Some women rise to glory in broad daylight, but Lola Montez played a shadowy game of thrones. Her exploits in royal bedchambers make women like Madame de Pompadour look saint-like in comparison, yet when it comes to this temptress’s dark, glittering life, that’s only the beginning. After all, as Alexandre Dumas once wrote, “She is fatal to any man who dares to love her.” He was right.

1. She Got a Tragic Start

Lola Montez’s birth matches the rest of her dangerous life. Born Eliza Rosanna Gilbert to a prominent Irish family in 1821, her humble beginnings soon turned tragic. Shortly after the family moved to India, her father passed brutally and violently from cholera, leaving the infant girl alone with her teenaged mother Elizabeth. And yes, this was a recipe for certain disaster.

lola montez

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