Barbara Cartland Bibliography Example

Barbara Cartland was born in Edgbaston Birmingham on 9th July, 1901 into a wealthy family. She was the only child of her parents. Her father was a British army officer who died in the battlefield of World War 1, and her mother opened up a boutique to make the family ends meet.  Her schooling was followed by attending a girl’s college in Hampshire and after graduating from there, she became a society reporter and an author of romantic novels.

She is considered to be one of the most renowned authors of her time, primarily known for her romantic novels.  Her career spans from writing around 700 books which includes around 5 autobiographies and several books on cooking, health, vitamins and beauty. Her recipes were utilized in the House of Commons. Her biographies were famous characters from history. Ronald Cartland for example, was an affiliate of parliament who was killed in the Second World War.  She’s eminently regarded as the “Queen of the Romance novel”. Cartland claimed to be writing a book in seven days.

From the 1970’s, 1990’s and onwards, she set a new benchmark by writing about 2 dozen books a year. After working as a gossip columnist for Daily express, her first novel was published in 1923, Jig-saw, which dealt with a society thriller and ran for quite some time. Her books have sold over 100 million copies, gaining a name in the Guinness Book of World Records. Besides writing, she is involved in lots of humanitarian work, such as charity and social causes. She volunteered for the cause of old people. During the Second World War, she was looking after 20,000 men and women. In the 1960’s, she campaigned for the rights of gypsies so that they could have a permanent place to live in and as a result of this, an act was passed in parliament. There are now thousands of gypsies and their families who have a place to live in and educate their children. One of the gypsy camps founded by her is very near to her own home, Hampshire. Her zeal could be traced when she fought for the better working conditions of mid-wives and nurses, which led her to be widely known as the “Dame of grace.” Cartland was labeled as the pink lady for her love of pink chiffon, clothing and jewelry. Cartland was married twice to Alexander McCorquodale (1927-33) and to Hugh McCorquodale (1936-63).Apparently, the two men were cousins. She was referred to as the step grandmother of the princess of Wales, Diana.

Carland books always have a very happy ending where the heroines are very vulnerable and compliant and the heroes are men hailing from the aristocratic background, receiving their princess on a horse. She died on May 21, 2000 after a short illness.

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Barbara Cartland

APA Style
Barbara Cartland. (2012). Retrieved 04:07, March 14, 2018 from

Harvard Style
Barbara Cartland [Internet]. 2012., March 14

MLA Style
" Barbara Cartland." 2012. 14 March,

MHRA Style
' Barbara Cartland',,(2012) [accessed March 14, 2018]

Chicago Style
" Barbara Cartland,", (accessed March 14, 2018).

Barbara Cartland [Internet].; 2012 [cited 2018 March 14]. Available from:

Bluebook Style
Barbara Cartland, (last visited March 14, 2018).

AMA Style
Barbara Cartland, (last visited March 14, 2018).

(Barbara Cartland 9 July 1901 – 21 May 2000)

Dame Barbara Cartland was a prolific and popular writer of Romantic novels. Using a tried and tested formula, she tapped into a populist demand for romantic novels, usually with women ending up happily married to some chivalrous man. Outside of writing, she was a vivacious and outgoing personality, rarely short of an opinion on any subject. She was also noted for her dress sense, which was nothing if not colourful.

She was born in Edgbaston, Birmingham in 1901. Her father died during the First World War, leaving the family in difficult circumstances. However, with her natural charm, beauty and energy, she became a feature on the 1920s social circle. She attracted many proposals of marriage (said to be 49) before finally accepting. Ironically, her first marriage was not a success, ending in divorce 6 years later. However, her second marriage to Alexander McCorquodale was successful and she had two children through this marriage.

In the 1920s, Barbara Cartland became friendly with Lord Beaverbrook (though she refused to be his mistress). This led to a position at the Daily Mail where she gained a column to write on issues of the day. In 1923, she wrote her first novel Jigsaw. The success of this book led greater demand from publishers. She had found a formula for writing and could dictate a new novel in one fortnight at the peak of her writing efficiency. By the end of her life, she had written an estimated 723 books.

Apart from a few, the majority of books were based on an old-fashioned romantic vision of love. Her women were models of virtue and her men had the old-fashioned virtues of chivalry. Her writing hardly endeared herself to feminists or literary critics.

“A woman asking “Am I good? Am I satisfied?” is extremely selfish. The less women fuss about themselves, the less they talk to other women, the more they try to please their husbands, the happier the marriage is going to be.”

But, the popularity of the books could not be denied.

She was a colourful personality and during the Royal Wedding of Charles and Diana in 1981, it was feared she would upstage the young couple, through her relationship with Lady Diana. However, she avoided attending the wedding to avoid taking the spotlight.

She was also a defender of old-fashioned beliefs; she believed that women should remain chaste until marriage.

“To sleep around is absolutely wrong for a woman; it’s degrading and it completely ruins her personality. Sooner or later it will destroy all that is feminine and beautiful and idealistic in her.”

– Barbara Cartland

Though paradoxically, she believed men should have experience (when asked how this was possible she replied men could visit brothels to get the necessary experience.)

Yet, life wasn’t all idealised romantic fantasies. She suffered a great personal loss in both the First and Second World Wars. After helping her brother Ronald Cartland to become an MP, he became the first MP to die during the conflict at the battle of Dunkirk. Later her elder brother died. After this, she temporarily retired to Canada, but felt she should return to England to take part in the war effort. She joined the women’s voluntary service and worked for several years for St Johns Ambulance.

Dame Barbara Cartland became a national treasure. To some, maybe a caricature of previous times – even a figure of fun. But, in becoming one of the top 10 best selling authors of all time, she made sure she was having the last laugh.

Citation: Pettinger, Tejvan. “Biography of Barbara Cartland”, Oxford, UK., Published 1st Feb 2009. Last updated 30th January 2018.


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