Concept

Jilly Cooper

Summary
Jilly Cooper, CBE (born 21 February 1937), is an English author. She began her career as a journalist and wrote numerous works of non-fiction before writing several romance novels, the first of which appeared in 1975. She is most famous for writing the Rutshire Chronicles. Jilly Sallitt was born in Hornchurch, Essex, England, to Mary Elaine (née Whincup) and Brigadier W. B. Sallitt, OBE. She grew up in Ilkley and Surrey, and was educated at the Moorfield School in Ilkley and the Godolphin School in Salisbury. After unsuccessfully trying to begin a career in the British national press, Cooper became a junior reporter for The Middlesex Independent, based in Brentford. She worked for the paper from 1957 to 1959. Subsequently, she worked as an account executive, copywriter, publisher's reader and receptionist. Her break came with a chance meeting at a dinner party. The editor of The Sunday Times Magazine, Godfrey Smith, asked her to write a feature about her experiences. This led to a column in which Cooper wrote about marriage, sex and housework. That column ran from 1969 to 1982, when she moved to The Mail on Sunday, where she worked for another five years. Cooper's first column led to the publication of her first book, How to Stay Married, in 1969, and which was quickly followed by a guide to working life, How to Survive from Nine to Five, in 1970. Some of her journalism was collected into a single volume, Jolly Super, in 1971. The theme of class dominates much of her writing and her non-fiction (including Class itself), which is written from an explicitly upper-middle-class British perspective, with emphasis on the relationships between men and women, and matters of social class in contemporary Britain. She was in favour of the Iraq War. As with her non-fiction works, Cooper draws heavily on her own point of view and experiences. For example, her own house is the model for Rupert Campbell-Black's. Both houses are very old, although his is larger; her house overlooks a valley called Toadsmoor, while his overlooks a valley called the Frogsmore.
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