Barbara Cartland

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Edgbaston, Birmingham
Birth Sign
Edgbaston, Birmingham

Barbara Cartland was a prominent twentieth-century British author. She used to write under her married name, Barbara McCorquodale, following her marriage. She has authored over 700 books and it is estimated that her works have sold in excess of 750 million copies. Her debut novel, “Jig-Saw,” is a suspense novel that became a best seller. Despite their straightforward plots, her later novels achieved popularity. She was even named the Guinness Book of World Records’ top-selling author worldwide for writing 23 novels in a single year. Elinor Glyn, a pioneer in mass-market erotic fiction, was a major inspiration for her romantic novels. As a descendant of an aristocratic family, her novels’ settings and characters reflect the British upper class. The unique aspect of her novels is that they all have a happy ending. All of these novels are dominated by idealistic love and ideal women. Additionally, she wrote biographies of several historical figures, including Josephine, Empress of France. She was a well-known media personality who frequently appeared on television and at public events to discuss issues ranging from love to politics to society. Between the 1920s and 1930s, she was known for her beauty, charm, and audacious parties.

Childhood & Adolescence

Barbara Cartland was born in Birmingham, England as the eldest child of Major Bertram Cartland, a British army officer, and Mary Hamilton Scobell.
Following her father’s death in World War I, her mother opened a dress shop in London to support herself. She was raised alongside her two brothers, Anthony and Ronald.

She attended Worcester’s Alice Ottley School. Later in life, she enrolled at Malvern Girls’ College. She was a student at Abbey House, a Hampshire-based educational institution.

Career of Barbara Cartland

In 1920, after completing her education, she began working as a society reporter for “The Daily Express.” In 1922, she published her first novel, “Jig-Saw.” A satirical society thriller, it quickly became a bestseller.

Her novel “Blood Money,” published in 1926, was banned by the Lord Chamberline’s office. From 1939 to 1945, she served as the Chief Lady Welfare Officer in Bedfordshire, where she was responsible for the welfare of 20,000 service men and women.

She was presented with a Certificate of Merit by Eastern Command. In 1953, she was invested as a Commander of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem at Buckingham Palace.

After being elected to Hertfordshire County Council in 1955, she became a crusader for gypsy rights. To accomplish this, she advocated for the establishment of a permanent residence for them. As a result of her effective campaign, Parliament passed an act.

In 1964, she founded Barbaraville, one of the gypsy camps. This provided housing for a number of gypsy families and ensured their children’s education in the local area.

In the same year, she founded the United Kingdom’s National Association for Health. Additionally, she served as its President. This organization serves as a front for all Health Stores and alternative medicine products.

She also advocated for improved working conditions and pay for midwives and nurses. She was made Dame of Grace of the Order of St John of Jerusalem for her contributions in this field.

In 1978, State Records released her album ‘An Album of Love Songs,’ on which she sang a number of popular standards, including ‘I’ll Follow My Secret Heart’ and ‘A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square.

Apart from these, she authored a number of biographies of well-known historical figures. Additionally, she wrote the biography of her brother Ronald Cartland, the first Member of Parliament to be assassinated during World War II.

Significant Works of Barbara Cartland

In 1922, she published her first novel, “Jig-Saw.” It is a vivid account of the difficulties encountered by a young girl upon her initial entry into London’s affluent society. The story chronicles this girl’s journey from an adventurous life to one of peace and happiness.

Awards and Accomplishments

In 1931, she co-founded the first airplane-towed glider airmail with two Royal Air Force officers.

In 1984, she received the Bishop Wright Air Industry Award for her outstanding contribution to aviation.

She was awarded the prestigious La Medaille De Vermeil De La Ville De Paris, or Paris’s Gold Medal.

Personal History and Legacies

She married Alexander George McCorquodale, a Scottish officer in the British Army, in 1927. They had a daughter, Raine McCorquodale, whom she later claimed was Prince George, Duke of Kent’s daughter.

She divorced McCorquodale in 1933 on grounds of infidelity. She later married Hugh McCorquodale, a former military officer, who was McCorquodale’s cousin. Ian and Glen McCorquodale were their sons.

When she was in her mid-90s, she was in poor physical and mental health. She remained busy with interviews and preparations for the launch of her website.

She passed away at the age of 98.

Estimated Net Worth

Barbara is one of the wealthiest novelists and is listed on the list of the most popular novelists. Barbara Cartland’s net worth is estimated to be around $1.5 million, based on our analysis of Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.


When her daughter Raine married the 8th Earl Spenser, this multifaceted author became Lady Diana Spencer’s step grandmother, who later became Princess of Wales.