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EIGHTHWonderSamp (2)

Hello, historical fiction fans.  EIGHTH WONDER: THE THOMAS BETHUNE STORY is officially in the copy editing stage. It’s three weeks away from completion.  From there, I begin the process of building a website and deciding whether to self-publish or go the traditional publishing route.  I’m strongly leaning toward self-publishing.

This is my debut novel and the writing process has been a long, sometimes intimidating journey.  But I’ve been committed to bringing the incredible story of the blind slave, Thomas Bethune, known throughout the world as “Blind Tom” to the page.

Born blind and feeble, left in a sweltering smokehouse for dead, Thomas began playing Mozart at the age of three. His story, as seen through the eyes of the master who saved him, is a gripping, inspirational, and intriguing 19th century tale.

I hope you enjoy the read, and appreciate the great effort I put into sharing his captivating story with you.  Like many authors, it’s been a labor of love.

The book will be out in February 2016.  I’m excited, nervous, and proud to share the story of Thomas Bethune with the world.


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So, I took a few months off from writing EIGHTH WONDER to come aboard as one of the producers of THE NIGHT BEFORE.  We had a wonderful cast and crew.  Don’t worry, I had several calls, including my mother, urging me to finish this book.  I’m on it.  A novel is not a piece of cake.  Hats off to all the incredible authors, published, and working on it, in the universe.  Here’s some photos from the film:

The Night BeforeCastDavidStillEnriqueGripphoto



19th century literary figures


19th Century American Literary Figures
& Literary Texts Online (from http://public.wsu.edu/~amerstu/19th/writers.html)

General/Multi-author Sites

19th Century American Women Writers Web An excellent resource. Includes sites on individual poets and prose writers; e-texts from various writers; links to 19th c journals and contemporary 19th c. studies journals; and more.

University of Virginia’s collection of literary texts online Includes texts by Henry Adams, Mark Twain, Charles Brockden Brown, R.W. Emerson, Harriet Jacobs, Harriet Wilson, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Francis Parkman, and many others

Additional electronic texts from the University of Virginia Includes many 19th US writers and documents not listed on the site above.
Native American Lit from NativeWeb

Voices from the Gaps: Women Writers of Color from U. Minnesota; includes 19th and 20th century African American, Native American, Asian American and Latina authors.
African American Women Writers of the 19th Century Includes 52 full-text works and more; from the digital collection of the Schomburg Center library.

Early American Literature Links
American Literature and Online Research Includes links for literary criticism, reference works, libraries, and various other materials.
The Victorian Web While the focus here is on British Victorian era, there are important connections to the United States to be found. Information on Victorian authors, art, architecture, design, religion, philosophy, politics, society, science, and technology.

American Authors on the Web,” by Mitsuharu Matsuoka, Manchester U. The most comprehensive resource on individual writers. Most of the sites listed below came originally from this excellent source. Unfortunately the site lacks annotations, something we hope to provide.
Single Author Sites (arranged chronologically by date of birth of the author) [an additional alphabetical listing is in progress]


Thomas Paine (1732-1809)
Friends of Thomas Paine
The Age of Paine
Thomas Paine National Historical Association
Common Sense
Freethought Web
American Revolution HTML Project
St. John de Crevecoeur (1735-1813)
Thomas Godfrey (1736-63)
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
Hugh Henry Brackenridge (1748-1816)
John Trumbull (1750-1831)
Timothy Dwight (1752-1817)
Philip Freneau (1752-1832)
Phillis Wheatley (1753?-1784)
Black history
Precursor of American Abolitionism
Phillis Wheatley Association
Joel Barlow (1754-1812)
Alexander Hamilton (1757-1804)
Susanna Rowson (1762-1824)
The Susanna Rowson Page
Project Gutenberg
William Dunlap (1766-1839)
Joseph Hopkinson (1770-1842)
Royall Tyler (1757-1826)
The Royall Tyler Page
Project Gutenberg
Charles Brockden Brown (1771-1810)
The Internet Resource Library
Project Gutenberg
James Kirke Paulding (1778-1860)
Francis Scott Key (1778-1843)
Washington Irving (1783-1859)
Washington Irving 1783 to 1859
Rip Van Winkle: Past and Present
Washington Irving Teaching Resources
Washington Irving Memorial Park And Arboretum
Kuusankosken kaupunginkirjasto
[Rip Van Winkle][The Legend of Sleepy Hollow][Little Britain][Legend of Sleepy Hollow, The][Alhambra, The]
Samuel Woodworth (1785-1842)
John James Audubon (1785-1851)
James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851)
James Fenimore Cooper Society
Fenimore Cooper’s Literary Offenses
America’s First Literary Giant
Last of the Mohicans, The
Romancing the Indian
John Howard Payne (1791-1852)
Seba Smith (1792-1868)
William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878)
Joseph Rodman Drake (1795-1820)
James Gates Percival (1795-1856)
John Pendleton Kennedy (1795-1870)
Josiah Warren (1798?-1874)
Amos Bronson Alcott (1799-1888)
Lydia Maria Child (1802-80)
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-82)
Ralph Waldo Emerson Page
Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson
Emerson the Pantheist
Environmental Ethics
Emerson on Transcendence, Polarity, and the Active Soul
Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes
Dickens and Ralph Waldo Emerson
Tribute to Ralph Waldo Emerson
Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-64)
Nathaniel Hawthorne Page
Wonder-Book for Boys and Girls, A
Nathaniel Hawthorne Lecture Hall Discussion Forum
[Scarlet Letter, The] [House of the Seven Gables,ables, The] [The Blithedale Romance] [Mosses from an Old Manse] [Twice-Told Tales] [Young Goodman Brown] [Rappacini’s Daughter] [The Life of Franklin Pierce] [Other Writings]
Robert Montgomery Bird (1806-54)
Nathaniel Parker Willis (1806-67)
William Gilmore Simms (1806-70)
William Gilmore Simms Society
The Cub of the Panther
TPCN – Great Quotations
Project Gutenberg
Elizabeth Oakes Smith (1806-93)
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-82)
Floyd Vest
University of California, Davis
Dickens and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Dante’s Inferno
Selected Works
Three Poems
Biography – Adult Life
Biography (Roberto Rabe)
General Philosophy
The Wreck Of The Hesperus
Charles Fenno Hoffman (1806-84)
John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-92)
Edgar Allan Poe (1809-49)
Incomplete Online Works of Edgar Allan Poe (Forrest)
Complete Online Works of Edgar Allan Poe (Talon)
Edgar Allan Poe Society
Complete Online Works
Christoffer Nilsson
Unofficial Poe Page
Poems of Edgar Allan Poe
Seth Gregory’s Edgar Allan Poe Page
Edgar Allan Poe’s Literary Neighborhood
CyberTour: Edgar Allen Poe
Thoughts About Edgar Allan Poe
The Poe Perplex
Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum
Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site
Edgar Allan Poe Tribute Page
Some Short Stories
Collection of Edgar Allan Poe’s Poems
Precisely Poe
Robert Sarkissian
Dream within a Dream
Payge’s Poe Page
Raven Society, The
Edgar Allan Poe Evermore
Frazuh’s Edgar Allan Poe Collection
Poe Project
Qrisse’s Edgar Allan Poe Pages
Selected Works
Poe as Surrealist
Poe Closed on Account of Rabies
I Am Safe: Edgar Allan Poe’s Portrait of Perversity
The Conquerer Germ: Tuberculosis and Poe’s ‘Ligeia’
The Raven
The House of Usher
Joseph Holt Ingraham (1809-60)
Timothy Shay Arthur (1809-85)
Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-94)
Sarah Margaret Fuller (1810-50)
Horace Greeley (1811-72)
Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-96)
Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Sojourner Truth, the Libyan Sibyl
Mothers in Uncle Tom’s America
Domestic Goddesses, aka Scribbling Women
Richard Henry Dana, Jr. (1815-82)
Evert Augustus Duyckinck (1816-78)
Henry David Thoreau (1817-62)
Writings of Henry D. Thoreau, The
Electronic Drummer, The
Thoreau, Walden, and the Environment
Life of Henry David Thoreau
Online Resources for Sustainability Domain
Index – Henry David Thoreau
Save Thoreau’s Birthplace
Civil Disobedience
Henry Thoreau: His Life, His Works
Lucas Books
Henry David Thoreau and the Walden Mailing List
“W-a-l-d-e-n,” a large number of words by “T-h-o-r-e-a-u”
Back to Walden Pond: Henry David Thoreau Campfire Chat
Unitarians & Universalists, Thoreau
Ecology Hall of Fame, Thoreau
George E. Loper’s Thoreau Page
Botanical Index to Thoreau’s Journals
Thoreau’s Cape Cod: An Interactive Tour
Online List of Out-of-print and Rare Rooks and Eephemera
Walden Pond State Reservation
Walden Font’s pages
Walden Woods TownView Study
Plea for Captain John Brown
Thoreau Institute
The Thoreau Reader
[Walden][On Walden Pond]
Josiah Gilbert Holland (1819-81)
Susan Bogert Warner (1819-85)
Herman Melville (1819-91)
Life and Works of Herman Melville
From Melville’s Moby Dick
Melville and the Detective Story
Moby Dick
Moby Dick (University of Virginia)
Call me Ishmael
Great Grey Whale, The
Whales in Literature
America’s Diogenes
[Bartleby] [The Confidence Man]
James Russel Lowell (1819-91)
Walt(er) Whitman (1819-92)
Walt Whitman Page (Minnesota)
Walt Whitman Home Page
The Whitman Project
Poetry of Walt Whitman, The
Garrison Keillor Reads Walt Whitman
Leaves of Grass
Walt Whitman Collection
Walt Whitman Hypertext Archive
Walt Whitman Campfire Chat
Poet at Work: Recovered Notebooks
Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910)
Mary Anne Sadlier (1820-1903)
Frances Jane Crosby (1820-1915)
F. G. Tuckerman (1821-1873)
Francis Parkman (1823-93)
George William Curtis (1824-92)
Bayard Taylor (1825-78)
Francis James Child (1825-96)
Stephen Collins Foster (1826-64)
Stephen Collins Foster Music Building
Stephen Collins Foster Music Camps
Lawrenceville: Stephen Collins Foster
My Old Kentucky Home
Charles Henry Smith (1826-1903)
Lewis Wallace (1827-1905)
Anna Bartlett Warner (1827-1915)
Ellen Gould White (1827-1915)
Fitz-James O’Brien (c.1828-62)
Henry Timrod (1828-67)
Theodore Winthrop (1828-1932)
Charles Dudley Warner (1829-1900)
Helen Maria Hunt Jackson (1830-85)
John Esten Cooke (1830-86)
Emily Dickinson (1830-86)
Emily Dickinson Homestead
Emily Dickinson Page (BYU)
Archive of EMWEB Mailing List (BYU)
University of California, Davis
My Emily Dickinson
Emily Dickinson International Society
Online Poetry
Emily Dickinson at Mount Holyoke Women’s Seminary
Erin’s Emily Dickinson Page
Emily Dickinson’s Life
EmMail Webpage
Lucas Books
Emily Dickinson Random Epigram Machine
Paul Hamilton Hayne (1830-86)
Helen Maria Hunt Jackson (1831-85)
Rebecca Harding Davis (neé Harding) (1831-1910)
Franklin Benjamin Sanborn (1831-1917)
“The Significance of Being Frank: The Life and Times of Franklin Benjamin Sanborn” Study in progress by Tom Foran Clark
“The ‘Kidnapping’ of Frank Sanborn” brief excerpt from Clark’s study.
Louisa May Alcott (1832-88)
All Alcott: The Louisa May Alcott Web
Dickens and Louisa May Alcott
Domestic Goddesses, aka Scribbling Women
Orchard House
Perilous Play
Edmund Clarence Stedman (1833-1908)
Horatio Alger (1834-99)
Horatio Alger Society
Horatio Alger, Jr. Resources
Francis Richard Stockton (1834-1902)
Adah Isaacs Menken (1835-68)
Samuel Dickson
Seymour “Sy” Brody
Susan Coolidge (1835-1905)
Sarah Chauncey Woolsey (1835-1905)
Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910)
Mark Twain Resources on the WWW (Jim Zwick, Syracuse U.)
The Mark Twain Library
Ever The Twain Shall Meet Page
Literary Works
Mark Twain Forum
Life of Mark Twain
Mark Twain Library, The
Mark Twain Tutkielma
Huck Finn Study Guide
Huck Finn Trivia Challenge
Peter Salwen’s Mark Twain Page
Online Book Initiative (gopher)
Mark Twain Quote of the Day
Mark Twain Association of New York, The
Mark Twain’s Birthplace and Hometown
Mark Twain in His Times
Dickens and Mark Twain
Letters From the Earth
Bible Teaching and Religious Practice
Awful German Language, The
Fenimore Cooper’s Literary Offenses
Mark Twain Campfire Chat
About Huckleberry Finn
Joe’s Huckleberry Finn Page
Mark Twain’s Birthplace and Home Town
Mark Twain Exhibit
Mark Twain: Samuel Langhorne Clemens
Mark Twain Live
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Ken’s Look Into Huckleberry Finn
Works [The Prince and the Pauper][Huckleberry Finn] [What is Man and Other Essays] [Stuwwelpeter (trans.)]
Mark Twain on the Philippines–Twain was the most prominent literary opponent of the Philippine-American War of 1899-1902 and was a vice president of the Anti-Imperialist League from 1901 until his death in 1910.
Internet Movie Database’s listing of movies based on Twain works
Francis Bret(t) Harte (1836-1902)
Thomas Bailey Aldrich (1836-1907)
Marietta Holley (1836-1926)
Edward Eggleston (1837-1902)
Joaquin Miller (1837-1913)
William Dean Howells (1837-1920)
William Dean Howells Society
John Burroughs (1837-1921)
Edward Payson Roe (1838-88)
John Hay (1838-1905)
John Muir (1838-1914)
Francis Hopkinson Smith (1838-1915)
Henry Brooks Adams (1838-1918)
Constance Fenimore Woolson (1840-94)
Edward Rowland Sill (1841-87)
Maria Louise Pool (1841-1898)
Joaquin Miller (1841?-1913)
Sidney Lanier (1842-81)
Bronson Howard (1842-1908)
William James (1842-1910)
Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914?)
Ambrose Bierce Appreciation Society
UJI (Spain)
Ambrose Bierce, Forked Tongue
The Devil’s Dictionary [Alcyone][UJI][Entisoft]
Prentiss Ingraham (1843-1904)
Henry James (1843-1916)
Henry James scholar’s Guide to Web Sites (Richard Hathaway, SUNY New Paltz)
Eric Eldred
Center for Henry James Studies, The
Dickens and Henry James
Henry James and The Atlantic Monthly
Works [The Europeans][Washington Square][The Ambassadors][The Golden Bowl][“In the Cage”][The Sacred Fount][Portrait of a Lady, The][Washington Square][Daisy Miller ][The Bostonians]
John Boyle O’Reilly (1844-90)
Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward (1844-1911)
William Clark Russell (1844-1911)
George Washington Cable (1844-1925)
William MaKendree Carleton (1845-1912)
Joel Chandler Harris (1848-1908)
Uncle Remus History/Ethnology Research Project
Wren’s Nest
MLA Bibliography of Joel Chandler Harris and Related Works
Biography of Joel Chandler Harris
Joel Chandler Harris Page
Sarah Barnwell Elliott (1848-1928)
Emma Lazarus (1849-87)
Eliza Jane Poitevent Holbrook Nicholson (1849-96)
Sarah Orne Jewett (1849-1909)
Domestic Goddesses, aka Scribbling Women
James Whitcomb Riley (1849-1916)
Frances Burnett (1849-1924)
James Lane Allen (1849-1925)
The James Lane Allen Page
Kentucky Konnections
Edward Bellamy (1850-98)
Bellamy Gaslight Texts
Text to Looking Backward
Course Page on Bellamy
Eugene Field (1850-95)
Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850-1919)
Mary Noailles Murfree (1850-1922)
Laura Elizabeth Richards (1850-1943)
Kate Chopin (1851-1904)
The Awakening
Domestic Goddesses, aka Scribbling Women
William Crary Brownell (1851-1928)
Thomas Bird Mosher (1852-1923)
James Brander Matthews (1852-1929)
Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman (1852-1930)
D. Campbell
Garland and Mary Wilkins Freeman
Project Gutenberg
Henry Van Dyke (1852-1933)
Edwin Charles Markham (1852-1940)
Thomas Nelson Page (1853-1922)
About Thomas Nelson Page
Project Gutenberg
David Belasco (1853-1931)
Edgar Watson Howe (1853-1937)
Francis Marion Crawford (1854-1909)
George Edward Woodberry (1855-1930)
Harold Frederic (1856-98)
Elbert Green Hubbard (1856-1915)
Booker T. Washington(1856-1915)
L. Frank Baum (1856-1919)
Frank Harris (1856-1931)
Lizette Woodworth Reese (1856-1935)
Alice Brown (1856-1948)
Emerson Hough (1857-1923)
Henry Blake Fuller (1857-1929)
Charles Monroe Sheldon (1857-1946)
Horace Logo Traubel (1858-1919)
Katherine Lee Bates (1859-1929)
James Gibbon Huneker (1860-1921)
Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935)
Harriet Monroe (1860-1936)
Harriet Monroe and the Imagists
First Books of Verse, Harriet Monroe
Selected Poems
Owen Wister (1860-1938)
Hamlin Garland (1860-1940)
George Lyman Kittredge (1860-1941)
Abraham Cahan (1860-1951)
Bliss Perry (1860-1954)
Louise Imogen Guiney (1861-1920)
William Bliss Carman (1861-1929)
O. Henry [William Sydney Porter] (1862-1910)
University of Texas
Lone Star Junction
O. Henry Museum
Edith Wharton (1862-1937)
The Edith Wharton Resource Pack
The Edith Wharton Fan Page
An overview with biocritical sources
19CWWW WWW Message Board
Edith Wharton: Her Literature and Politics
Edith Wharton Restoration
Domestic Goddesses, aka Scribbling Women
[Madame de Treymes][Summer]
Carolyn Wells (1862-1942)
Wilbur Lucius Cross (1862-1948)
Elizabeth Robins (1862-1952)
Gene Porter (1863-1924)
Oliver Brooke Herford (1863-1935)
George Santayana (1863-1952)
Richard Hovey (1864-1900)
Richard Harding Davis (1864-1916)
Gutenberg Project
Spanish-American War
Detective Fiction
Paul Elmer More (1864-1937)
Paul Leicester Ford (1865-1902)
Irving Babbitt (1865-1933)
Lincoln Steffens (1866-1936)
David Graham Phillips (1867-1911)
Harry Leon Wilson (1867-1939)
John Livingston Lowes (1867-1945)
Laura Ingalls Wilder (1867-1957)
Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society
Songs and Musical Memories
Eleanor Porter (1868-1920)
Mary [Hunter] Austin (1868-1934)
Robert Herrick (1868-1938)
William Allen White (1868-1944)
William Edward Burghardt DuBois (1868-1963)
William Vaughn Moody (1869-1910)
Edwin Arlington Robinson (1869-1935)
Newton Booth Tarkington (1869-1946)
Emma Goldman (1869-1940)
Emma Goldman papers An excellent site run by Candace Falk at U.C. Berkeley. Includes some texts, bibliographies, images (including film clips), a guide to the Papers, and resources for further study.
Red Emma on Red Scare Deportations
Red Emma [revolt][jwehling][Paris][TheTropics]
Edgar Lee Masters (1869-1950)
Frank Norris (1870-1902)
Mary Johnston (1870-1936)
Alice Caldwell Rice (1870-1942)
Stephen Crane (1871-1900)
Stephen Crane Resources
The Stephen Crane Society
Red Badge of Courage (CMU)
Red Badge of Courage 100th Anniversary
Vernon Louis Parrington (1871-1929)
Jesse Lynch Williams (1871-1929)
Melville Davisson Post (1871-1930)
James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938)
Lola Ridge (1871-1941)
Theodore Dreiser (1871-1945)
International Theodore Dreiser Society
Theodore Dreiser’s The Genius
Winston Churchill (1871-1947)
Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906)
Digital Text Archives
Resources For Learning More About Dunbar
Zane Grey (1872-1939)
Harold Bell Wright (1872-1944)
Harold Bell Wright Society
Harold Bell Wright and the Shepherd of the Hills
Leonora Speyer (1872-1956)
Rupert Hughes (1872-1956)
George Cram Cook (1873-1924)
Anne Douglas Sedgwick (1873-1935)
Ellen Glasgow (1873-1945)
Willa Cather (1873-1947)
Willa Cather Home Page
Cather Links and Bibliography
Paul’s Case
Willa Cather Pioneer Memorial Website
Next on the Docket! Paul’s Case
Willa Cather Pioneer Memorial and Educational Foundation
Domestic Goddesses, aka Scribbling Women
Joseph Trumbull Stickney (1874-1904)
Josephine Preston Peabody (1874-1925)
Amy Lowell (1874-1925)
Anna Hempstead Branch (1874-1937)
Zana Gale (1874-1938)
Ellen Glasgow (1874-1945)
This site was created by T.V. Reed as a project of the American Studies program of Washington State University.
Comments, critiques, suggestions to reedtv@wsu.edu
Last updated 2/01

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You know Mozart, and of course Beethoven and Brahms, but do you know Thomas? Autism, Autistic Savant, Musical Savant

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English: Blind Tom Wiggins.

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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's compositions charact...

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English: 1782 portrait by Joseph Lange (1751-1...

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America’s lost virtuoso

Born blind, retarded, and a slave.  He began playing Mozart at the age of three.

Thomas Bethune a child slave prodigy

19th Century, Antebellum Artists, Poets, Painters

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“Lola” Eliza Rosanna Gilbert, Countess of Landsfeld (17 February 1821 – 17 January 1861), better known by the stage name Lola Montez, was an Irish-born dancer and actress who became famous as a Spanish dancer, courtesan and mistress of King Ludwig I of Bavaria, who made her Countess of Landsfeld. Montez is reputed to be the inspiration for the saying, “Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets”, which, in turn, inspired the popular song by that name.”[1]

She met and had an affair with Franz Liszt, who introduced her to the circle of George Sand, which was one of the most sophisticated and advanced in European society.[5] After performing in various European capitals, she settled in Paris, where she was accepted in the rather Bohemian literary society of the time, being acquainted with Alexandre Dumas, père, with whom she was rumoured to have had a dalliance. After the 1845 death of her lover, newspaperman Alexandre Dujarier, in a duel (unrelated to her), she left Paris.[6]


In 1846, she arrived in Munich, where she was discovered by, and became the mistress of, Ludwig I of Bavaria.[6] After auditioning for the State Theatre, Lola was told her dancing might cause moral offence by the theater’s manager. He’d heard rumors of her scandalous performances elsewhere. Determined to defend her reputation, and probably banking on Ludwig being taken by her allure, Lola stormed the palace unannounced to plead with the King Ludwig of Bavaria himself for help. (source: scandalouswoman.blogspot.com)

There is a legend that Lola cut the strings of her bodice with a letter opener when the King asked her if her bosoms were real. No matter what really happened, Lola got her wish. The King agreed to let her dance and, ironically, Lola made her debut in a play called The Enchanted Prince. At the time that they met, Lola was 25 years old and Ludwig was 60. Ludwig I (1786-1868) was responsible for turning Munich into a cultural mecca. He was the son of King Maximilian I and Wilhelmina of Hesse-Darmstadt, and one of his godfather’s was Louis XVI of France. He sponsored artists, writers, craftsmen, and architects. While he was quite free with the country’s money, he wasn’t quite as free with spending it on his family. The occasion of his marriage to Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen in 1810 was the first ever Oktoberfest. His father had forged an alliance with Napoleon I of France, which Ludwig objected to, but he dutifully joined the Emperor’s wars with the Bavarian troops. His father owed his crown to Napoleon. Maximilian was forced to consent to the marriage of Ludwig’s sister Pauline to Napoleon’s step-son Eugene de Beauharnais. Despite the inauspicious beginning, Pauline and Eugene ended up quite happy. Ludwig disliked and feared French political connections. He became King of Bavaria in 1825.

During the early years of his reign, Ludwig undersaw the completion of Germany’s first raildroad line in 1835. He had several beautiful buildings constructed including the Walhalla Temple, modeled after the Parthenon in Greece. In his early years, his policies as King were quite liberal for the time. However, as time progressed, Ludwig’s reign became more oppressive, he began to impose censorship and high taxes.

Lola’s career on the Munich stage lasted a scant two performances. Ludwig became smitten by Lola, and the dancer enjoyed a new role – as his mistress. Within weeks she had a powerful hold over Ludwig. She agreed to sit for a portrait which would be included in Ludwig’s renowed Gallery of Beauties, which included portraits of more than 30 women. During her sittings, Ludwig would join her, spending the time getting to know her better. He’d fallen hopelessly in love with her, and Lola claimed to return his feelings. During the next few months, the king remodeled a stately home for her, spending millions of dollars along the way.She soon began to use her influence on the king and this, coupled with her arrogant manner and outbursts of temper, made her unpopular with the local population, particularly after documents were made public showing that she was hoping to become a naturalized Bavarian citizen and be elevated to the nobility. Despite the opposition, Ludwig made her Countess of Landsfeld on his next birthday, August 25, 1847. The entertaining rumour that at the time they met Ludwig had asked her in public if her bosom was real, to which her response was to tear off enough of her garments and prove it[7][8] is entirely unfounded, and the story only first appeared many decades after Lola’s death. It seems likely that Ludwig’s relationship with her contributed greatly to the fall from grace of the previously popular king.[9], Lola convinced him to replace them with ministers who were more sympathetic. The previously pro-Catholic government was now swinging more incline with Lola’s own anti-clerical, liberal positions.
It was during this period in Bavaria that Lola’s animosity toward the Catholic church fermented. Although Lola’s family were Irish, they were also Protestant, and her stepfather Craigie was more than likely Presbyterian. Bavaria was a very Catholic country and the Jesuits were horrified at the king’s behavior and the insult to the queen. Lola had developed a long standing paranoid suspicion of the Jesuits. Whenever things went wrong for her later in life, as they often did, she would attribute this to sinister jesuitical plots.
Lola was soon to learn that being a royal mistress was not all it was cracked up to be. She hungered for social acceptance from the nobility in Munich but it was not forthcoming. Most of her admirers of course were men who sought to see advancement at court through the King’s mistress.
In 1848 under pressure from a growing revolutionary movement Ludwig abdicated, and Lola fled Bavaria, her career as a power behind the throne at an end.[4]

After a sojourn in Switzerland, where she waited in vain for Ludwig to join her, she made one brief excursion to France and then removed to London in late 1848. There she met and quickly married George Trafford Heald, a young army cornet (cavalry officer) with a recent inheritance.[9] But the terms of Lola’s divorce from Thomas James did not permit of either spouse’s remarriage while the other was living, and the beleaguered newlyweds were forced to flee the country to escape a bigamy action brought by Heald’s scandalized maiden aunt.[9] Mr. and Mrs. Heald resided for a time in France and in Spain, but within two years the tempestuous relationship was in tatters, and in 1851 Lola set off to make a new start in the United States, where she was surprisingly successful at first in rehabilitating her image.[10]

From 1851 to 1853 she performed as a dancer and actress in the eastern United States, then arrived at San Francisco in May 1853.[9] There she married Patrick Hull, a local newspaperman, in July and moved to Grass Valley, California, in August. This marriage failed shortly after, and Montez remained in Grass Valley at her little house for nearly two years. The restored Home of Lola Montez went on to become California Historical Landmark No. 292.[11] Lola served as an inspiration to another aspiring young entertainer, Lotta Crabtree. Lotta’s parents ran a boarding house in Grass Valley, and Lotta soon attracted the attention of a neighbor, Lola Montez, who encouraged Lotta’s enthusiasm for performance.

In June 1855, she departed for a tour of Australia to resume her career by entertaining miners at the gold diggings during the gold-rush of the 1850s arriving at Sydney on August 16, 1855.[4] (Wikepedia)


“Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.” – Edgar Degas

Edgar Degas (born Hilaire-Germain-Edgar De Gas on July 19, 1834)  was a well-educated and gifted sculptor, photographer, and painter born into a wealthy Paris family.   His father’s name was Pierre and he was a successful banker and his mother, Celestine Musson was an American, a  New Orleans born  Creole.  Some Degas’s in Naples and France altered the spelling of the last name Degas to De Gas for more aristocratic appearances.  Originally Degas used the altered “De Gas,” but returned the spelling to its roots in the 1870s.

“I would like to be illustrious and unknown.” –  Edgar Degas

Degas retained a solitary, melancholy disposition for most of his life, some believe it was the result of his mother’s death in 1847 while he was still a child.   Degas was fully aware of the reputation he had.  “It was perhaps a vicious impulse arising from skepticism and bad temper which caused me to appear unpleasant towards everyone. I thought about myself as inferior, so fragile, so unable, my artistic calculations being on the other hand, so precise. I was ill-tempered toward everyone, including myself,” he once said.

Ludovic Halévy and Paul Valpinçon were contemporaries and friends of Degas who were born in the same year.  They had an intimate friendship and the men included Degas in family activities until Degas’s antisemitism grew and their friendships were severed. (www.metmuseum.org)

Degas even featured Halevy in a book he was hired to illustrate for his friend and portrayed him as greedy and over emphasized his semitic features.  Halevy rejected the illustrations.  He is portrayed not as a narrator but at a greedy, snobby, jew who is responsible for prostitution.

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