Born in 1821 into modest circumstances, at the age of sixteen Eliza Gilbert, later known as Lola Montez, ruined herself in the eyes of polite society when to avoid an abhorrent arranged marriage she ran away with one of her mother’s admirers. He married her, but she abandoned any chance of forgiveness when she refused to be trapped in an unhappy union and left him.
Most women would have vanished into increasingly desperate obscurity, but Eliza was no ordinary woman. Gifted with beauty, intelligence and sheer grit, she rose to become, for decades, the most famous woman in the world.
The story of how she did it ranges from the exotic lands of India to the rough-and-ready Australian Outback, taking in the glittering courts of Europe, where Lola was for a time the mistress of the King of Bavaria; the razzmatazz of New York’s Broadway and the California goldfields on the way. This true story of a remarkable woman will fascinate all those who love to discover history’s less travelled roads.
‘Throughout Becoming Lola I had to remind myself that the story was based on historical fact. It is a fascinating journey following a woman’s single-minded determination to get the very best for herself at all costs.’ Historical Novel Society
‘A fascinating read. Lola was such a gutsy character, and Harriet Steel has captured her times and adventures very vividly. It’s a must read if you like wild women and strange adventures.’ Beth Webb, Author of the Star Dancer trilogy
“Wonderful, exciting read, couldn’t put it down”
Five Star Review on Amazon By Spadger
What a wonderful account of Lola’s life. Although true life It reads like a fiction novel. I was amazed at her strength and the way she blew hot and cold throughout her life. This book is very well written and the author takes us on an amazing journey through the life of Lola Montez. Who knew such a woman ever lived. She got way with murder, almost – she was pretty close to it at times. I just could not put this book down and read it in one day and long long evening. No one could stand up to to Lola’s magnificent although selfish and spiteful nature. Although it seems she mellowed towards the end of her life. I love historical fiction and mystery and this real life story falls into that genre. So do yourself a favor and read this book. You will not be disappointed. I just downloaded another of Harriet Steel’s books “Salvation” which looks like it’s going to be a great thriller/mystery fiction tale of a trio living in the time of Elizabeth 1st. Can’t wait.
About the Author
I grew up in Wiltshire, England and was educated at several schools which mysteriously closed shortly after I left them. I then went on to Cambridge University from which I graduated with a BA in Law. Cambridge still withstands my poisoned touch. After university I qualified and practised as a solicitor.
In the past few years, I have concentrated on my writing, which is strongly influenced by my interests in history and art, publishing four novels. Becoming Lola is a biographical novel based on the extraordinary story of Lola Montez, a Victorian adventuress who was in her day the second most famous woman in the world after Queen Victoria. Salvation, a story of adventure and espionage set in Elizabethan days, was awarded 5* by the Historical Novel Society.
My third novel, City of Dreams is a coming of age story set in nineteenth century Paris, envied by the world as the most fashionable city on earth. It was so well received that I published a sequel, Following the Dream, this summer. I also have out a collection of short stories including several prize winners (one co-authored with bestselling novelist, Joanne Harris). All proceeds go to the charity WaterAid.
I’m married to another lawyer and we have two grown-up daughters. I’m a keen traveller and an enthusiastic gardener.
I love to hear from readers so do visit my blog – http://harrietsteel.blogspot.co.uk/ – where you’ll find interviews with other authors, articles on a variety of topics and more information about my writing. If you would like advance notice of new releases, offers or promotions, you’re most welcome to join my mailing list. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I promise not to share your address in any way.