Sunday, 7 December 2014


In my novel Train That Carried the Girl, Kiri has a day to waste in Munich and tries to see Lola Motez’ [1818-1861] picture in the Nyphenberg Palace. I thought that I would try and make a connection between Kiri and Lola, today.

Both are beautiful; both were married three times. Both married handsome princes, in Kiri’s case, Chris Duncan, the baronet and in Lola’s case, Louis 1 of Bavaria. According to legend, he was so struck by her beauty that he gave her a castle. Kiri doesn’t receive a castle but she does have her apartment in Carlton Drive.
According to the chronicles, Lola accepted and took the title of Baroness Rosenthal and Countess of Lansfeld. Under her influence, Louis inaugurated liberal and anti-Jesuit governmental policies and the ruling regime became known as the Lolaministerium. Her views and influence helped to bring about the collapse of his regime however in the revolution of 1848. Lola fled to London, where in 1849 she married Lieutenant George Heald, although she had never been divorced. Heald later left her.
She then moved to San Francisco, where she performed as a dancer in the mining towns of the California gold rush. Her third marriage, to Patrick Hull in 1853, ended in divorce soon after she moved to Grass Valley, California. She died, alone in a New York boarding house in 1861.
She was actually born in Limerick, Ireland as Mary Gilbert and spent most of her childhood in India. She ran away from home aged sixteen after her mother tried to arrange a marriage for her with a 60-year old judge. In the next book, Parallel Lines, I intend to ensure that Kiri doesn’t die penniless in a New York boarding house.

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