She is known as the most prolific writer of all time. She wrote 723 books, most of them historical romance, and sold over a billion of them. Wow! In 1983, she was named top-selling author in the world by Guinness Book of World Records. In the mid-1990s, Vogue magazine named her "The Queen of Romance."
She was also a bit of a sass mouth. Take, for instance, her sexist comments--on the men's side! She once remarked, "A woman should say: 'Have I made him happy? Is he satisfied? Does he love me more than he loved me before? Is he likely to go to bed with another woman?' If he does, then it's the wife's fault because she is not trying to make him happy." Holy cow!!!
In the 60s, she helped the gypsies. Yep. I bet you didn't know they needed helping, but in 1960s England, they sure did. Apparently, they were homeless and now, thanks to Barbara, they are comfortably nestled in gypsy camps. One of the first ones was called "Barbaraville."
In her later years, Barbara wore pink all the time and gobs of makeup. She dressed for glamor. Think "Madame." Yeah. She even had a poofy white dog that she took with her everywhere. He accented all her outfits.
When she first started publishing in 1922, her novels were racy. One of her plays was banned. She toned down her writing and became a big seller. Years later, because you just can't win, someone criticized her for her main characters always being virgins. She replied, "As long as the plots keep arriving from outer space, I'll go on with my virgins."
She died in May of 2000, just shy of age 100. In case you are wondering, she died with her face on. :D
Dame Barbara Cartland at her
country home in England, 1987.
Photographer: Allan Warren