Dame Barbara Cartland ( 1 )

May 9 09:43 2005 Birmingham UK Com Print This Article

The story really begins in Scotland where there is a village named after the Cartlands and where the family are reported in ancient Chronicles as being in Lanarkshire as far back as AD 1200. Some of the Cartlands moved south and Barbara Cartland's Great Grandfather had an estate in Worcestershire. At the time of the Industrial Revolution in 1840 he moved to Warwickshre and built a large house in open countryside at a place which is now known as Kings Norton in Birmingham. A wealthy man with a Brass Factory in Birmingham, his second son, James Cartland, became a great Financier and Barbara Cartland's Grandfather.

James Cartland helped to build up the City of Birmingham and was twice offered a Baronetcy and a Knighthood - all of which he refused. James married Flora Falkner who was a direct descendant of King Robert the Bruce of Scotland. The couple only had one son,Guest Posting James Bertram Falkner Cartland, who fell in love and married with Mary ( Polly ) Hamilton Scobell. The couple moved to Worcestershire and on July 9th 1901 at Vectis Lodge, Edgbaston - Barbara Cartland (Mary Barbara Hamilton Cartland ) was born.

The family, were originally born into an enviable degree of middle class security, but the suicide of her paternal grandfather left them short of money. The family were forced to move to Amerie Court in Pershore. Tragedy struck once again when Major James Cartland was killed in France in the final weeks of the ending of the First World War. Barbara Cartland was just seventeen. When asked by her mother where she would like to live, Barbara Cartland chose London and the family, including her two brothers Ronald and Anthony, subsequently moved to the capital. Her enterprising mother opened a London dress shop to make ends meet "Poor I may be," Polly Cartland once said, "but common I am not". Anthony and Ronald would both be killed in battle, one day apart, in 1940.

After attending Malvern Girls' College and Abbey House, an educational institution in Hampshire, Cartland became a successful journalist and a gossip columnist. Her first novel, "Jigsaw," was published in 1923. It was a huge success and Barbara Cartland began to write seriously in order to earn money.

In 1927 Barbara Cartland married Alexander George McCorquodale, a former Officer of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders who was heir to a British printing fortune. They had a daughter called Raine who became "Deb of the Year" in 1947 and much later the stepmother of Diana, Prince of Wales.

In 1935, Barbara's brother, Ronald, was working in the Conservative Central Office and anxious to become a candidate in the Labour held Kings Norton Division of Birmingham. In those days a Member of Parliament had to pay their own expenses of around £1,000. Ronald was only earning £4 a week.

These were turbulent times for the family as Barbara, had now divorced her husband whose family confiscated his money and left Barbara and Raine, aged four, with a Marriage Settlement of £500 per annum. The divorce involved charges and countercharges of infidelity and Barbara Cartland would later marry one of the men Alexander McCorquodale accused her of dallying with, his cousin - Hugh Mc Corquodale.

At this time Barbara Cartland was writing for a weekly magazine and several newspapers but always under an assumed name so that no one knew who the writer was. Determined that her brother should stand for Kings Norton she wrote 10,000 words a day in order to pay for his Election Expenses. The house that her Grandfather had built was still in Kings Norton. Labour decided to field a well known politician. Barbara Cartland wrote and canvassed on behalf of her brother who finally won with a majority of nearly 6000. All the hard work and commitment had paid off.

Ronald and Anthony Cartland were both killed in the Second World War. At the entrance to Tewkesbury Abbey in Gloucestershire there is a Calvary erected to the memory of Barbara Cartland's Father, Mother and two Brothers. Cartland Road in Kings Norton is named after the family. Barbara Cartland went on to write a biography about Ronald which included his best political speeches. In 1936 Barbara Cartland married Hugh McCorquodale, an officer of the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders and who had received the Military Cross for Gallantry. The couple had two sons, Ian and Glen. Barbara Cartland speaks fondly about the family visits to Scotland.

" I travel all over the world. I am thrilled by the exotic beauty of the East and the vital virility of the West.

But as I turn for home, my heart is in the Highlands"

Barbara Cartland lived at Camfield Place, Hatfield, Hertfordshire. The family still own the Estate which was originally settled on by a Knight in 1275. It once featured a Tudor Manor House which was pulled down by Beatrix Potter's Grandfather who rebuilt the house in 1867. Beatrix Potter wrote that Camfield was the place that she loved best and where she wrote "The Tale of Peter Rabbit. The estate features an Oak Tree, planted by H.M. Queen Elizabeth in 1550 whilst she was imprisoned at Hatfield.


Source: Free Guest Posting Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

About Article Author

Birmingham UK Com
Birmingham UK Com

From the Community website of Birmingham UK Com - Everyone welcome.

View More Articles