Barbara Taylor Bradford is a Yorkshire legend who has taken the world by storm.
Bradford talks Exclusively to Belfield about her life, career & international success.
Ms. Taylor Bradford, OBE is a best-selling English novelist. Her debut novel, A Woman of Substance, was published in 1979 and has sold over 30 million copies worldwide. It ranks as one of the top-ten bestselling novels of all-time.
Enjoy a rare and Exclusive insight into her remarkable life…..
Barbara Taylor Bradford was born in Leeds, in Yorkshire, England, in 1933, to Freda and Winston Taylor. Before Taylor Bradford’s birth, her parents had had a son, Vivian, who died of meningitis. She would later describe her mother as having “…put all her frustrated love into me.”
Taylor Bradford’s father was an engineer, and had lost his leg serving in the First World War. Taylor Bradford would later fictionalise her parent’s marriage in her 1986 novel, An Act of Will. Fellow Yorkshire writer Alan Bennett attended the same nursery school as Taylor Bradford in the Leeds suburb of Upper Armley.
As a child during World War II Taylor Bradford held a jumble sale at her school, and donated the £2 proceeds to the ‘Aid to Russia’ fund. She later received a handwritten thank-you letter from Clementine Churchill, the wife of Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
Taylor Bradford’s biographer, Piers Dudgeon, uncovered evidence that her mother, Freda, was the illegitimate daughter of Frederick Robinson, 2nd Marquess of Ripon, a local Yorkshire aristocrat.
Taylor Bradford’s grandmother had worked as a servant for the Marquess. Dudgeon told Taylor Bradford that her grandmother had had three children by the Marquess, and after some hesitation, she allowed Dudgeon to publish the book.
Though Taylor Bradford was initially angry at Dudgeon’s discovery, she later said that “…I came round. There’s no stigma now.” Taylor Bradford’s grandmother would later spend time in a workhouse. Taylor Bradford would later explore the workhouses of her ancestors in the ITV television series, Secrets of the Workhouse which broadcast in 2013.