Gothic Novel Day (Ann Radcliffe)

Gothic Novel Day takes place annually on 9 July to commemorate the birth of English Gothic novelist Ann Radcliffe (Ann Ward) who was born on 9 July 1764 in Holborn, London, on 9 July 1764. Her father was William Ward (1737–1798), a haberdasher, who moved the family to Bath to manage a china shop in 1772. Her mother was Ann Oates (1726–1800) of Chesterfield Radcliffe occasionally lived with her Uncle, Thomas Bentley, in Chelsea, who was in partnership with, Josiah Wedgwood, maker of the famous Wedgwood china. Sukey, Wedgwood’s daughter, also stayed in Chelsea. Sukey later married Dr Robert Darwin and had a son, Charles Darwin. In 1787, Ward married the Oxford graduate and journalist William Radcliffe (1763–1830), part-owner and editor of the English Chronicle. Radcliffe began to write and to read her work to him when he returned.

Little is known of Ann Radcliffe’s life however she travelled widely at first gradually led a more retired life, never visiting the countries where the fearful happenings in her novels took place. Her only journey abroad, to Holland and Germany, was made in 1794 after most of her books were written. The journey was described in her A Journey Made in the Summer of 1794 (which was written in 1795) . Ann Radcliffe also published five other novels during her lifetime, The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne (1 vol.) in1789, A Sicilian Romance (2 vols) 1790, The Romance of the Forest (3 vols) in 1791, The Mysteries of Udolpho (4 vols) in 1794, The Italian (3 vols) in 1797 and Gaston de Blondeville which was published posthumously in 1826. Radcliffe did not like the direction in which Gothic literature was heading – one of her later novels, The Italian, was written in response to Matthew Gregory Lewis’s The Monk. Radcliffe portrayed her female characters as equal to male characters, allowing them to dominate and overtake the typically powerful male villains and heroes, creating new roles for women in literature previously not available. Jane Austen also parodied The Mysteries of Udolpho in Northanger Abbey.

Radcliffe’s fiction is marked by seemingly supernatural events that are then provided with rational explanations, traditional moral values are asserted, the rights of women are advocated, and reason prevails. Radcliffe stated that terror aims to stimulate readers through imagination and perceived evils while horror closes them off through fear and physical dangers. “Terror and Horror are so far opposite, that the first expands the soul and awakens the faculties to a high degree of life; the other contracts, freezes and nearly annihilates them.”

Radcliffe courted controversy by presenting a prejudiced view of catholics. Her works, especially The Italian, often have Catholic ideas portrayed negatively including the Inquisition, negative depictions of convents and nuns, monks as villains, and ruined abbeys. The confessional is often portrayed as a danger zone controlled by the power of the priest and the church The Italian and The Mysteries of Udolpho are both set in Italy, a land historically predisposed towards Catholicism and against Protestantism. Radcliffe’s works would have left her contemporary readers with an impression of Catholicism as something ultimately cruel and corrupt, and of the author as alienated from the denomination and its practitioners.

Radcliffe sadly died on 7 February 1823 and was buried in a vault in the Chapel of Ease at St George’s, Hanover Square, London. In 1823, the Edinburgh Review said, “She never appeared in public, nor mingled in private society, but kept herself apart, like the sweet bird that sings its solitary notes, shrouded and unseen. Christina Rossetti attempted to write a biography of her, but abandoned it for lack of information. Nevertheless Radcliffe influenced many later authors, including the Marquis de Sade (1740–1814), Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1849), and Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832), Harriet Lee and Catherine Cuthbertson and Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Jane Austen’s parodies The Mysteries of Udolpho in Northanger Abbey and Honoré de Balzac’s novel of the supernatural L’Héritière de Birague (1822) also parodies Radcliffe novels. After Radcliffe’s death, her husband also released her unfinished essay “On the Supernatural in Poetry”, which details the difference between the sensation of terror and horror.

Jim Kerr (Simple Minds)

Jim Kerr, the singer songwiter and keyboard player with Scottish rock band Simple Minds, was born 9th July 1959. Simple minds achieved worldwide popularity from the mid-1980s to the 1990s and are best known for the songs “Don’t You (Forget About me)”, from the soundtrack o theJohn Hughes film The BreakfastClub, “Alive and Kicking” and”Belfast Child”. The band has sold more than 60 million albums since 1979. In 1982 the band’s single “Promised You a Miracle” and the album New Gold Dream were released, containing the songs “Promised You a Miracle”, “Colours Fly, “Somene Somewhere in Summertime”, “Glittering Prize and Catherine Wheel” In February 1984, Sparkle in the Rain, was released containg Waterfront, “Speed Your Love to Me” and “Up on the Catwalk”.

Despite the band’s new-found popularity in the UK and Europe, they remained unknown in the U.S. until the film The Breakfast Club, where Simple Minds were offered the song ‘Don’t You (Forget About me) whoch broke them into the US market almost overnight,In 1988 Simple Minds signed up for Mandela Day, a concert held at Wembley Stadium, London, UK, as an expression of solidarity with the then-imprisoned Nelson Mandela. Bands involved were asked to produce a song especially for the event – Simple Minds was the only act which actually produced one. This was “Mandela Day”, which the band played live on the day (alongside cover versions of “Sun City” with Little Steven and a cover version of Peter Gabriel’s “Biko” on which Gabriel himself took on lead vocals). “Mandela Day” was released on the Ballad Of The Streets EP, Another EP track, “Belfast Child”, was a rewrite of the Celtic folk song “She Moved Through the Fair” (with new lyrics written about the ongoing war in Northern Ireland) and was also an expression of Simple Mind’s support for the campaign for the release of Beirut-held hostage Brian Keenan.

Simple Minds’ next album, Street Fighting Years maintained the band’s growing sense of scale but moved away from the American soul and gospel influences of Once Upon a Time in favour of rock oriented acoustic and folk music-related ingredients. The lyrics were also more directly political covering topics including the Poll Tax, the Soweto townships, the Berlin Wall and the stationing of nuclear submarines on the Scottish coast. Simple Minds then recorded Once Upon a Time which included : “Alive & Kicking”, “Sanctify Yourself”, “Ghostdancing” and “All the Things She Said”. In 1991, Simple Minds returned with , Real Life which included the songs ”See the Lights” They then released the compilation album Glittering Prize in 1992. Simple Minds released the album Good News from the Next World including the songs “She’s a River” and “Hypnotised”. In 1997 Kerr and Burchill played live as part of the Proms tour and played orchestral versions of “Alive And Kicking”, “Belfast Child” and “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” backed by a full orchestra then began working on a brand new Simple Minds album called Cry. Then A 2-CD compilation, The Best of Simple Minds, was released soon afterwards to continue to build commercial momentum.

In 2003 Seen The Lights – A Visual History, the first-ever Simple Minds commercial (double) DVD, was releasd, featuring over four hours and twenty minutes of archive footage plus the majority of the band’s promotional videos. Then In 2004, Simple Minds released a five-CD compilation entitled Silver Box which. comprised previously unreleased demos, radio & TV sessions and various live recordings from 1979 to 1995, and included the long-delayed Our Secrets Are the Same In 2005, Simple Minds released their fourteenth studio album, Black & White 050505, and 2007 saw the band’s 30th anniversary, and a brief tour of Australia & New Zealand as guests of INXS.Simple Minds played the 90th birthday tribute to Nelson Mandela on 27 June 2008 in London’s Hyde Park. The band then undertook a short tour throughout the UK to celebrate their 30th anniversary.

Simple Minds next album, Graffiti Soul, was released on 25 May 2009. Jim Kerr also recorded and released his first solo album Lostboy! AKA Jim Kerr on 17 May 2010 under the name “Lostboy! AKA”. During 2011, Simple Minds embarked on the ‘Greatest Hits Forest Tour’, playing a series of seven dates in woodland locations of England, as part of Forestry Commission Live Music they also visited , Belgium, Portugal, Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, Ireland, Gibraltar, Belgrade, Serbia IREland and Bad Harzburg. A Simple Minds X5 box set has also been released featuring the 5 first albums over 6 discs, Life in a Day, Real to Real Cacophony, Empires and Dance, Sons and Fascination/Sister Feelings Call and New Gold Dream as well as bonus material on each disc including rare and previously unavailable CD, B-sides and remixes). Simple Minds latest album Big Music is out now.

Marc Almond

English singer-songwriter and musician. Peter Sinclair “Marc” Almond was born 9 July 1957. As a child, Almond listened to his parent’ record collection, which included his mother’s “Let’s Dance” by Chris Montez and “The Twist” by Chubby Checker, also his father’s collection of jazz including Dave Brubeck and Eartha Kitt. As an adolescent, Almond listened to Radio Caroline and Radio Luxembourg. He also listened to progressive music, blues and rock, Free, Jethro Tull, Van der Graf Generator The Who, and The Doors, and bought the first ever issue of Sounds, because it contained a free poster of Jimmy Page. Almond became a fan of Marc Bolan after hearing him on the John Peel Show, buying the T. Rex single “Ride a White Swan”. From then on Almond “followed everything Marc Bolan did,” Almond was such a fan of Bolan that he adopted the name ‘Marc’ he also discovered the songs of Jacques Brel through Bowie as well as Alex Harvey and Dusty Springfield.

Almond shot to fame in the early 1980s when he began performing and recording With synthpp/New Wave duo Soft Cell. whose hits included “Tainted Love”, “Bedsitter” Say Hello, Wave Goodbye, “What!”, “Soul Inside” and the club hit “Memorabilia”. Soft Cell’s first release was an independent record (funded by David Ball’s mother) entitled “Mutant Moments” via Red Rhino Records in 1980.”Mutant Moments” came to the attention of music entrepreneur Stevo Pearce, who at the time was compiling a “futurist” chart for the music paper Sos which featured young, upcoming and experimental bands of the new wave of electronic sound. He signed the duo to his Some Bizzare label and they enjoyed a string of nine Top 40 hit singles and four Top 20 albums in the UK between 1981-84. They recorded three albums in New York with producer Mike Thorne: Non Stop Erotic Cabaret, Non Stop Ecstatic Dancing and The Art of Falling Apart.

Almond became involved with the New York Underground Art Scene at this time with writer/DJ Anita Sarko, and performed at a number of Art events as well as meeting many New York Art luminaries including Andy Warhol.”Tainted Love”, a cover of a Gloria Jones’ Northern Soul classic was number one in the UK and in many countries over the world and was in the Guinness Book of Records for a while as the record that spent the longest time in the Billboard Top 100 chart in the U.S. It also won the best single award of 1981 at the first Brit Awards. Soft Cell brought an otherwise obscure Northern Soul classic to mass public attention and their version of the song is, to date, the UK’s 59th best selling single of all time, selling over one million copies in the UK.

In 1982, Almond formed Marc and the Mambas as an off-shoot project from Soft Cell. Marc and the Mambas was a loose experimental collective which included Matt Johnson, Steve James Sherlock, Lee Jenkinson, Peter Ashworth, Jim Thirlwell and Annie Hogan, with whom Almond worked later in his solo career. Under the Mambas moniker Almond recorded two albums; Untitled and the seminal double opus Torment and Toreros. He disbanded the collective when it started to feel too much like a regular band.Soft Cell also disbanded in 1984 just before the release of their fourth album, This Last Night In Sodom, though the duo reunited in 2001.Almond’s first proper solo album was Vermin in Ermine, released in 1984. It featured musicians from the Mambas outfit, Annie Hogan, Martin McCarrick and Billy McGee.

This ensemble, known as The Willing Sinners, worked alongside Almond for the subsequent albums Stories of Johnny (1985) from which the title track became a minor hit, and Mother Fist and Her Five Daughters (1987), which was highly acclaimed in reviews, stating that it “embraces classic European cabaret to wonderful effect, more so than any American or English rock album since Bowie’s Aladdin Sane or Lou Reed’s Berlin.” McCarrick left The Willing Sinners in 1987 to join Siouxsie and the Banshees, from which point Hogan and McGee became known as La Magia. Almond released the album The Stars We Are in 1988 which featured Almond’s version of “Something’s Gotten Hold Of My Heart”, which was later re-recorded as a duet with the song’s original singer Gene Pitney and released as a single. The track reached No. 1 in the UK. It also reached number one in Germany and was a major hit in countries around the world. Almond’s other recordings in the 1980s included an album of Brel songs, called Jacques, and an album of dark French chansons originally performed by Juliette Greco, Serge Lama and Léo Ferré, as well as poems by Rimbaud and Baudelaire set to music. This album was released in 1993 as Absinthe (The French Album), and was initially recorded in the late 1980s then finished in Paris in the early 1990s.

Almond’s next album was Enchanted, which spawned the UK Top 30 hit “A Lover Spurned”. A further single from the album, “Waifs and Strays”, was remixed by Dave Ball who was now in the electronic dance band The Grid. In 1991, Soft Cell returned to the charts with a new remix of “Say Hello Wave Goodbye” followed by a re-release of “Tainted Love” (with a new video). The singles were issued to promote a new Soft Cell/Marc Almond compilation album, Memorabilia – The Singles, which collected some of the biggest hits from Almond’s career throughout the previous ten years. Almond then released a new solo album, Tenement Symphony and also the album Fantastic Star recording sessions for the album with John Cale, David Johanson, and Chris Spedding. During recording Almond also spent several weeks attending a treatment centre in Canterbury for addiction. Almond re-invented himsel with a more downbeat and atmospheric electronica album, Open All Night. This featured R&B and trip hop influences, as well as torch songs for which he had become known. The album featured the songs “Black Kiss”, “Tragedy” and “My Love” Plus duets with Siouxsie Sioux and Keli Ali (Sneaker Pimps).

in 2001, Soft Cell reunited briefly and released their first new album in 18 years, Cruelty Without Beauty. Two singles came out of this album, “Monoculture” and a cover of the Frankie Valli’s “The Night”, then In June 2007, Almond released an album of cover songs, Stardom Road. Picked to tell a story of his life and career, the album featured songs as diverse as “I Have Lived” by Charles Aznavour, to “Stardom Road” by Third World War, Frank Sinatra’s “Strangers in the Night”, and “Kitch” by Paul Ryan. The album featured also featured a newly written song. In October 2007, the fashion house Yves Saint Laurent picked Almond’s “Strangers in the Night” to represent their show at London’sFashion Rocks. Almond performed for the event at the Royal Albert Hall.

In 2008 and 2009, Almond toured with Jools Holland throughout the UK as well as guesting at shows by Current 93, Baby Dee and a tribute show to the late folk singer Sandy Denny. In October 2009, Almond released an album titled Orpheus in Exile: Songs of Vadim Kozin which was a tribute to Russian singer Vadim Kozin, who was exiled to the gulags of the Arctic Circleof Russian and comtaimed Romantic ballads and Gypsy songs. In June 2010, Almond released Varieté, an album of crafted personal songs, his first studio album of self-penned songs in almost a decade, and In 2011, Almond released an album Feasting with Panthers. A collaboration with musician and arranger Michael Cashmore. It featured poems of Count Eric Stenbock put to music as well as decadent and homoerotic poems by Jean Genet, Jean Cocteau, Paul Verlaine andRimbaud. Almond also took part in a unique music-theatre work Ten Plagues held at Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre which was a one man song cycle based on Daniel Defoe’s Journal of the Plague Year (which dates back to 1665), with metaphors of Aids and epidemics, and was a collaboration between Almond, theatre director and designer Stewart Laing, libretto author Mark Ravenhill and composer Conor Mitchell. The show won the Scotman’s Fringe First Award. In 2012, Almond took the role of the Greek Stoic philosopher Seneca in the Paris Théâtre du Châtelet’s experimental rock adaptation of Poppea based on Monteverdi’s original 17th century opera The Coronation of Poppea also starring ex-Libertines Carl Barat, Benjamin Biolay, Fredrika Stahl, Valerie Gabail and Anna Madison.On 9 August 2012, Almond performed at Antony Hegarty’s Meltdown Festival in London’s Southbank. He sang the whole Marc and the Mambas Torment and Toreros album for the first time live. Some of the original musicians in the album also performed with Almond.

Dean Koontz

American horror and science fiction author Dean Koontz was born July 9, 1945 in Everett, Pennsylvania. he was regularly beaten and abused by his alcoholic father, which influenced his later writing, as also did the courage of his physically diminutive mother in standing up to her husband” In his senior year at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, he won a fiction competition sponsored by Atlantic Monthly magazine. After graduation in 1967, he went to work as an English teacher at Mechanicsburg High School in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. In the 1960s, Koontz worked for the Appalachian Poverty Program, a federally funded initiative designed to help poor children.

During his spare time, he wrote his first novel, Star Quest, which was published in 1968. Koontz went on to write over a dozen science fiction novels. Seeing the Catholic faith as a contrast to the chaos in his family, Koontz converted in college because it gave him answers for his life, admiring its intellectual rigor and saying it permits a view of life that sees mystery and wonder in all things He says he sees Catholicism as English writer and Catholic convert G.K. Chesterton did: that it encourages a “joy about the gift of life”Koontz says that spirituality has always been part of his books, as are grace and our struggle as fallen souls

In the 1970s, Koontz began writing suspense and horror fiction, both under his own name and several pseudonyms, sometimes publishing up to eight books a year. Koontz has stated that he began using pen names after several editors convinced him that authors who switched back and forth between different genres invariably fell victim to “negative crossover” (alienating established fans and simultaneously failing to pick up any new ones). Known pseudonyms used by Koontz during his career include Deanna Dwyer, K. R. Dwyer, Aaron Wolfe, David Axton, Brian Coffey, John Hill, Leigh Nichols, Owen West, Richard Paige and Anthony North. As Brian Coffey he wrote the “Mike Tucker” trilogy [Blood Risk, Surrounded, Wall of Masks] in acknowledged tribute to the Parker novels of Richard Stark (Donald E. Westlake). Many of Koontz’s pseudonymous novels are now available under his real name. Many others remain suppressed by Koontz, who bought back the rights to ensure they could not be republished; he has, on occasion, said that he might revise some for re-publication, but only 3 have appeared – Demon Seed and Invasion were both heavily rewritten before they were republished, and Prison of Ice had certain sections bowdlerised.

After writing full-time for more than ten years, Koontz’s breakthrough novel was Whispers. The two books before that, The Key to Midnight and The Funhouse, were written under pen names. His very first bestseller was Demon Seed, the sales of which picked up after the release of the film of the same name in 1977, and sold over two million copies in one year. From 1979 on, Koontz’s books regularly became paperback bestsellers. His first hardcover bestseller, was Strangers. Since then, 12 hardcovers and 13 paperbacks written by Koontz have reached #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List. In 1997 psychologist Katherine Ramsland published an extensive biography of Koontz based on interviews with him and his family. This this often showed the conception of Koontz’s characters and plots from events in his own life Many of his novels are set in and around Orange County, California.

One of Dean Koontz’s pen names was inspired by his dog, Trixie Koontz, a golden retriever, shown in many of his book-jacket photos. Trixie originally was a service dog with Canine Companions for Independence (CCI), a charitable organization that provides service dogs for people with disabilities Trixie was a gift from CCI in gratitude of Koontz’s substantial donations, totaling $2,500,000 between 1991 and 2004. Koontz was taken with the charity while he was researching his novel Midnight, which included a black Labrador retriever, named Moose. In 2004 Koontz wrote and edited Life Is Good: Lessons in Joyful Living in her name, and in 2005 Koontz wrote a second book credited to Trixie, Christmas Is Good. Both books are written from a supposed canine perspective on the joys of life with royalties being donated to CCI. Sadly In 2007 Trixie contracted terminal cancer that created a tumor in her heart. The Koontzes had her put to sleep outside their family home on June 30. Following Trixie’s death Koontz continued writing on his website under Trixie’s names in “TOTOS”, standing for Trixie on the Other Side. Trixie was also the inspiration for The Darkest Evening of the Year, about a woman who runs a golden retriever rescue home, and who rescues a ‘special’ dog, named Nickie, who eventually saves her life. In August 2009 Koontz published “A Big Little Life,” a memoir of his life with Trixie. In October 2008 Koontz revealed that he had adopted a new dog, Anna. It eventually was learned that Anna was the grandniece of Trixie. Sadly Anna died on May 22, 2016 so Koontz then adopted a new dog, Elsa, on July 11, 2016. As of 2006 Koontz lives in Pelican Hills on the Newport Coast, California with his wife, Gerda (Cerra). In 2008 he was ranked the world’s sixth most highly paid author, tied with John Grisham, at $25 million annually.

Many of Dean Koontz’s novels have been adapted for film and Television including Odd Thomas, starring Anton Yelchin, Frankenstein; starring Adam Goldberg, Parker Posey, Michael Madsen, Vincent Perez, and Thomas Kretschmann, Black River; starring Jay Mohr, and Stephen Tobolowsky, Sole Survivor; starring Billy Zane, John C. McGinley, and Gloria Reuben, Watchers Reborn; starring Mark Hamill, Phantoms (1998); starring Peter O’Toole, Ben Affleck, Rose McGowan, and Joanna Going. Mr. Murder; starring Stephen Baldwin, Thomas Haden Church, and James Coburn. Intensity; starring John C. McGinley, Molly Parker, and Piper Laurie. Hideaway; starring Jeff Goldblum, Christine Lahti, Jeremy Sisto, and Alicia Silverstone. Watchers 3; starring Wings Hauser. Servants of Twilight starring Bruce Greenwood. The Face of Fear starring Pam Dawber and Lee Horsley. Watchers II; starring Marc Singer and Tracy Scoggins. Whispers; starring Victoria Tennant, Chris Sarandon, and Jean LeClere. The Passengers starring Jean-Louis Trintignant (French film adaptation of Koontz’s novel Shattered) and Demon Seed; starring Julie Christie, Fritz Weaver, and Robert Vaughn as the voice of Proteus.

Dame Barbara Cartland DBE CstJ

Prolific Best -selling Romantic Author Dame Barbara Cartland, DBE, CStJ was born 9 July 1901 in Edgbaston, Birmingham. She attended The Alice Ottley School, Malvern Girls’ College, and Abbey House, an educational institution in Hampshire, Cartland soon became successful as a society reporter and writer of romantic fiction. Cartland admitted she was inspired in her early work by the novels of Edwardian author Elinor Glyn, whom she idolized and eventually befriended.

She worked as a gossip columnist for the TheDaily Express before publishing her first novel, Jigsaw in 1922, a risqué society thriller that became a bestseller. She also began writing and producing somewhat racy plays, one of which, Blood Money (1926), was banned by the Lord Chamberlain’s Office. In the 1920s and 1930s Cartland was a prominent young hostess in London society, noted for her beauty, energetic charm and daring parties. Her fashion sense also had a part and she was one of the first clients of designer Norman Hartnell, remaining a client until he died in 1979. He made her presentation and wedding dresses; the latter was made to her own design against Hartnell’s wishes and she admitted it was a failure.

In 1950, Cartland was accused of plagiarism by author Georgette Heyer, after a reader drew her attention to the apparent borrowing of Heyer’s character names, character traits, dialogue and plot points in Cartland’s early historical romances. In particular, A Hazard of Hearts (1949), which replicated characters (including names) from Heyer’s Friday’s Child and The Knave of Hearts (1950) which, Heyer alleged, “the conception, the principal characters, and many of the incidents, derive directly from an early book of my own, entitled These Old Shades, first published in 1926. For minor situations and other characters she has drawn upon four of my other novels.” Heyer completed a detailed analysis of the alleged plagiarisms for her solicitors, but the case never came to court.

Aside from writing numerous romantic novels, Cartland also wrote under her married name of Barbara McCorquodale. Cartland saw herself as a self-appointed “expert” on romance and although her first novels were considered sensational, her social views gradually became more conservative. This drew some ridicule in her later years, as Cartland’s later titles were comparatively tame with virginal heroines and few, if any, suggestive situations. Almost all of Cartland’s later books were historical in theme. Despite their tame story lines, Barbara Cartland’s later novels were highly successful. By 1983 she rated the longest entry in the British Who’s Who (though most of that article was a list of her books), and was named the top-selling author in the world by the Guinness World Records. In the mid-1990s, by which time she had sold over a billion books, Vogue called her “the true Queen of Romance”. She became a mainstay of the popular media in her trademark pink dresses and plumed hats, discoursing on matters of love, marriage, politics, religion, health, and fashion. She was publicly opposed to the removal of prayer from state schools and spoke against infidelity and divorce, although she admitted to being acquainted with both of these moral failings.

Cartland also took an interest in the early gliding movement. Although aerotowing for launching gliders first occurred in Germany, she thought of long-distance tows in 1931 and did a 200-mile (360 km) tow in a two-seater glider. The idea led to troop-carrying gliders. In 1984, she was awarded the Bishop Wright Air Industry Award for this contribution. She regularly attended Brooklands aerodrome and motor-racing circuit during the 1920s and ’30s, and the Brooklands Museum has preserved a sitting-room from that era and named it after her.

Dame Barbara Cartland sadly died 21 May 2000 however she holds the Guinness World Record for the most novels written in a single year after having written 23 novels in 1976. Cartland released An Album of Love Songs in 1983 which featured Cartland performing a series of popular standards with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, including “I’ll Follow My Secret Heart” and “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square. She wrote more than 700 books, as well as plays, music, verse, drama, magazine articles and operetta Her 723 novels have been translated into 36 different languages, and she reportedly sold more than 750 million copies. Other sources estimate her book sales at more than 2 billion copies. She specialised in 19th-century Victorian era pure romance. Her novels all featured portrait style artwork, particularly the cover art. As head of Cartland Promotions she also became one of London’s most prominent society figures and one of Britain’s most popular media personalities.