“Dude, you’ve got Stockholm Syndrome with Barbara Cartland.”
For eight hours a day I live in a window. I am surrounded by colourful ridiculous brilliant things and among them are blown up book covers from that record breakingly prolific author. Her books are scattered about hither and yon, and when you discover me I’m reading one. It’s my opener. Connection in a book to genuine human connection.
I’ve finished one book already just from reading it through the gauze in my Panda head as I wait for people to come. It’s hard to see but I’ve got time. It was “A Touch of Love,” where Tamara melts the stony heart of the Duke by first finding the love in her own heart. It turned the pages. Tamara with her oval face and her long “Hungarian” ginger hair, The magnificent but cruel Duke with his stallion. It’s kind of Jane Eyre without the literature. There’s a bit of magic thrown in. All the loose ends get tied up neatly in a little bow and onto the next book.
She’s dictated her oeuvre, each book after a period of meticulous research. Well over 200 of them. You can see she knows a great deal of detail about how a big country house can be run. She’s very involved in how guests are supposed to be welcomed so she can highlight the shortfalls in her fictional Duke. She’s a champion of the Romany people, she believes there are magic healers out there, and apart from kissing eventually it is all very clean in her pages. No unnecessary raciness thank you very much.
There’s a book she put out when she was famous called “I seek the miraculous,” which is diary snippets from times when she has encountered something slightly magical or ghostly or otherworldly. It is filled with little epigrams and moral snippets, fragments of happy doggerel and observations that could be characterised as innocent or trite depending on your predilections. I like it very much. You couldn’t publish it if you weren’t famous. It reads as if she never lost the glow in her eyes, with her bouffy hair and dripping with jewellery and floofy dogs, living out of some stately home and channeling a romantic book every few days. “I ask myself, and then the book arrives, fully formed. All I have to do is speak it.’
It’s good clean wholesome drivel. It teaches insidious things about how important money is, and it enshrines bad old class systems. I could take her apart much more easily than I can build her up. But she’s worthy of respect, giving an escape to so many, being so prolific and actually having a good heart under all the pearls. Good old Babs.
I’ll probably read another one next week, and see the formula. I’d sooner read this crap than Fifty Shades crap though. I might not choose these books, but I’m locked in with them. Just as her heroines do, I’m solving it with love instead of hate. Generally it’s the best way. Power to the Cartland.