books she had read or the people with whom she had talked. Thus it was, for instance, with the assertions about the obesity of the women in the harems of Constantinople which look in during her lecture on “Beautiful Women” which she purports to have visited on an introduction secured for her by Stratford Canning, the long-stranding English Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire. In reality she made no such visit and was more likely to have known Stratford, if at all, as an English MP than as a far-travelled diplomat.
  About her capacity for study in preparation for each lecture there is no doubt. It is on record that she assiduously read religious works before embarking on her lecture on “The Origin and Power of Rome” - afterwards published as “Romanism”. Nor was she afraid to court ill-opinion - at least to the extent that it promoted her fame - and to defend her attitudes in the press, as she did with several letters rebutting the supposed anti-Americanism of her British lectures on her return from England to the United States in 1859.
 Shortly after her death she became the subject of romances and biographies, and finally of films such as Lola Montez: the King’s Dancer (1922), with Ellen Richter as Montez, and and later still Max Orphüls’s Lola Montès (1955) - his last work - with Martine Carol in the lead, being based on a French novel. The latter was praised by Truffaut though unsuccessful at the box-office, in part because the idea of her abjection in a circus made little sense to the American audience. It has recently been restored and enjoys the status of a cult film having featured at the French Film Festival of Irish Film Institute in 2008. Montez is also the subject of an RTÉ documentary made by Ann Roper and a novel by Marion Urch (An Invitation to Dance, 2009).


Note there is a recurrent confusion in the biographical literature about Montez regarding the manner of her first marriage - whether she ‘eloped’ with Lt. Thomas or was given to him by her mother. By her own autobiographical account, her mother planned to marry her off as a teenager to an sixty-year-old man called Sir Abraham Lumly - a suspicious theatrical name too reminiscent, perhaps, of Fielding and Sheridan to be credible - causing her to turn to her mother’s younger friend, Capt. Thomas James, who then took advantage of her distress by eloping with her himself. In that account she makes no mention of improper relations between her married mother and Capt. James, though it she does say that it was he who told her of the intended marriage-pact and hence he was both the instigator of her misery and the beneficiary of it. Probably, her intention was to criminalise Thomas in writing it thus in retrospect. Certainly he comes out of it as a very untrustworthy friend and a very greedy man. In reality it may have been quite different and her love for the twenty-seven-old ensign may have been as sincere, at its moment, as first love often is. And since he was a ‘poor ensign’ - as Emily Eden, a kinswoman of the Viceroy of India Lord Auckland, puts it, he must have considered that he was getting a pretty young wife very cheap on the eve of his posting in India - where the couple found themselves after a shot-gun marriage in a very short time. Whether he thought he was cheating on Mrs. Craigie is another question, but the latter's epistolary lament at the wasted education which is recorded in the exhaustive biography by Seymour suggests that her indignation was very real for either reason: the defection of a lover or the theft of a daughter. In a general way, it all bespeaks a highly disordered way of life in the home where Lola Montez raised.
 In later life, home was institution she revered and whose absence in the social order of France she lamented, identifying America is another society in which - for different reasons - home was not a constitutuent of ordinary life:

‘The great evil of Paris is that there is no such institution as “home”; as a general fact, that sanctifier of the heart - that best shelter and friend of woman - that beautiful feeling called “home” - does not exist. The nearest approach to this deplorable state of things is found among the business people of the United States. I have noticed this particularly in New York, where the merchant is never at home except to sleep, and even then his brain is so racked with per cents, advances, or depressions in prices, the rise and fall of stocks, &c., that he brings no fond affection to his family. The [164] husband’s brain is a ledger and his heart a counting-room. And where is woman to find in all this the response to a heart overflowing with affection? And this is as true in New York as it is in Paris.’

Lectures [... &c.], London 1858, pp.164-65; 2nd London Edn., 1860, pp.180-81.)

[A notice by Bruce Stewart (RICORSO) - Dec. 2014.]

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  • Lectures of Lola Montez (Countess of Landsfeld) including her Autobiography (NY: Rudd and Carleton MDCCCLVIII [1858]), 292pp.; Do [another edn.] (London: Gilbert 1858), 192pp. [see extracts], and Do. [another edn.], as Autobiography and Lectures of Lola Montez (Countess of Landsfeld) (London : James Blackwood, Paternoster Row [1860]) [printed by Jack & Evans, Gt. Windmill St. , 202, [2]pp., 17 cm.
  • The Arts of Beauty; or, Secrets of a Lady’s Toilet, with Hints to Gentlemen on the Art of Fascinating,by Lola Montez, Countess of Landsfeld  (NY: Dick & Fitzgerald [1858]) [see details]; Do. [rep. edn.] (NY: Echo Press 1978), xiii, 111pp.; also The Arts of Beauty (London: James Blackwood [1850?]), vii, 123, [10]pp. [17 cm; i.e., 10pp. pub. adverts.]

See also Fanny Fern, Rose Clark (London : Routledge 1856), 234, 12pp., [17 cm.], bound together with The life of P.T. Barnum / written by himself (London: Sampson Low 1855), 12pp., and Autobiography and Lectures of Lola Montez (Countess of Landsfeld) (London: Blackwood, 18--?). {Note that Sketchbook of Fanny Fern" is appended to Lectures [... &c.] (London: Gilbert 1858), as supra.

Bibliographical details

Lectures and Autobiography (1858)

.] Lectures of Lola Montez (Countess of Landsfeld): Including her Autobiography (London: Published for Gilbert, 14 Ivy Lane, Paternoster Row 1858), 192 +[6]pp. [incls. A Sketch from Fanny Fern's Portfolio, viz., “Helen, The Village Rosebud”, as pp.185-92.; copies in Cambridge UL & LSE; another copy in Emory UL - available at Internet Archive, online; see extracts].

2.] Lectures of Lola Montez (Countess of Landsfeld) including her Autobiography (NY: Rudd and Carleton, 310 Broadway: MDCCCLVIII [1858]), 292pp., ill. [front.; [8]pp. of publisher’s catalogue at the end - copy at Univ. of California at Davis Liberary available in Internet Archive - online].

New York and London Editions of Lectures of Lola Montez, including her Autobiography (both 1858)
Rudd & Carleton, 310 Broadway[, New York] Gilbert [self], Paternoster Row Front plate on London Edn.

Ch. Contents 1st London Edn. American Edn. 2nd London Edn.
Autobiography. Part I., . . . . . . . . . .
         ”           ”    II., . . . . . . . . . .
Beautiful Women, . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Gallantry, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Heroines of History, . . . . . . . . . . . .
Comic Aspect of Love, . . . . . . . . . .
Wit and Women of Paris, . . . . . . . . .
Romanism, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
[ Available at Internet Archive, online. ]
Note: Both the American edition and the second London edition (Blackwood) prefix a commendatory notice on Lola Montez from The American Law Journal.

Note 1: The two parts of the “Autobiography” which begin the text are styled “lectures” when spoken of in the writing itself: - viz., "Don’t misunderstand me - I am not promising in my next lecture to explain that riddle, Lola Montez - that is a thing I have not guessed myself yet - but I shall faithfull go over this wild episode of life (horse-whippings and [34] all without the least disposition to shield my subject from the open eyes of the critical world.’ (pp.34-35.) [For remarks on “whipping”, see under W. H. Russell, infra.]

[ Note 2: The essay on “Gallantry” is actually a well-read account of the history of the Troubadours of Provence: ‘That, ladies, is the way they used to make love in the age of the Troubadours. Love was certainly a very earnest, and sometimes a very fearful thing in those days.’ (p.84.)

[ Note 3: Occasional remarks make it clear that the essays were written for an American audience - viz., ‘I suppose it is not singular in this [my italics] country to find the poorest cobbler, whose little shanty is next to the proud mansion of some millionnaire, a man of really more mental attainments than his rich and haughty neighbour; in which case the millionnaire will do well to look to it, that the cobbler does not make love to his wife; and if he does, nobody need care much, for the millionnaire will be quite sure to reciprocate. / The great statute, “tit-for-tat,” is, I believe, equally the law of all nations.’ (p.136.) Further, ‘Likewise, marital arrangements in Salt Lake City [sic italics] are considered “very funny”’ - though ‘it would no longer be considered a subject of amusement if such practices were brought to our own doors.’ (p.141.)]


2.] The Arts of Beauty; or, Secrets of a Lady’s Toilet, with Hints to Gentlemen on the Art of Fascinating  (NY: Dick & Fitzgerald [1858]) - available at Internet Archive - online]; Do., [rep. edn.] (NY: Echo Press 1978), xiii, 111pp. [Date added by hand on the copy at Emory Univ. Library; accession date, 15 May 1891, gift of Dr. S. G. Green.]

Table of Contents [chapter list]
I: Female Beauty; II: A Handsome Form; III: How to obtain a Handsome Form; IV: How to acquire a Bright and Smooth Skin; V: Artificial Means; VI: Beauty of Elasticity; VII: A Beautiful Face; VIII: How to obtain a Beautiful Complexion; IX: Habits which destroy the Complexion; X: Paints and Powders; XI: A Beautiful Bosom; XII : Beautiful Eyes; XIII: Beautiful Mouth and Lips; XIV: A Beautiful Hand; XV: A Beautiful Foot and Ankle; XVI: Beauty of the Voice; XVII: Beauty of Deportment; XVIII: Beauty of Dress; XIX: Beauty of Ornaments; XX: Importance of Hair as an Ornament; XXI: How to obtain a good Head of Hair; XXII: To prevent the Hair from falling off; XXIII: To prevent the Hair from Turning Grey; XXIV: How to soften and beautify the Hair; XXV: To remove Superfluous Hair; XXVI: How to color Grey Hair; XXVII: Habits which destroy Beautiful Hair; XXVIII: Blemishes to Beauty. Fifty Rules in the Art of Fascinating [102]. Index [129-32.]
[ Available at Internet Archive - online. Note that this copy from the Emory University Library contains marginal tick-marks against the various recipes and prescriptions suggested by the author, indicating that the original reader treated it as a practical manual on the subject.]

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Standard biography
  • Bruce Seymour, Lola Montez: A Life (1996; Yale UP 2008), 496pp. [new edn.; pb.; see extracts].
German responses
  • Mola, oder Tanz und Welt-geschichte: Eine spanisch-deutsche Erzählung [Founded on the life of Lola Montez.] (Leipzig, 1847).
  • Paul Erdmann, Lola Montez und die Jesuiten: Eine Darstellung der jüngsten Ereignisse in München (Hamburg 1847), vi, 370pp., 8º.
  • L. Beyer, Glorreiches leben und Taten de elelen Senora Dolores, trans. from the Spanish (Leipzig 1847), 24pp. [&c.].
  • Gustav Bernhard, Die Gräfin Landsfeld (1848), 21pp. [cited in Jürgen Schneider & Ralf Sotscheck, Ireland: Eine Bibliographie selbständiger deutschsprachiger (Verlag Georg Büchner Buchhandlung 1989), p.274].
  • Eduard Fuchs, Ein vormärzliches Tanz-idyll: Lola Montez in der Karikatur (Berli: Frensdorff 1904), 18pp. [90 ills.], 4°.
  • [Wolfgang Liepe,] Um Lola Montez: Blätter aus dem Kieler Theatermuseum. [Wissenschaftliche Gesellschaft für Literatur und Theater 1930 [Jahresgabe 1929 vom Theater-Museum in Kiel] (Kiel: 1929), [2]pp., ill. [6 lvs. of pls.; facs. letter of Ludwig I with caricatures and ports. of Montez].
Commentary & biography
  • F[rancis] L[ister] H[awks], “Is Not This a Brand Plucked out of the Fire?” [...] The Story of a Penitent: Lola Montez (NY: 1867), 16°.
  • E[dmund] B[asil] D’Auvergne, Lola Montez: An Adventuress of the ’Forties (NY: Brentano’s [1909]; rep. 1924).
  • W. R. H. Trowbridge, Sept belles pécheresses, trad. par Ève Paul-Marguerite (Paris: J. Tallandier [1913]).
  • Horace Wyndham, The Magnificent Montez: From Courtesan to Convert, &c. [A biography of Lola Montez, Countess van Landsfeld] (London: Hutchinson & Co. 1935), 288pp., ill. [pls. incl. ports.; 8º]
  • T[homas] Everett Harré, The Heavenly Sinner: The Life and Loves of Lola Montez (NY: Macaulay 1935), 690pp.; Do., as The Heavenly Sinner: The Romance of Lola Montez (London: Jarrolds. 1936), 639pp.
  • [Isaac Goldberg,] Queen of Hearts: The Passionate Pilgrimage of Lola Montez (NY: J. Day Co. [1936]), 308pp., ill. [port; 6 printings +.]
  • [Oscar Lewis,] Lola Montez: The mid-Victorian Bad Girl in California [...] (San Francisco: Colt Press [1938]), ill. [Woodcuts by Mallette Dean]
  • Helen Holdredge, The Woman in Black: The Life of Lola Montez (NY: Putnam [1955]), 309pp. [22 cm.], and Do., rep. as Lola Montez (London: Redman 1957), x, 309pp., ill. [8pp. of pls., ports.; 20 cm.; Bibl. pp.299-301; Index.]
    The Divine Eccentric: Lola Montez and the Newspapers (LA: Westernlore Press [1969]), 228pp. [Bibl., 225ff.].
  • Harriet Steel, Becoming Lola ([Ilford]: YouWriteOn Pub. 2010), 315pp. [see summary].
Irish commentaries
  • Grainne Blair [essay on Montez], in Women’s Studies Review, ed. & intro. Maura Cronin, Vol. 7 (2001), q.pp.
  • Fiona McCann, ‘Lola, invented by Eliza of Sligo’ [feature-article], in The Irish Times (12 Nov. 2008) [Arts sect.], p.18.
  • Marion Urch, An Invitation to Dance (Dingle: Brandon Press 2009), 314pp. [noticed in Books Ireland, Feb. 2009, p.5, & The Irish Times, 13 June 2009 - as infra], and Do., as Die Tänzerin: Ein Lola-Montez-Roman, trans. by Chrisine Pavesicz (Aufbau taschenbuch [digital] 2010).
  • Helen Meany, ‘¡Hola Lola!’, in The Irish Times (13 June 2009), [Weekend] Magazine [interview-article based on Urch, supra; see extract].
Biographical fiction
  • Norman Holland, Lola Montez: Der König und die Tänzerin (Munich: Ehrinwirth 1988), 351pp. [cited in Schneider & Sotscheck, op. cit., 1989].
  • [et mult. al.]

See also Louise de Vilmorin, Lola Montès, favorite royale (Paris, 1936); rep. as Lolette / édition établie par Patrick Mauriès, avec le concours de Martina Cardelli ([Paris]: Le Promeneur [1999]), 87pp. [viz., Mauriès, Cabinet of Curiosities (2011)].

General studies
  • Marian Broderick, Wild Irish Women: Extraordinary Lives in Irish History (Dublin: O’Brien Press 2001).
  • Siobhán Mulcahy, Heroes & Villains: Forgotten Irish Stories (Dun Laoghaire: Chomsky 2004).
  • Thornton Hall, “The Enslaver of a King”, Love Affairs in the Courts of Europe [being Chap. XII] (Alexandra Books; n.d.) [available at Google Books - online.]
Cinema & media
  • Lola Montès, directed by Max Orphüls [1955], with screenplay by Jacques Natanson, Annette Wademant and Max Orphüls; produced by Albert Caraco (Gamma-Film; Florida Films ; Oska Films) ([London:] BBC 1984) [copy in Warwick U.].
  • Do., as Lola Montès / un film de Max Orphüls [director]; avec Martine Carol, Peter Ustinov, Anton Walbrook; scenario de Max Orphüls, adaptation de Annette Wademant et Max Orphüls; dialogue de Jacques Natanson (London: Nouveaux Pictures 2000).
  • Do. as Lola Montès / directed by Max Orphüls. (Gaillon : Fil à Film c[1991]).

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Cork Examiner (13 Dec. 1858) - report on Lola Montez’ 2nd lecture Dublin: ‘Madame Montez, Countess of Landsfelt, delivered her second lecture the Rotundo [sic] last Friday evening, having for the subject “The Comic Aspect of Fashion”. The arrangements were much better than on the former occasion [...]’ [Available at Genes Reunited > Seach British Newspapers > - online; accessed 11.12.2014. Note 30+ newspapers from Dublin, Louth, Belfast, Cheshire, Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cumbria, &c., record this event with similar (copied?) accounts of the ‘warm applause’ which greeted the speaker.]

The American Law Journal - Extract prefixed to American edition of Lectures [... &c.] (1858): ‘Let Lola Montez have credit for her talents, intelligence, and her support of popular rights. As a political character, she held, until her retirement from Switzerland, an important position in Bavaria and Germany, besides having agents and correspondents in various parts of Europe. On foreign politics she has clear ideas, and has been treated by the political men of the country as a substantive power. She always kept state secrets, and could be consulted in safety in cases in which her original habits of thought rendered her of service. Acting under her advice, the king had pledged himself to a course of steady improvement to the people. Although she wielded so much power, it is alleged that she never used it for the promotion of unworthy persons, or, as other favorites have done, for corrupt purposes; and there is reason to believe that political feeling influenced her course, not sordid considerations.’ (Prefixed to the American edition, 1858, p.[5].)

Bruce Seymour, Lola Montez: A Life (2008):
Bruce Seymour, Lola Montez: A Life (Yale UP 2008), 496pp. - Table of Contents:
From Ireland to India
From Child to Woman
The Joys of Married Life
Lola Montez Is Born
Germany Conquered with a Whip
The Road to Russia and Back
The Conquest of a Genius
The Judgment of Paris
An Appointment in the Bois
Seeking Distractions at Home and Abroad
A King in Autumn
The Enchanted Prince
The King’s Mistress
A Battle Won
Mistress versus Minister and Mob
The Countess and Her Court
The Road to Revolution
The Fugitive
Boldness and Betrayal
This Changes Things
Mistress Heald on the Run
Before the Footlights Again
The Conquest of the New World
At Home in the Golden West
Sorrow and Success
Bibliography & Abbreviations [411]

Sample pages: “The Joys of Married Life” [from Chap. 3 & 17].

—Op. cit., pp.18 & 183; available at Google Books - online. [Chapter 1 of this work is available to view at Amazon Books - online while all chapters except Chaps. 26 & 28 are available to view at Google Books - online - accessed 12.12.2014.]
Note: Bruce Seymour has lodged his copious research files on Lola Montez at www.zpub.com > History > &c. - online. These include a Chronology of her life, an account of Persons associated with her, a Bibliography and Critical review of all the major biographical literature, as well as copies of all contemporary Newspaper reports about her. The front page is structured to allow for downloads of each of these in word-processor format.
Further: lover-manager’s name in the Australian tour of 1856 is given as “Follard” and “Folland” in the Chronology while the name “Follin” is added to these variants in the published biography as being that of his step-mother Susan and his sister Minnie (Lola Montez, 2008). Unless we are misreading, all three names refer to the same persons. Be it said, Seymour supplies a gracious apology for any copying errors - especially relating to the distinction between summary and transcription - in his final remarks (online; access 13.12.2014.) [BS]

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Helen Meany, ‘¡Hola Lola!’, in The Irish Times (13 June 2009), [Weekend] Magazine [q.p.]: ‘[...] Author Marion Urch loved the Orphüls film as a student, and when she learned that Montez was Irish - born Eliza Gilbert - she was hooked. Her new novel, An Invitation to Dance, explores Eliza’s Irish origins, opening in Cork in 1820 where her mother, a teenage milliner’s apprentice, first met her father, an ensign in the British army. By the time he discovered that she was the illegitimate daughter of an Anglo-Irish lord, she was already pregnant. A shotgun wedding preceded an army posting to India, with their new baby girl in tow./ “The fact that she was Irish was fundamental to my understanding of Lola Montez,” says Urch. “I read everything I could about her, but most of it was quite hostile. I became determined to unlock her character, and rescue her from all the B-movie clichés and the implausible life story. None of the biographies I read really thought about her in the context of what life was like for women in Ireland and England at the time. Even the idea, always repeated, that she was a bad dancer: she did get some good reviews, in fact. It’s just that her dancing seemed raw and unrefined because it was based on flamenco. It came as a shock to audiences used to seeing ballet.” / In Urch’s first-person narrative, the young Eliza Gilbert observes the casual cruelties of her world through sensitive eyes. Hurt by her mother’s indifference, she is passed like a parcel among nurses and servants, and eventually sent back from India to a boarding school in Bath on the death of her father. Exile, displacement and constant movement define her life’s history.’ (Available at Marion Urch’s website > online - or see copy in RICORSO Library, “Criticism > Reviews”, via index, or direct.)

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«The Arts of Beauty (1858) - Dedication: ‘To all men and women of every land, who are not afraid of themselves, who trust so much in their own souls that they dare to stand up in the might of their own individuality to meet the tidal currents of the world.’ (Cited by Marion Urch, Facebook - 11.12.2014; also given a concluding summary phrase in the Epilogue of Bruce Seymour, Lola Montez: A Life, 1996, 2008, p.401.)

Women’s vanity?: ‘The Baroness de Stael confessed that she would exchange half her knowledge for personal charms, and there is not much doubt that most women of genius, to whom nature has denied the talismanic power of beauty, would consider it cheaply bought at that price. And let not man deride her sacrifice, and call it vanity, until he becomes himself so morally purified and intellectually elevated, that he would prefer the society of [xiv] an agly woman of genius to that of a great and matchless beauty of less intellectual acquirements. All women know that it is beauty rather than genius, which all generations of men have worshipped in our sex. Can it be wondered at, then, that so much of our attention should be directed to the means of developing and preserving our charms? When men speak of the intellect of woman, they speak critically, tamely, coldly; but when they come to speak of the charms of a beautiful woman, both their language and their eyes kindle with the glow of an enthusiasm, which shows them to be profoundly, if not, indeed, ridiculously in earnest. It is a part of our natural sagacity to perceive all this, and we should be enemies to ourselves if we did not employ every allowable art to become the goddesses of that adoration. Preach to the contrary as you may, there still stands the eternal fact, that the world has yet allowed no higher “mission” to woman, than to be beautiful. Taken in the best meaning of that word, it may be fairly questioned if there is any higher mission for woman on earth. But, whether there is, or is not, there is no such thing as making female beauty play a less part than it already does, in the admiration of man and in the ambition of woman. With great propriety, if it did not spoil the poetry, might we alter [xv] Mr. Pope’s famous line on happiness, so as to make it read —

“beauty! our being’s end and aim.”

 My design in this volume is to discuss the various Arts employed by my sex in the pursuit of this paramount object of woman's life. I have aimed to make a useful as well as an entertaining and amusing book. The fortunes of life have given to my own experience, or observation, nearly all the materials of which it is composed. So, if the volume is of less importance than I have estimated, it must be charged to my want of capacity and not to any lack of information on the subject of which it treats.
 The HINTS TO GENTLEMEN ON THE ART OF FASCINATING, I am sure, will prove amusing to the ladies. And I shall be disappointed if it fails to be a useful and instructive lesson to the other gender. The men have been laughing, I know not how many thousands of years, at the vanity of women, and if the women have not been able to return the compliment, and laugh at the vanity on the other side of the house, it is only because they have been wanting in a proper knowledge of the bearded gender. If my “Hints” shall prove to be a looking- glass in which the men can “see themselves as others [xvi] see them” they will, I hope, not be unthankful for the favor I have done them. And if my own sex receiyes this book in the same spirit with which I have addressed myself to its subject, I shall be happy in the conviction that I have rendered my experience serviceable to them and honorable to myself.’ / Lola Montez. (pp.xiv-xvi.)

Note that all of the hints are ironic, describing behaviours in men which are the least likely to win the admiration of a sensible woman. These include professing that his object is to please all their sex and not one particular member of it, pronouncing himself an atheist, take his ease and throw his arm over the their chairs in a proprietary fashion, recounting their triumphs overother men, ‘dance with all the might of your body’, ordering three times too much food in expensive restaurants, ‘gassing’ (talking about meetings with important peoplesporting jewelry in abundance, ), join the ‘danglers’ (willing objects of mock flirtations), and so on ... In order words - madly competitive or foolishly effeminate. [BS]

Another Hint: ‘Gentlemen, if you please, if you would have your homes hold no hearts but yours, see to it that your own hearts are always found at home.’ (“Beautiful Women”, in Lectures [... &c.] (1858, p.63.)

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Autobiography (i.e., Lectures .. including Autobiography, London: Gilbert 1858)

[Introductory remarks ...]
‘Alas! for a woman whose circumstances, or whose natural propensities and powers, push her forward beyond the line of the ordinary routine of female life, unless she possesses a saving amount of that force of resistance. Many a woman who has had strength to get outside of that line, has not possessed the strength to stand there; and the fatal result has been that she has been swept down into the gulf of irredeemable sin. The great misfortune was that there was too much of her to be held within the prescribed and safe limits allotted to woman; but there was not enough to enable her to stand securely beyond the shelter of conventional rules. / Within this little bit of philosophy there is a key which unlocks the dark secret of the fall and everlasting ruin of many of the most beautiful and naturally-gifted women in the world.’ (Ibid., p.9; available at Internet Archive - online; accessed 12.12.2014.)

[Account of family and birth...]
‘Lola Montez was then actually born in the city of Limerick, in the year of our Lord, 1821. I hope she will forgive me for telling her age. Her father was a son of Sir Edward Gilbert; and his mother, Lady Gilbert, was considered, I believe, one of the handsomest women of her time. The mother of Lola was an Oliver, of Castle Oliver, and her family name was of the Spanish noble famJly of Montalvo, descended from Count de Montalvo, who once possessed immense estates in Spain, all of which were lost in the wars with the French and other nations. The Montalvos were originally of Moorish blood, who came into Spain at the time of Ferdinand and Isabella the Catholic. So that the fountain-head of the blood which courses in the veins of the erratic Lola Montez is Irish and Moorish Spanish - a somewhat combustible compound it must be confessed.’ (Ibid., p.11.)

[The first marriage ...]
‘At the expiration of this finishing campaign [viz., the Misses Aldridges’ school in Bath], Lola’s mother came from India for the purpose of taking her daughter back with her. She was then fourteen years old; and from the first moment of her mother’s arrival, there was a great hubbub of new dresses, and all manner of extravagant queer-looking apparel, especially for the wardrobe of a young girl of fourteen years. The little Dolores made bold enough one day to ask her mother what this was all about, and received for an answer that it did not concern her - that children should not be inquisitive nor ask idle questions. But there was a Captain James, of the army in India, who came out with her mother, who informed the young Lola that all this dressmaking business was for her own wedding clothes - that her mother had promised her in marriage to Sir Abraham Lumly, a rich and gouty old rascal of sixty years, and Judge of the Supreme Court in India. This put the first fire to the magazine. The little madcap cried and stormed alternately. The mother was determined, so was her child. The mother was inflexible, so was her child [14] and in the wildest language of defiance she told her that she would never be thus thrown alive into the jaws of death.
 Here, then, was one of those fatal family quarrels, where the child is forced to disobey parental authority, or to throw herself away into irredeemable wretchedness and ruin. It is certainly a fearful responsibility for a parent to assume of forcing a child to such alternatives. But the young Dolores sought the advice and assistance of her mother’s friend, Captain James. He was twenty-seven years of age, and ought to have been capable of giving good and safe counsel. In tears and despair she appealed to him to save her from this detested marriage - a thing which he certainly did most effectually, by eloping with her the next day himself. The pair went to Ireland, to Captain James’s family, where they had a great muss in trying to get married. No clergyman could be found who would marry so young a child without a mother’s consent. The captain’s sister put off for Bath, to try and get the mother’s consent. At first she would not listen, but at last good sense so far prevailed as to make her see that nothing but evil and sorrow could come of her refusal, and she consented, but would neither be present at the wedding, nor send her blessing. So in flying from that marriage with ghastly and gouty old age, the child lost her mother, and gained what proved to be only the outside shell of a husband, who had neither a brain which she could respect, nor a heart which it was possible for her to love. Runaway matches, like run-away horses, are almost sure to end in a smash-up.’ (Ibid., p.15.)

[Note: The orig. vol. here erroneously prints pp.13 & 14 - both number and contents - as 14 then 13; see online.]


‘Of Lola Montez’ career in the United States there is not much to be said. On arriving in this country she found that the same terrible power which had pursued her in Europe, after the blows she had given it in Germany, held even here the means to fill the American press with a thousand anecdotes and rumours, which were entirely unjust and false in relation to her. Among other things, she had had the honor [49] of horse-whipping hundreds of men whom she never knew, and never saw. But there is one comfort in all these falsehoods, which is, that these men very likely would have deserved horse-whipping, if she had only known them. As a specimen of the pleasant things said of Lola Montez, I am going to quote you from a book, entitled the Adventures of Mrs. Seacole, published last year [viz., 1857] in London, and edited by no less of a literary man than the gifted correspondent of the London Times, W. H. Russell, Esq. Mrs. Seacole is giving her adventures at Cruces, between here and California. She says: “Occasionally, some distinguished passengers passed on the upward and downward tides of rascality and ruffianism, that swept periodically through Cruces. Came one day, Lola Montez, in the full zenith of her evil fame, bound for California, with a strange suite. A good-looking, bold woman, with fine, bad eyes, and a determined bearing, dressed ostentatiously in perfect male attire, With shirt-collar turned down over a velvet lappelled coat, richly worked shirt-front, black hat, French unmentionables, and natty polished boots with spurs. She carried in her hand a handsome riding-whip, which she could use as well in the streets of Cruces as in the towns of Europe; for an impertinent American, presuming, perhaps not unnaturally, upon her reputation, laid hold jestingly of the tails of her long coat, and, as a lesson, received a cut across his face that must have marked him for some days. I did not wait to see the row that followed, and was glad when the wretched woman rode off on the following morning.”’ (Ibid., pp.49-50.)

[Note: Montez rebutts the remarks by denying that she every wore men’s clothes outdoors to except as a disguise to re-enter Bavaria, had never had a whip in her hand in Cruces and, lastly, that she had ever been to Cruces. (See further under W. H. Russell - who edited Mrs. Seacole’s book - as attached.)

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[Lecture:] “Beautiful Women”
‘[...] I am impressed that some sketch of my own observations of the national types of beautiful women will be more interesting to you than any speculation or theory on the subject, abstractly considered. And on the whole I must give the preference to the English nobility for the most beaitiful women I have met with.
 ‘In calling to mind the many I have seen, in the course of my life, I find yself at once thkining of the Duchess of Sutherland. She was a large and magnificent woman - a natural queen. Her complexion was light, and she might be considered the paragon and type of the beautiful aristocracy of England. I next think of Lady Blessington. She was a marvellous beauty. Kings and nobles were at her feet. In Italy they call her a goddess. She was very voluptuous, with a neck that sat on her shoulders like th emost charming Greek models, a wonderfully beautiful hand, and an eye that when it smiled, captivated all hearts. She ws a far more intellectual tpe of beauty than the Duchess of Sutherland.
  ‘The present Duchess of Wellington is a remarkably beautiful woman - but with little intellect or animation. She is a fine piece of sculpture, and as cold as a piece of sculpture. The most famously beautiful family in England were the Sheridan family. There were two sons who were considered the handsomest men of their day. They there are three daughters,the Hon. Mrs. Norton, well known on this side of the Atlantic through her poverty and misfortunes! Lady Blackwood and Lady Seymour, who was the queen of beauty at the famous Eglinton Tournament. These three beautiful Sheridan sisters used to be called “the three Graces of England.” Lady Seymour has dark blue eyes, large, lustrous, and most beautiful while Lady Blackwood and Mrs. Norton have grey eyes, but full of fire, and soul, and beauty.
  ‘The women of France are not generally beautiful, although they are very charming. The art of pleasing, or of refined and fascinating manners, is the first study of a French lady. But stil France is not without its beautiful women. The Marquise de la Grange was one of the most beautiful women I have ever met in Paris. [...] (Ibid., p.60.)’

‘In Turkey I saw very few beautiful women. The style of beauty there is universally fat. Their criterion for a beautiful woman is that she ought to be a load for a camel. They are, however, quite handsome when young, but the habit of feeding them on such things as pounded rose leaves and butter, to make them plumb, soon destroys it. The lords of creation in that part of the world treat women as you would geese - stuff them to make them fat.’ (Ibid., p.61.)

[Note: The visit to Constantinople is deemed apocryphal by her modern biographer, Bruce Seymour.]

‘Rome, queen of the world, the proud dictatress to the Athenian and Spartan dames, disdained not to array herself in their dignified attire. [...] It was the irruption of the Goths and Vandals which made it necessary for women to assume a more repulsive garb. The flowing robe, the easy shape, the soft unfettered hair, gave place to skirts shorted for flight or contest - to the hardened vest, and head buckled in gold or silver. / Thence by natural descent, came the iron bodice, the stiff farthingale, the spiral coiffure of the middle ages [..] These preposterous fashions disappeared in England a short time after the Restoration [...].’ (Ibid., p.63.)

[Note: In the whole volume (Lectures [... &c.] 1858) the word ‘sex’ occurs 25 times but only as a synonym for gender, as in ‘the fair sex’ (p.79) or the epigram ‘Genius has no sex’ (Ibid., p.111.)

Quotes a ‘shameless confession’ of Lord Chesterfield: ‘I will own to you, under secrecy of confession, that my vanity has very often made me take great pains to make many a woman in love with me if I could for whose person I would not have given a pinch of snuff.’ (Ibid., p.98.) This dictum comes under the heading of ‘a modern gallant, or flirt, [...] a poor imitation of [...] the genuine gallant of the days of chivalry.’ (Ibid., p.96.)

[On tepid baths:]
‘[...] Many a rich lady would give thousands of dollars for that full rounded arm, and that peach bloom on the cheek, possessed by her kitchen-maid; well, might she not have had both, by the same amount of exercise and simple living? [See note.]
 ‘Cleanliness is the last receipt which I shall give for the preservation of beauty. It is an indispensable thing. It maintains the limbs in their pliancy, the skin in its softness, the complexion in its lustre, and the whole frame in its fairest light. The frequent use of the tepid bath is not more grateful to the senses, than it is salutary to health and beauty. It is by such ablutions that accidental corporeal impurities are thrown off, cutaneous obstructions removed, and while the surface of the body is preserved in its original brightness, many threatening, and beauty-destroying [116] disorders are prevented. This delightful oriental fashion has for many years been growing into common use with well conditioned people all over the world; especially on the continent of Europe is this the case. From the Villas of Italy to the Chateaux of France, from the palaces of the Muscovite to the Castles of Germany, we everywhere find the marble bath under the vaulted portico or the sheltering shade. Every house and every gentleman of almost every nation except England and America, possesses one of these genial friends of health and beauty. But every beau tiful woman may be certain that she cannot preserve the brightness of her charms without a frequent resort to this beautifying agent. She should make the bath as indispensable an article in her house as her looking- glass.’ (Ibid., pp.116-17.)

[Note - The Arts of Beauty (1858) - Chap. III: “How to obtain a Handsome Form”, contains the following: ‘And what is good for the girl is good for the woman too. The same attention to the laws of health, and the same pursuit of out-door exercise will help a lady to develop a handsome form until she is twenty or twenty-five years old. “Many a rich lady would give all her fortune to possess the expanded chest and rounded arm of her kitchen girl. Well, she might have both, by the same amount of exercise and spare living.” And she can do much to acquire then even yet.’ (p.27.)
 In writing this, she is quoting her own Lectures (p.116; as supra) - and indicating as much by means of inverted commas, though not mentioning the source. The effect of this quotation is not simply to recycle her own writings, nor even to indicate that The Arts of Beauty actually grew out of the lecture on “Beautiful Women”, but to constitute the former as a classical capable of being quoted as an authority in relation to the issue of health and beauty in question. BS]

[Love in America:]
‘I have already intimated that the United States is too much a merchantile, too busy, and too practical a nation, to entertain the old spirit of gallantry, which requires leisure, and the cultivation of romance; but when I say this, I do not mean that there is not plenty of courting in this country, though love, like everything else, is a business here; that is, I mean that the gentlemen make love in a truly business-like manner. They will manage the heart of a pretty woman as easily as they do the stocks on the ’Change; and the panics whch they create in the social markets eat even the revolutions and breakdowns in the regions of finance. I believe that the American is regarded a dull fellow who cannot win the heart of a [105] lady, a thousand dollars, and establish a new bank, with the prospective capital of three millions, before breakfast.’
‘But for all that I believe there is a great deal of genuine truth and honest love of woman among the lords of creation in the United States, and it is none the less honourable to woman if it refuses to adorn itself with the artificial embellishments of gallantry. It is not a whit less honest, either, for being of a somewhat Davy Crockett style. (p.106.)

[Note: Montez here quotes with approbation Dr. Franklin’s undertaking to put off an appointment with eternity for eight o’clock for the sake of an hour longer spent with ‘so enchanting a daughter of the earth’ in a letter, and cites the ridicule of its bad French lavished on it by the Frenchman who drew it to her attention. (Ibid., pp.106-07.)]

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[Lecture:] “Heroines in History”
On Cleopatra: ‘I do not offer one excuse for her faults. I only demand that a great woman should be judged by the same rules by which a great man is judged. If the lords of creation demur to ths, I shall challenge them to show me by what divine right they are justified in a career of pleasure which should be forbidden to woman!’ (Ibid., p.125.)

[See also her remarks on Burke’s ‘violence of women’ - under Edmund Burke, supra.]

‘No, the wise and cunning of my sex all know that, in politics, they must not even let the right hand know what the left hand doeth. And what do I care who carries the votes to the box, if I am allowed to say how tlie voting shall be done? The will of every intellectual and adroit woman does go to the ballot-box, with a voice a hundred fold more potential than if she rushed into the coarse crowd to carry it there herself. In such a contact the mass of women would only lose the delicacy and refinement which now constitute their only charm, without getting any benefit for the terrible sacrifice. The kitchen and the parlour, and all the sacred precincts of home, would be immeasurably impaired, while there would be no gain whatever to the councils of the state. If a woman is qualified to be a happy wife and a good mother, she need never look with envy upon the more gifted woman of genius, whose mental powers, unfitting her for the stormy arena of politics, may have unfitted her for the quiet walks of domestic life. In the woman of rare mental endowments, there may be a necessity in her own nature, forcing her into a field of action altogether different in its sphere from the duties usually allotted to woman. Where this is the case, she must [127] obey her destiny; but the woman who has only those humbler charms which fit her to be the light and the presiding goddess of the beautiful circle of “home,” is really to be envied by her more gifted sister whose powers tempt her out upon the turbulent sea of politics and diplomacy.
 ‘But, alas! woman's lot in this sphere of home is too often a sad and thankless one. It is demanded of her that she make a home whether her husband provides the means or not, and it must be a happy one, though his temper is as savage as that of a tiger.
  ‘And how many thousands of women do make a home, and, for their children, a happy one too, when spendthrift husbands have deprived them of all resources but their own industry and skill? and how many millions of the “lords of creation” really live on the skill and industry of their wives? The greatest tragic actress that ever lived, Maria Arne, was only tempted on to the stage after the extravagance of her husband, Theophilus Cibber, had left her no other resources, her début was so much admired, that her salary was voluntarily doubled after the first night. “When Garrick was made acquainted with the circum- stances of this worthy lady's death, he exclaimed, ‘Then Tragedy has expired!’”’ (Ibid., pp.127-28.)

‘What do men mean when they call woman the weaker sex? Not, surely, that she is less strong and brave of heart and purpose to meet the tidal shocks of life! Not that she is not every whit the peer of man in all the elements of heroism and genuine nobility of soul! That masculine philosophy which regards and would treat woman as an inferior beings, is not only an insult to that God who created her as the equal companion of man, but it is contradicted by every stage of history and experience. Her excellence may be generally displayed in a less ostentatious field than man’s, but still the idea of perfect equality is not impaired on that account.
 ‘Nor does this idea of woman’s equality destroy the idea that the woman who is a wife should study to reflect the opinions and the honour of her husband, provided he is a man who has opinions and honour to be reflected. I fully endorse the sentiment of Plutarch [129], that “a wife should be as a mirror to represent her husband,” provided he is such a husband as an honourable woman could justly represent.’ (Ibid., p.129; American edn. pp.203-04.)

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[Lecture:] “The Comic Aspect of Love”
‘Mahomet had two wives when he became enamoured of one of his slaves, named Moutia, of singular beauty. His wives publicly reproached him with this, and to make it all right he was obliged to make Allah speak, which he did in the fifty-sixth chapter of the Koran, where he declares that it had been revealed to him that all good Mussulmans might make love to their slaves in spite of their wives. This pretty Moutia, whose charms brought down such a singular revelation from Allah, was an Egyptian by birth, and by education a Cliristian, and it was said that the government of Egypt had presented her to Mahomet. But no sooner had heaven been made to sanction concubinage, than it also fully authorized adultery; for, the prophet becoming enamoured of the wife of one of his freedmen named Gaib, he carried her off and married her.. This occasioned a great scandal at first, but Wahomet put a stop to all murmurs, by making an addition to the thirty-third chapter of the Koran, where he makes Allah declare that he had married Zanib to his prophet! And, as this [142] new article might justly awaken the apprehensions of all husbands who had pretty wives, Mahomet made Heaven declare also, that if he should ever in future become enamoured of married women, they should be sacred; and this was perfectly satisfactory to the husbands.
 ‘There is, indeed, no end to the vagaries of love when once it is connected with the religious element, or even with philosophical enthusiasm. The religious Mormons, and the philosophical Free-lovers [viz., afore-mentioned Frascatelli], are sufficient evidences of that. The vagaries of this free-love philosophy are as old in the world as sin.’ (Ibid., pp.142-43.)

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[Lecture:] “Romanism”
‘I know not that history has anything more wonderful to show than the part which the Catholic Church has borne in the various civilisations of the world.’
 ‘Such is the tremendous fabric of Rome, standing out on the foreground of the world’s history, and bearing upon its scarred bosom the marks of the various civilisations and barbarisms through which it has passed. Regarded in the light of a merely human institution, it is worthy of the profoundest study of man; but the moment it puts in a claim of divine origin and appointment, it sinks beneath the contempt of human reason. If it comes before us in its sacerdotal robes and bids us bow our faith to its monstrous profanities, we shake it from us and cast it off with dis- gust and horror; but in its human aspects, in its [168] moral and political career, we will look fairly at it. and inquire how it came to pass that an institution so loaded with the crimes and groans of ages, and stained with the blood of martyrs, and fraught with such shocking absurdities, could hold on so long, and play the part it has in the history of the world’s progress.’
‘[... I]t is plain enough to see where its [169] image-worship and hero-worship came from; for far as these things are removed from the spirit and precepts of Christ, they were actually wants of the popular mind, trained in the long school of Paganism, and familiar with the picturesque materialism of the Greek philosophy. Romanism in its origin was a compromise between Christianism and Paganism, by which nearly all the superstitions and immoralities of the latter contrived to get themselves baptized with the Christian name. And this fatal compromise was the work of the people more than of the priest; thus the decision of the Council of Ephesus (held under Pope Celestine, a.d. 431), that it should be permitted to invoke Mary of Nazareth by the style and title of “Mother of God,” was received by the people out of doors with shouts of exultation; the prelates as they issued from the synod were saluted with every expression of applause, and the victory was celebrated by a general illumination.’
 ‘So, too, the dogmatizing theology of Rome, the long creeds fenced by short and sharp anathemas, [170] were no arbitrary creation of the early priests, but were a result of that taste and talent for theological syllogizing, which the Church borrowed from the subtile and disputatious Greek mind. In fact, the whole thing was little more than a Christian translation of Paganism, in which, by a sort of metempsychosis, the soul of ancient Greece seemed to live over again.
 ‘So after all, there is nothing very shocking nor very strange in the rise and growth of this vast fabric of Rome it rose out of a great number of interests, or intellectual and moral wants and habits embodied in an organized institution by a succession of powerful minds, themselves partaking of these varied influences, and often giving expression to them in connection with the most vulgar and superstitions of times.
 ‘And herein lies the great secret of the strength and success of Rome; in its perpetual willingness to compound with whatever popular vice or superstition, for the sake of unlimited dominion over the public mind. By this means it has acquired a fearful control over opinions and institutions during the fifteen hundred years of its reign, and it is impossible to say how far the providence of God may have compelled the vast worldly forces of this Church to contribute to the general safety and blessing of humanity.’ (Ibid., p.171.)
 ‘There is such a thing as universal truth, and there is such a thing as apostolic succession, made not by edicts, bulls, and church canons, but by an interior life divine and true. But all these Rome has perverted, by hardening the diffusive spirit of truth into so much mechanism cast into a mould in which it has been forcibly kept; and by getting progressively falser and falser, as the world has got older and wiser, till the universality became only another name for a narrow and intolerant sectism, while the infallibility committed itself to absurdity after absurdity, at which reason turns giddy, and faith has no resource but to [174] shut her eyes; and the apostolic succession became narrowed down into a mere dynasty of priests and pontiffs. A hierarchy of magicians, saving souls by machinery, opening and sliutting the kingdom of heaven by a sesame of incantations which it would have been the labour of a lifetime to make so much as intelligible to St. Peter or St. Paul. In this abyss of superstition and moral pollution, when the voice of Luther came upon it like thunder [...]’ (Ibid., pp.169-74.)
 ‘Now, ladies and gentlemen, if you go through the various Catholic and Protestant Cantons of Switzer- land, you will find this comparison to hold true with them all. No reflecting person can look upon those scenes without being impressed -with the fact that [182] Rome is an enemy to popular freedom, and a scourge of modern civilisation.
 ‘The same thing stares at you in every Catholic country in Europe. You see it in Spain, Portugal, Italy, and the South of Ireland ; and then how do you see it, also, in the two Americas! Compare South with North America. Will you tell me that climate produces the indescribable difference between the two? You are contradicted by the fact, that the advantages of climate and soil are with South America; and, as if Providence had intended it to be the greatest producing country on earth, it has the most majestic and the longest rivers in the world. I shall not pause to picture the wretched condition of South America, nor shall I attempt to describe the prosperity of North America. I begin to get dizzy myself when I think of it. And to what are you indebted for your superiority? To that sharp individualism, that spirit of progressive freedom, involved in the principles of the Reformation.
 ‘In 1781 Raynal wrote this of your country, “If ten millions of men ever find an assured subsistence in these provinces, it will be a great deal.” Well, if that little party which came out in the Mayflower had been Catholics instead of Puritans, if they had brought with them the spirit of Rome instead of the Reformation, and if those who followed them to these shores had brought the same religion, you would not have been over ten millions of people to this day; then the world would have had neither steamboats nor telegraphs. These things are too fast for Rome. [180]
 She looks to the past. She stands with her back to the present : she inhabits the Statu-quo [sic] and hates and would destroy, if she could, that principle of progress which gave you your national existence. America does not yet recognise how much she owes to the Protestant principle. It is that principle which has given the world the four greatest facts of modern times - steamboats, railroads, telegraphs, and the American Republic!’ (Ibid., pp.180-81.)

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Encylopaedia Britannica (1911) describes Montez as ‘dancer and adventuress, the daughter of a British army officer, [...] born at Limerick, Ireland, in 1818 [...]’ and later: ‘She soon proved herself the real ruler of Bavaria, adopting a liberal and anti-Jesuit policy’.(Available online; accessed 11.12.2014.)

The American Cyclopaedia (1879): ‘[..]  a favorite of Louis I. of Bavaria, born in 1824, died at Astoria, N. Y., June 30, 1861. According to some authorities she was a native of Montrose, Scotland, and the illegitimate daughter of a Scottish officer named Gilbert, and according to others she was born in Limerick of an Irish father. Her mother was a Creole who successively lived with or was married to natives of Spain and Great Britain, whence the conflicting accounts of Lola’s origin. She received a good education in England, and married an officer named James, whom she accompanied to India. She left him after several years and led an adventurous life in Paris and other capitals. In 1846 she appeared in Munich as a Spanish ballet dancer, and captivated the heart of the Bavarian king by her beauty and accomplishments. Her influence became so great that the ultramontane administration of Abel was dismissed because that minister objected to her being made Countess Landsfeld. The students of the university were divided in their sympathies, and conflicts arose shortly before the outbreak of the revolution of 1848, which led the king at Lola’s instigation to close the university. But a more violent outbreak early in March obliged the king to reopen that institution, and to discard Lola, who fled. Although her first husband was still alive, she contracted in 1849 a second marriage with an English officer named Heald. Prosecuted for bigamy, she went with him to Madrid, but soon deserted him. The two husbands died not long afterward. In 1852 she gave performances in New York, New Orleans, and San Francisco, and succeeded best in dramatic entertainments setting forth her own adventures. In California she married a Mr. Hull, but he did not live with her long. In 1855 she appeared at Melbourne, Australia, and subsequently lectured in the United States and England. She returned to New York in 1859, reformed her life, and died in poverty in a sanitary asylum. [Bibl. The Story of a Penitent (24mo, New York, 1867).]

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Brian Inglis (Downstart, 1990), quotes an account given in Wilson Harris’s Life So Far [q.d.] of the Spectator office at 99, Gower St. [London], formerly a brothel run by ‘an adventuress of dubious, but mainly American, origin (for all that she claimed to be the extra-matrimonial offspring of the mad King Ludwig of Bavaria and the Spanish dancer Lola Montez [...]’. The madam, Angel Anna, was prosecuted by Sir Edward Carson and sentenced to seven years in prison. (Inglis, op. cit., p.200.)

Harriet Steel, Becoming Lola ([Ilford]: YouWriteOn Publications 2010), 315pp. - Summary: ‘“A woman who has sufficient intellect to render herself of independent mind ought also to be able to assume the quills of a porcupine in self-defence.” Wildcat and temptress with a mind as sharp as her tongue, the nineteenth-century adventuress, Lola Montez, followed her own advice and became, after Queen Victoria, the most famous woman in the Western world. Born Eliza Gilbert in 1821 to an Ensign in the British Army and his cold Irish wife, she faced a life of misery when her mother arranged a marriage to an elderly man whom she had never met. She fled and became notorious in London society. When it turned against her, she used her looks and the craze for Spanish dancing to re-invent herself as Lola, the widow of a Spanish hero killed in the Civil War. She set out to conquer Europe. Then the King of Bavaria fell for her charms and the stage was set for a scandal that would change the course of history.’ [See COPAC - online.]

Marion Urch, author of An Invitation to Dance (Dingle: Brandon Press 2009), a novel on Montez, is a novelist and short-story writer whose first novel Violent Shadows - ‘where the entanglements of the past erupt into the present in dangerous and unexpected ways’ - appeared in 1996. Invitation was recommended in Books Ireland (Feb. 2009, p.5) and elsewhere. There is a German translation by Christine Pavesicz as Die Tänzerin: Ein Lola-Montez-Roman (Aufbau taschenbuch [digital] 2010). Both the English and the German editions are available as Kindle books at Amazon - online.

Norman Holland, who wrote Lola Montez: Der König und die Tänzerin (Munich: Ehrinwirth 1988), apparently published in German only, also wrote The Green Bottle (1950); The Militants (1970); Watcher in the Shadow: A Play (1973); My Name is Oscar Wilde (1975) Miss Nightingale’s Mission (q.d.); To Meet Oscar Wilde (1999); Three Costume Plays for Women (q.d.); Princess Ascending: A Royal Progress in Two Acts (1976). See also with Michael Adams, Student Workbook and Resources Guide for Core Concepts in Pharmacology (2014) and Textbook Resources for Core Concepts in Pharmacology: Access Code Card (also 2014). [All listed at Goodreads - online; accessed 12.12.2014.]

Namesakes: A namesake (Norman N. Holland, b.1927) is the distinguished literary critic associated with Reader Response Theory, now emeritus from Florida University, who first graduated in electronic engineering and migrated via Law to English literature (PhD) before taking a teaching post at Buffalo Univ., NY in 1966. A gospel singer of the same name died in Nashville in 2014. Another namesake teaches Hispanic literature at Hampshire College, Amherst, MA.

Lola/Estaban: Norman N. Holland has written about the 1999 film Todo Sobre Mi Madre [All About My Mother] by Pedro Almodóvar: ‘The transgendered characters change their names: Agrado (Antonia San Juan) and Lola, formerly Esteban (Toni Cantó). Then there are the confusions of several Estebans. “Esteban” refers to Manuela’s and Lola’s son (Eloy Azorin) who dies early in the film, hit by a car. He is Esteban Two, the middle generation. But “Esteban” also names Rosa and Lola’s child (Esteban Three), and it names “Lola” before her sex change (Esteban One). Esteban One is the father of Estabans Two and Three. There are also two Rosas, the young nun played by the 22-year-old Penélope Cruz, and her cranky mother (Rosa Maria Sardá), a painter of fake masterpieces. [...] none of the traditional markers for the identity of humans or art works in this movie. What Almodóvar offers instead is performance (or, to use current critical jargon, performativity). You are the way you perform yourself. [... &c.]’ (See A Sharper Focus: Essays on Film by Norman Holland [website] - online.)

Lola Montès - (dir. Max Orphüls, 1955) - variously sub-titled “The Sins of Lola Montez” and “The Fall of Lola Montez”: ‘Max Orphüls’ final film (and his only movie in color) is a cinematic tour-de-force masquerading as a biography, in this case a dazzling fictionalized life of the notorious 19th century dancer, actress, and courtesan. A still beautiful, but weary and disillusioned (and, as we later discover, ailing) Lola Montes (Martine Carol) is first seen as the featured attraction at a seedy American circus, appearing at the center of a series of various tableaux depicting the scandalous events for which she is known. With a strangely sincere yet sinister and manipulative ringmaster (Peter Ustinov) providing color commentary, some of it very ironic on two or more levels, the movie flows between these staged recreations in the circus and the events as recalled by the subject. In a series of dissolves, the film takes us through her girlhood with her mother, interrupted when her mother’s lover (Ivan Desni) becomes attached to the daughter; her unhappy marriage and its aftermath; romances with composer Franz Liszt (Will Quadflieg), abduction by a Russian general (in the arms of Cossacks, no less); her affairs across the landscape of Europe with men great and notable; her thwarted aspirations as a dancer; and her romance with King Ludwig I (Anton Walbrook) of Bavaria, which led to her being made Countess of Landsfeld, and, later, to his abdication. The gracefulness of Ophuls’ cyclical narrative, and the transitions between the recalled elegance of the locales, and the people with whom her romances and affairs took place, and the seediness of the circus - where she is also compelled, in the course of performing, to perform as an aerialist - were lost on viewers in 1955. And for many years the movie only existed in a version re-cut without the director’s approval, in which the story was presented in linear fashion. It was only in the 1960’s, long after Orphüls’ death, that efforts were made to restore the original structure, and in 2008 the movie’s original Technicolor luster was restored to its full depth and richness.’ (Bruce Eder, Rovi; see Rottentomatoes - online.) NB: The restored version lasts 1:55 hrs.

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