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One wonders why the life of Dame Barbara, who died in 2000 at the age of 98, hasn't been plundered for drama earlier, for it provides rich pickings.Aside from her writing career - there were 723 published offerings at the time of her death - her personal life was just as riveting.He has spent the years following his mother's death single-handedly editing and publishing the 160 manuscripts that remain.Each month, another breathless read emerges under the banner The Pink Collection, complete with a pink cover featuring a tremulous heroine and brooding hero.Today, Glen dwells in Camfield Place, the 100-acre estate Dame Barbara bought in Hertfordshire, while Ian lives in a farmhouse on the grounds.
She would certainly know what she was getting: Ian acknowledges that his mother's plots tend to be formulaic. ' he says.'There's thwarted love, always a bad chap trying to sneak the maiden away from the hero, but in the end they fall into each other's arms and live happily ever after.' And that's where the action ends - Dame Barbara's pen stayed famously clear of the bedroom.He now lives with his second wife of eight years, the former Royal Ballet dancer Bryony Brind. My mother loved Bryony, she saw her as a Cartland heroine - you could say ours is a real Barbara Cartland story.'It cannot, one imagines, have been a walk in the park for Bryony while her mother-in-law was alive.Their wedding had to be postponed by several months following the death of Dame Barbara, and their marital happiness was overshadowed when Ian had two strokes within the first two years of their marriage. Dame Barbara may have professed huge fondness for her future daughter-in-law, but she was always candid about her preference for male company.He now walks with a limp and is paralysed down the left side, although he remains cheerful.'The strokes have been quite beastly, but I've been so lucky with Bryony, who looks after me beautifully. That preference seemed to extend to her own daughter, Raine, with whom she was said to have a fractious relationship, though Ian denies this.'They were perhaps not as close as my mother and I, but they got on very well on the whole,' he says.
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Resplendent in a voluminous neon pink gown, complete with trademark vivid eyeshadow and spidery eyelashes, Dame Barbara Cartland peers grandly out of a photograph.