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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Her name was Lola

Until recently my only association of the name "Lola" was with two songs: the tranvestite Lola from the song by the Kinks, and the ageing and demented showgirl Lola courtesy of Barry Manilow.

Not now!

I've been so taken with the colourful life of one Lola Montez that I've "scrapped" her (created a scrapbook page) and have ordered a new biography from Amazon.

I first discovered Lola in December when Giz and I, in Munich, went to the Schloss-Nymphenburg palace on a guided tour. We were spell bound by the "Schonheitsgalerie" of King Ludwig 1: basically, a room with dozens of portraits of beautiful women on the walls, all his previous conquests. The guide told us that one of the women, Lola Montez, was unique in that she has two paintings because she didn't like the first one.

Lola was originally born in Ireland and changed her name when she went to Spain, trained as a Spanish dancer, and reinvented herself. She was one of the first celebrity wannabees. After bringing down the throne of Ludwig 1, she emigrated to the US and was the wealthy mistress of several high profile suitors.

Anyway, check out Lola for yourself - I was amazed to see a full page review in the Sunday Times on a new book about her!

She's the latest in a long line of "obsessions" of mine. I hear about an idea, a person, a painting or whatever, and I have to know all about it. It started when I was very young. The internet has been a godsend for helping me to get a quick fix! Over the years I've become quite an expert on such things as the sloth, Cro Magnons v Neanderthals, Imperial Topaz (not the nasty blue ones), Wilheim Reich, Rasputin, Paul Verlaine and Rimbaud and British bats.

1 comment:

T A Dickens said...

Hi Gail. I'm writing a book which contains new information about Lola Montez. Please see my site
The book by Seymour is the definitive work on Lola Montez if you really want to study her life.