Looking one's best, sort of. . .

LOLA MONTEZ An Irish woman who presented herself as an (incredibly bad) "Spanish" dancer. Attempting to rule the place, she was thrown out of Bavaria in the middle of the night only to go to California seeking to have it secede and become a country called "Lola Land," with herself as queen. 19th century.
PRAISE-GOD BAREBONE He sold leather goods for the "special bedroom interests" of Londoners. Later he became a bearbaiter, then, misunderstanding Spinoza, launched himself as a secular preacher only to cause great confusion and riots in the streets. 17th century.
COUNTESS ELIZABETH BATHORY She bathed in the blood of murdered virgins in order to improve her complexion. An actual Transylvanian Countess, she was one of the persons upon whom Bram Stoker based the story of Dracula. 16-17th centuries.
JOAN OF ARC The stuff that stories in the NATIONAL ENQUIRER are made of. 15th century.
NERO A performing arts buff. He started out OK, but things went sour when his mother could not let go of her precious son. 1st century.
POPE ALEXANDER VI The ultimate BAD Pope. He held orgies in the Vatican, hired hit-men, impregnated his own daughter, etc., etc. 15th century.
MATA HARI Shot by the French as a spy in World War I. Was she a spy, or wasn't she? There is ample evidence on each side of the question to prove that this exotic dancer was guilty, or not...
SIR JOHN HARINGTON A godson of Queen Elizabeth I, he got booted out of court for translating and distributing smutty Italian poems. More importantly, he invented the flush toilet ! (really) 17th century.
ALEXANDER THE GREAT The great what? The greatest ego of all time, that's what. He believed that if he slaughtered his way to the edge of the world, there he would meet God, his father, and they would be united in unimaginable power. He didn't make it. 4th century B.C.
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