Who is Jilly Cooper and what books is she known for?

JILLY Cooper is a popular English author.

Jilly started her career as a journalist before breaking out into fiction writing.

Jilly Coopers has sold over 11 million copies of her books in the UK alone


Jilly Coopers has sold over 11 million copies of her books in the UK aloneCredit: PA:Press Association/PA Images

Who is Jilly Cooper?

Jilly Cooper was born on February 21, 1937, in Hornchurch, Essex, in England.

Coming from a strong Yorkshire family, she spent her childhood in the Ilkley and Surrey areas.

She was educated at Moorfield School in Ilkley, and then the Godolphin School in Salisbury.

She began her career as a journalist as a junior reporter for the Middlesex Independent from 1957 to 1959.

She was asked to write a feature about her experiences by the editor-in-chief of the Sunday Times Magazine.

This proved to be her big break, as this feature led to her own column where she wrote about marriage, sex and housework.

The column ran from 1969 until 1982 when she moved to The Mail on Sunday for a further five years.

She also worked as an account executive, copywriter, publisher’s reader and receptionist.

What books has Jilly Cooper written?

The column that Jilly wrote led to the publication of her first book, How To Stay Married, in 1969.

This was quickly followed by a guide, How to Survive From Nine To Five, in 1970.

Her fourteenth novel, Pandora, was published in 2002 and spent 19 weeks on the bestseller list.

Probably her most famous book is Riders, which was published in 1985.

It is the first book in her Rutshire Chronicles Series, which runs to ten novels.

Jilly’s books have sold over 11 million copies in the UK.

They have also been translated into a number of languages and published in the US.

Some of her popular books include:

  • The Rutshire Chronicles Series
  • How to Stay Married
  • Between the Covers
  • Imogen
  • Emily
  • Animals in War

In 2023, Rivals is being made into a TV series for Disney+, with a star-studded cast.

It includes former Dr Who David Tennant, Poldark’s Aidan Turner, Sherwood star Claire Rushbrook, EastEnders’ Danny Dyer,¬†and Humans actress Katherine Parkinson.

Is Jilly Cooper married and does she have any children?

Jilly married publisher Leo Cooper in 1961.

They had many happy years of marriage together until Leo passed away in 2013.

The couple had known each other from childhood, but eventually got married when she was 24 and he was 27.

The couple adopted two children – Felix and Emily – during their marriage and they went on to have five grandchildren.

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Their marriage suffered a big shock in 1990 when publisher Sarah Johnson revealed she and Leo had a years long affair.

The couple separated for some time but they eventually reconciled and got back together.

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