The story really begins in Scotland where there is a village named after Cartlands and where family are reported in ancient Chronicles as being in Lanarkshire as far back as AD 1200. Some of Cartlands moved south and Barbara Cartland's Great Grandfather had an estate in Worcestershire. At time of 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 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 Bruce of Scotland. The couple only had one son, 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 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 final weeks of ending of First World War. Barbara Cartland was just seventeen. When asked by her mother where she would like to live, Barbara Cartland chose London and family, including her two brothers Ronald and Anthony, subsequently moved to 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 Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders who was heir to a British printing fortune. They had a daughter called Raine who became "Deb of Year" in 1947 and much later stepmother of Diana, Prince of Wales.
In 1935, Barbara's brother, Ronald, was working in Conservative Central Office and anxious to become a candidate in 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.