Style lessons I learnt curled up with a Barbara Cartland novel.
Written on the 2 July 2008 by Rachel Quilty of Jump the Q.
There is no doubt when you mention romance, the novels by Barbara Cartland will inevitably come up. While the storylines may have had an all too familiar but always winning formulae – distressed girl, dashing hero, reluctant love, pulsating danger, then glorious heaven like, earth shattering recognition of ones other half and ever lasting love.
Very simple really!
As a girl, a grandmother figure in my life gave me my first Barbara Cartland novel. Much to my mother’s distress. Joking recently with friends I revealed this secret and valiantly (It does rub off!) felt the need to explain why they were such good novels for a young girl to read. So here goes..
Lessons and concepts I learnt from a Barbara Cartland novel:-
1.The heroine was always free – spirited, lovable and incredibly independent.
2.Manners were always very important. And the heroine always politely assertive. This gained admiration, respect and affection of each acquaintance whether a servant or a prince.
3.Being true to yourself and your values was vital. And to concede to others plans for you was a soul destroying prospect.
4.The most beautiful moments in life are in nature’s wonder or in the simple pleasures of life.
5.Every girl should know what suited her looks, had a sense of occasion and riding clothes always had a time and a place.
6.While hand me downs were ok, when one was required to make a presence borrowing your grandmother’s jewellery and dressing to impress were the order of day .
7.Bravery was not without fear and great adventures were the result of making a decision to go where usually no women should have apparently been.
8.One should also follow one’s heart, appreciate the universal law of karma and trust your intuition.
9.Equality was established without the man ever recognizing he had been successfully managed.
10.Every heroine had a talent whether lady like or not that they loved and excelled in. And it was maintained despite the financial circumstances.
11.Your family and their love and respect were important and you never failed to come to the aid of friends and family if needed. Unless they were an over friendly distant cousin or a sinister step mother.
12.Self discipline and physical restrain went without saying. Lust was never conceded.
13.And romance occurred when you least expected, and there were bound to be times within a relationship of struggle, arguments and concession but love would overcome any obstacle.
While truly the Mother of Romance, Barbara Cartland’s novels provided a practical guide for young girls on how to become strong independent women. With themes of independence, strength of character, the importance of good values, overcoming obstacles as well as the power of pray or conviction - a girl would be lucky to have a Barbara Cartland heroine as a role model !
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