Skip to main content

Forbes, Rosita (1893–1967)

Forbes, Rosita (1893–1967)

English traveler and writer . Born Joan Rosita Torr in Swinderley, Lincolnshire, England, in 1893; died in 1967; daughter of Herbert J. Torr; educated privately; married Col. Ronald Forbes, around 1910 (divorced 1917); married Col. Arthur T. McGrath, in 1921.

Selected works:

Unconducted Wanderers (1919); The Sultan of the Mountains: The Life Story of Raisuli (1924); A Fool's Hell (1924); From Red Sea to Blue Nile (1925); If the Gods Laugh (1925); Sirocco (1927); Adventure (1928); King's Mate (1928); One Flesh (1930); Conflict: Angora to Afghanistan (1931); Ordinary People (1931); The Secret of the Sahara! Kufara (1931); Eight Republicans in Search of a Future (1933); Women Called Wild (1935); Forbidden Road: Kabul to Samarkand (1937); These Are Real People (1937); India of the Princes (1939); A Unicorn in the Bahamas (1940); These Men I Knew (1940).

Born in Lincolnshire, England, in 1893, and consumed by maps at an early age, Rosita Forbes traversed the world several times during her lifetime, turning out novels and nonfiction based on her experiences. She began her phenomenal career in 1915, driving an ambulance for the French Societé de Secours aux Blessés Militaires and winning two medals for valor. Her travels took her to every country in the world with the exception of Tibet and New Zealand, and on one of her trips around the world, she covered 30 countries in 13 months. Her adventures included an attempted pilgrimage to Mecca disguised as an Arab; a journey to the Atlas Mountains to write the life of Ahmed Raisuli, a Moroccan brigand and kidnapper, and a 14,000-mile trip around Central and South America, flying her own plane.

Forbes' first book Unconducted Wanderers (1919) was a chronicle of a trip to the Far East with a woman friend. Later books were the results of her visits to remote areas of the world, where she liked to live among the people. Her narratives unite a firm grasp of international politics with a gift for racy, exhilarating writing; her stories about real people and events are considered by some to be more interesting and romantic than her novels. In two of her later books, These are Real People (1937) and These Men I Knew (1940), Forbes described some of the many people she had met. She also enjoyed speaking about her travels. In 1924, she crossed the United States, giving 88 lectures in 91 days. In 1940, in Canada, she gave 64 lectures and 9 broadcasts under the auspices of the National Council of Education.

Forbes, described as a slender, almost frail-looking woman, was married twice, although neither marriage curbed her wanderlust. She wrote under the name of her first husband, Colonel Ronald Forbes, whom she married around 1910, age 17, and divorced in 1917. Her second husband, Colonel Arthur T. McGrath, was with the British War Office. In her later years, Forbes lived and worked in the Bahamas. She died in 1967.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Forbes, Rosita (1893–1967)." Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 15 Nov. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Forbes, Rosita (1893–1967)." Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 15, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/women/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/forbes-rosita-1893-1967

"Forbes, Rosita (1893–1967)." Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia. . Retrieved November 15, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/women/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/forbes-rosita-1893-1967

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.