160 more for Cartland fans

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  • Published 11.11.04

London, Nov. 11: You could be forgiven for thinking that, after writing over 720 novels, biographies and cookery books, Dame Barbara Cartland had contributed more than enough to English literature.

But yesterday her publishers revealed that the world?s best-selling romance novelist had left behind an extraordinary literary legacy of 160 unpublished novels.

Starting today, and continuing every month for the next 13 years, these previously unknown stories are to be published through the Internet.

Barbara Cartland was the most prolific author of the 20th century. For most of her lifetime, she wrote 10 books a year. Her skill was in old-fashioned, straightforward romance ? a formula that proved astonishingly popular, particularly in America.

Her books sold around one billion copies and were translated into 36 languages.

When she was aged 77, and demand was outstripping supply, her publishers asked her to work a little harder.

For the next 20 years she doubled her output to nearly one book a fortnight. She retired in her late 90s and died aged 98.

?By the time of her death in 2000, she had accumulated 160 unpublished novels,? said Steven Glen of Barbara Cartland?s website. ?They were left in her library, wrapped in pink ribbon.?

The books are being published in a series called The Barbara Cartland Pink Collection, named after her lifelong love of the colour.

There will be few surprises in the books for fans of her work. Many are set in Regency England, feature earls, dukes and ladies and all have happy endings.

None contains any sex.

The first two books to be published are The Cross of Love, and Love in the Highlands. Love Will Find a Way follows next month.