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She May Be Best Known As The “Queen Of Romance” In The Literary World, But She Was Also An Accomplished Pilot Who Worked With The Royal Air Force To Design The First Aircraft-Towed Airmail Delivery Glider

Monika - stock.adobe.com - illustrative purposes only

Did you know that the woman who has been considered one of the world’s most prolific romance writers was also a great contributor to aviation and loved gliding?

Barbara Cartland is best known for her literary accomplishments and has been known as the “Queen of Romance” for decades. However, her daredevil side often gets overlooked, and she was a woman of many talents.

Barbara was born in Birmingham, England, in 1901. She was the daughter of a British Army Officer and his wife, Mary. She and her family lived comfortably in the upper-middle class, but after her father’s death during World War I, her mother opened a shop to support her and her two brothers.

Growing up, Barbara attended all-girls private schools and kicked off her writing career as a society reporter before she began dipping her toe into writing romance novels.

Barbara’s work was at times considered quite risqué. Her first book, “Jigsaw,” was published in 1923 when she was 24-years-old and quickly became a bestseller. With that, she continued to write stories of love, lust, and adventure, making her one of the most popular romance novelists of her time and a prominent figure in London’s high society.

Another one of her more popular titles was “A Hazard of Hearts,” which was published in 1949.

While she became most well known for her romance novels, as her career progressed, Barbara also wrote plays, other nonfiction books, biographies, etc. It is estimated that she wrote over 700 literary pieces in her lifetime.

Not only was Barbara a literary legend, but she was also an accomplished pilot. Gliding became very popular in the 1920s and 1930s and was considered a high-society sport then. Gliding requires pilots to fly unpowered aircraft, so those who participated often took short-distance flights.

Barbara, however, was truly an aviation pioneer and worked with Royal Air Force officers to design the first aircraft-towed airmail delivery glider and arranged what was the first long-distance tow in 1931, which was 200 miles long.

Monika – stock.adobe.com – illustrative purposes only

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