13 Things You Genuinely Never Knew About.....
The world's most successful author and true-to-form traditional 'British' lady, Barbara Cartland passed away on May 21st just weeks before her 99th birthday.
Born way back in 1901, when the 'Great' could still be very much associated with 'Britain', and our Empire covered the globe, as our troops dragged their bare arses across maps of far-flung places, Barbara Cartland had an eventful near-century and, according to many, could often be described as somewhat eccentric. Bubblegun brings you the facts.
Born July 9th 1901, to parents Bertie Cartland and Polly Scobell, her full name was "Mary Barbara Hamilton Cartland". She had two brothers, Ronald, and Anthony.
- In May 1918, Carltand's father was killed during World War I. He was later joined in Heaven by her brother Anthony, who died on May 29th, 1940, at Dunkirk, and swiftly followed by her other brother Ronald, who died the very next day, also at Dunkirk. Ronald Cartland was the first Member of Parliament killed in World War II.
- Ms. Cartland's first writing job was as a contributor of society gossip pieces for The Daily Express in 1920. Pieces such as "Mr Peacock done poo-poo in Lady Nuck-Nuck III's quail's egg soup at the races,
- It was in 1923 that Cartland saw her first novel published - JigSaw. This would be the first of many novels, that saw loads of awfully nice people sat around drinking tea, and moaning about how 'gentlemanly' men used to be, while some dashing young man would sweep them all of their feet only to have to contend with competition from some cad with a pencil moustache.
- Whilst on the subject of gentleman, Cartland was a life-long campaigner for a return to 'gentlemanly' behaviour by blokes, once saying: "When I went to the cinema, men were gentlemen and had good manners, they wouldn't say anything improper to the ladies". However, please note that Cartland's view of the perfect gentleman also consisted of men who "kept their love affairs to themselves". In other words, she didn't approve of talking about "That blonde bird I shagged on Friday nights with the big tits man she was fucking gagging for it and we did it like fucking three times and let me stick a candle up her arse crack and she sucked my cock and everything and I didn't even get her second name".
- A life long Conservative voter, Cartland once stated, "I will be voting for John Major. He is getting better and better every year. He is very, very good. He now speaks far better than he did. He's a brilliant speaker… Look around and who else is like the old leaders like Winston?" This was during the run-up to the 1997 general election. Which Labour won by a landslide, for those amongst us who can't remember that far back.
- During the same period, Cartland also voiced her grievance at Labour's proposed law that would enable anyone to "Go anywhere you want in the country". She revealed: "I have checked this with two people and they both said it was true. People will be able to walk into your garden and pick your flowers. It is absurd". Yes. How absurd.
- Referring to her relationship with the aforementioned Winnie Churchill, Cartland once said, "I knew Winston as a little boy and watched him grow stronger and stronger". Fine, in theory, were it not for the fact that Churchill was 27 years of age when Cartland was born.
- Cartland was the first person in London to own a white car - a white Rolls-Royce - making quite vocal later on in her life, her utter disdain at the Rolls-Royce takeover by "foreign people". "What's wrong with us? Why can't we have our own things? Everything's been taken over by foreigners and we're not going to have England". Her choice of car in later life? Mercedes Benz - that great British motor.
- Barbara Cartland was, by means of marriage, related to the utterly dead Princess Diana in two ways: Cartland's daughter Raine, fathered by first husband Alexander McCorquodale, married the Eighth Earl Of Spencer - Diana's father. That kind of made Cartland Di's step-grandmother. Additionally, but much more tenuous and complex, Georgiana Caroline Granville married John Spencer in 1734 and their son became the First Earl Of Spencer. Barbara Cartland's mother-in-law by her second marriage, Gracie (Granville) McCorquodale, is a descendant of Georgiana Caroline Granville. Princess Diana's father, the Eighth Earl of Spencer, is a descendant of the First Earl Of Spencer. Therefore Barbara Cartland's sons Ian and Glen are distant cousins of the late Princess Diana… Go tell the boys down the pub. They're sure to be riveted.
- Whilst living in Somerset during her teenage years, Cartland had a ghostly encounter, reporting having heard footsteps and breathing on the stairs of her home (no, not one of her gentlemen). A psychic was called in and duly informed her that a ghost of a fair-haired teenager haunted the house. Years later, workmen uncovered the skeleton of a young woman with fair hair buried beneath the hearthstone. Only, if it was a skeleton, how did they know she had fair hair?
- In 1950, Cartland moved to Camfield Place. The house, having been built in 1867 by the grandfather of Beatrix Potter, was the actual house where 'The Tale of Peter Rabbit' was written.
- Despite being quite attractive as a young woman, Cartland refused to grow old gracefully. As her faculties diminished, her application of make-up became increasingly "exotic", until she eventually resembled some bizarre circus mutation. Pictures taken shortly before her death, made it appear as if she had been attempting to eat lipstick with her eyes.