Elizabeth Rosanna Gilbert, (1821 -1861) better known by her stage name Lola Montez, was an Irish dancer and actress who became famous as a “Spanish dancer” in the 1800’s. Born on February 17th 1821 in Grange Co. Sligo, Lola Montez became a worldwide sensation, the love desire of many and today an intimate bar and nightclub; encapsulating her character in all its brilliance, entertaining everyone once more!
Lola was a performer. She was a strong self-determined woman who caused excitement and controversy wherever she went. She was a very intelligent woman, this along with her captivating beauty was what made her a strikingly attractive figure. She was fatal to any man who dared to love her. Most famous of her lovers was King Ludwig of Bavaria who became infatuated with her in 1846. He was hooked on her, and in 1847 gave her a palace, money and made her Countess of Landsfeld, Bavaria. She was so different to any other female he had ever known and that’s why he loved her….
One of Lola’s most famous quotes states ‘I never claimed to be famous. Notorious I have always been’. Notorious she may have been in the 1800s; however, she was in many ways ahead of her time and constantly challenging the obligation to live as a demure woman in a man’s world.
Lola was a travelled woman debuting her dancing and living all over the world. She visited and lived in London, Paris, Munich, Australia, San Francisco, Ireland and New York. For the 1800s this too was unheard of and uncommon, leaving Lola Montez unexplainable to so many.
Realising the importance of independence and liberation Lola went where no woman had gone before, with a fear of nothing and no-one. She was full of fun and sought a good time, following wherever it brought her. She was the spirited girl she spoke about.
Upon her death bed at the young age of 39, the lady Lola showed no regret for her wayward ways and tainted reputation, reportedly saying “I have known all the world has to give…ALL!”
Lola is now referred to as the first woman’s liberationist in history. She defied standards and morals of the 1800s and lived a free independent life.