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Jilly Cooper was an English author who wrote fiction and nonfiction. Born in 1937 in Hornchurch, Essex, WWII forced the author’s father to abandon his work at the Ford Motor Company. When he went overseas, the rest of the family moved to Yorkshire.
Order of Rutshire Chronicles Series
|1||Riders||1985||Description / Buy|
|2||Rivals / Players||1988||Description / Buy|
|3||Polo||1991||Description / Buy|
|4||The Man Who Made Husbands Jealous||1993||Description / Buy|
|5||Appassionata||1996||Description / Buy|
|6||Score!||1998||Description / Buy|
|7||Pandora||2002||Description / Buy|
|8||Wicked!||2006||Description / Buy|
|9||Jump!||2010||Description / Buy|
|10||Mount!||2016||Description / Buy|
Order of Jilly Cooper Standalone Novels
|1||Emily||1975||Description / Buy|
|2||Bella||1976||Description / Buy|
|3||Harriet (Short Story)||1976||Description / Buy|
|4||Octavia||1977||Description / Buy|
|5||Prudence||1978||Description / Buy|
|6||Imogen||1978||Description / Buy|
|7||Araminta's Wedding: or A Fortune Secured: A Country House Extravaganza||1993||Description / Buy|
|8||Forces Sweethearts||1994||Description / Buy|
|9||Tackle!||2023||Description / Buy|
Order of Jilly Cooper Short Story Collections
|1||Lisa and Co||1981||Description / Buy|
Order of Jilly Cooper Picture Books
|1||Little Mabel (Short Story)||1980||Description / Buy|
|2||Little Mabel's Great Escape (Short Story)||1981||Description / Buy|
|3||Little Mabel Wins (Short Story)||1982||Description / Buy|
|4||Little Mabel Saves The Day (Short Story)||1985||Description / Buy|
Order of Jilly Cooper Non-Fiction Books
|1||How to Stay Married: User's Guide to Wedlock (Short Story)||1970||Description / Buy|
|2||Jolly Super: Collected Pieces||1970||Description / Buy|
|3||Jolly Super Too||1973||Description / Buy|
|4||Jolly Superlative||1975||Description / Buy|
|5||Super Men & Super Women||1976||Description / Buy|
|6||Superjilly||1977||Description / Buy|
|7||Supercooper||1980||Description / Buy|
|8||Intelligent and Loyal||1981||Description / Buy|
|9||Class||1981||Description / Buy|
|10||The British in Love||1981||Description / Buy|
|11||Love and Other Heartaches||1981||Description / Buy|
|12||Beyond Bartlett||1982||Description / Buy|
|13||Jolly Marsupial: Down Under and Other Scenes||1982||Description / Buy|
|14||Animals In War||1983||Description / Buy|
|15||Leo and Jilly Cooper on Rugby (Short Story)||1984||Description / Buy|
|16||On Cricket (Short Story)||1985||Description / Buy|
|17||Hotfoot To Zabriskie Point (Short Story)||1985||Description / Buy|
|18||Horse Mania! (Short Story)||1986||Description / Buy|
|19||How to Survive Christmas||1986||Description / Buy|
|20||Turn Right At The Spotted Dog||1987||Description / Buy|
|21||How to Survive from Nine to Five (Short Story)||1988||Description / Buy|
|22||Angels Rush In: The Best of Jilly Cooper's Satire and Humour||1990||Description / Buy|
|23||Mongrel Magic||1992||Description / Buy|
|24||Women And Super Women (Short Story)||1992||Description / Buy|
|25||The Common Years||1994||Description / Buy|
|26||Between the Covers||2020||Description / Buy|
Jilly Cooper Anthologies
A former student at Moorfield School, Ilkley, and the Godolphin School, Salisbury, Jilly joined the Middlesex Independent as a junior reporter in 1956, which kickstarted her writing career. She attributed her success to a chance encounter at a dinner party.
She met the editor of The Sunday Times, who took an interest in the way Jilly discussed her life as a housewife. The author was surprisingly frank, and the editor asked her to write about her experiences.
The result was a popular column in which the author tackled sex, marriage, and house chores. By the time she jumped to the Mail on Sunday, Jilly had amassed a sizeable following of readers who appreciated her honesty, not to mention the interviews she had done with the likes of George Best and Margaret Thatcher.
Her first book was ‘How To Stay Married,’ which she wrote in the late 1960s. She further cemented her place in the entertainment landscape by appearing on shows like ‘What’s My Line.’ Close friends and family may have recognized aspects of the author’s life in her books.
For instance, Rupert Campbell-Black lived in a large, ancient house overlooking Frogsmoor Valley. Jilly Cooper also lived in an ancient house overlooking Toadsmoor. The author’s best-known books hail from the Rutshire Chronicles, a series with a tumultuous start.
Her fans are well aware of what happened with ‘Riders,’ the first book in the series. She wrote the novel in 1970 but left the finished manuscript on a bus during a trip to London’s West End.
Despite putting out an appeal in the London Evening Standard, the author never found the manuscript. The loss devastated her. Fortunately for her fans, she re-wrote ‘Riders,’ although it took a decade for her to start again.
Jilly’s long novels stand out because of their intricate plotting. In fact, they have so many storylines and characters that each book starts with a brief description of the characters to eliminate confusion.
Clearly, the intricacy doesn’t bother her audience because she has sold millions of copies of her books in numerous countries around the world. She spoke fondly of the lovely letters she received from readers in Romania and the Czech Republic.
On the personal front, Jilly married Leo Cooper in 1961. The pair met in 1945 when the author was eight. She was 24 when they finally married. The couple chose to adopt because they couldn’t have children.
Their marriage fell apart when Sarah Johnson (Publisher) revealed a years-long affair with Leo. But Jilly and Leo reconciled later on.
The author was 79 when she died in 2013. Jilly received a Parkinson’s diagnosis in 2002. She also suffered a minor stroke in 2010.
Jilly Cooper Awards
Jilly received nominations for the Sainsbury’s Popular Fiction Award and the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize For Comic Writing.
Jilly Cooper Books Into Movies
‘Octavia’ received a TV adaptation. ‘The Man Who Made Husbands Jealous’ became a TV miniseries.
Best Jilly Cooper Books
Besides writing novels, the author created ‘It’s Awfully Bad For Your Eyes, Darling,’ a comedy series that ran for a single series. Jilly’s best books include:
Riders: Rupert Campbell-Black is dark and handsome and knows his way around horses and women. Billy Lloyd-Foxe, his best friend and partner, is a simpler man. Jake Lovell grew up fighting for everything he wanted. Now, his incredible gift with horses will take him to new heights.
Jilly Cooper’s novel explores the complex lives of these men and the rivalries that define their careers.
Rivals: Declan O’Hara is a blessed man, boasting a radiant wife, ravishing daughters, and a handsome son. But life at Corinium Television won’t be easy for the megastar. After all, Lord Baddingham, Corinium’s Managing Director, is a crook.
Besides recruiting Declan, Baddingham has also added Cameron Cook to the team. He expects the gorgeous, domineering woman to work with Declan. But the two hate each other. Meanwhile, Rupert Campbell-Black is divorced and reckless in his pursuit of sensual pleasures. He cannot wait to dip his toes into Corinium’s burgeoning storm of controversy.
When Does The Next Jilly Cooper book come out?
Jilly Cooper doesn't seem to have an upcoming book. Their newest book is Tackle! and was released on November, 9th 2023.