Joan Rosita Torr was born at Morton Hall, Swinderby in Lincolnshire, the daughter of a landowning family. He un-English name came from a Spanish grandmother. Rosita was educated at home. In 1911, she married Colonel Ronald Forbes, with whom she travelled around the globe to places such as India, China, Australia, and South Africa. Rosita was an intrepid traveller who enjoying going to remote or forbidden places, frequenting bazaars, and making friends with local peoples. During World War I, she drove an ambulance and received medals from the French government for her service. She and her first husband divorced in 1917, and Rosita remarried to Arthur McGrath of County Clare, Ireland. She continued to travel the world, sometimes piloting her own plan, and used her varied and exciting experiences to produce popular travel books and documentary films now considered classics, such as The Secret of the Sahara-Kufara (1922), From Red Sea to Blue Nile (1928), The Prodigious Caribbean (1940), Appointment in the Sun (1949), and, Islands in the Sun (1950). She also wrote the biography Sir Henry Morgan, Pirate and Pioneer (1948) and a volume of memoirs. Rosita Forbes was named a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. See also From the Sahara to Samarkand–Selected Travel Writings of Rosita Forbes, 1919-1937 edited by Margaret Bald.