The exploits of Lola Montez - onstage as a dancer and an actress, in politics as a power behind thrones, and in bedrooms around the world - made her one of the best-known women of the Victorian era. Born Eliza Gilbert, daughter of British and Irish parents, she transformed herself into an aristocratic Spanish dancer, carrying on a masquerade that took her to Europe, America and Australia and attracting admirers and scandal wherever she went. When she died in 1861 at age 40, her obituary appeared in papers around the world. Yet her true story has always been obscured by the web of lies she constructed about herself. This biography of Lola Montez reveals the facts of her life.