Sophie Kinsella

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Sophie Kinsella
BornMadeleine Sophie Townley
(1969-12-12) 12 December 1969 (age 54)
Wandsworth, England
GenreRomantic comedy
Notable worksThe Shopaholic series
Henry Wickham
(m. 1991)

Madeleine Sophie Wickham, known by her pen name Sophie Kinsella, is an English author. The first two novels in her best-selling Shopaholic series, The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic and Shopaholic Abroad, were adapted into the film Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009). Her books have sold over 40 million copies in more than 60 countries, and been translated into over 40 languages.[1]

Early life[edit]

Madeleine Sophie Wickham is the eldest sister of fellow writers Gemma and Abigail Townley. She was educated at Putney High School, St Mary's School, Shaftesbury and Sherborne School for Girls. She graduated from New College, Oxford, where she initially studied Music, but after a year switched to Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE).[2] She worked as a financial journalist (including for Pensions World) before turning to fiction.[3]

Life and career[edit]

At the age of 24, Kinsella wrote her first novel, which was published when she was 26. The Tennis Party was immediately hailed as a success by critics and the public alike and became a top ten best-seller. She went on to publish six more novels as Madeleine Wickham: A Desirable Residence, Swimming Pool Sunday, The Gatecrasher, The Wedding Girl, Cocktails for Three and Sleeping Arrangements.

Wickham's first novel under the pseudonym Sophie Kinsella (taken from her middle name and her mother's maiden name)[4] was submitted to her publishers anonymously and was enthusiastically received. She revealed her real identity for the first time when Can You Keep a Secret? was published in December 2003.[5]

Kinsella is best known for writing the Shopaholic novels series of chick lit novels, which focus on the misadventures of Becky Bloomwood, a financial journalist who cannot manage her own finances. She is also known for her relationship with Luke. The series focuses on her obsession with shopping and its resulting complications for her life. The first two Shopaholic books were adapted into a film and released in February 2009.[citation needed][6]

"Shopaholic to the Rescue" was released on 22 October 2015; "Christmas Shopaholic" was released in October 2019. Her most recent standalone novels are "Love Your Life", "I Owe You One" (Feb 2019), My Not So Perfect Life and Surprise Me. In 2015, she branched into Young Adult writing with her first YA book, Finding Audrey, published in June 2015.[citation needed][7]

A musical adaptation of Kinsella's novel Sleeping Arrangements by Chris Burgess was premiered on 17 April 2013 in London at the Landor Theatre.

Personal life[edit]

In 1991, Kinsella married Henry Wickham, whom she had met at Oxford. A schoolmaster, he became head of Lockers Park Preparatory School and now manages her business affairs. They live in Dorset and London and have five children.[8]

In 2024, Kinsella revealed she had been diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer.[9]


As Sophie Kinsella[edit]

The Shopaholic series

  1. The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic (also titled Confessions of a Shopaholic) (2000)
  2. Shopaholic Abroad (also titled Shopaholic Takes Manhattan) (2001)
  3. Shopaholic Ties The Knot (2001)
  4. Shopaholic & Sister (2004)
  5. Shopaholic & Baby (2007)
  6. Mini Shopaholic (2010)
  7. Shopaholic to the Stars (2014)
  8. Shopaholic on Honeymoon (2014)
  9. Shopaholic to the Rescue (2015)
  10. Christmas Shopaholic (2019)

Standalone novels[edit]


  • Girls Night In (2004) (an omnibus of novels, along with many authors including Meg Cabot and Jennifer Weiner)
  • Finding Audrey (2015) (a young adult novel)
  • Fairy Mom and Me (2018) (an illustrated series for young readers)

As Madeleine Wickham[edit]

  • The Tennis Party (1995) (re-released as 40 Love in 2011)
  • A Desirable Residence (1996)
  • Swimming Pool Sunday (1997)
  • The Gatecrasher (1998)
  • The Wedding Girl (1999)
  • Cocktails for Three (2000)
  • Sleeping Arrangements (2001)


  1. ^ "Biography". Sophie Kinsella. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  2. ^ "Madeleine Wickham profile". Retrieved 29 March 2012.
  3. ^ Caldwell, Rebecca (21 September 2010). "Famous pen names". Chatelaine. Retrieved 30 March 2012.
  4. ^ Profile,; accessed 12 December 2015.
  5. ^ "Biography". Sophie Kinsella. Archived from the original on 10 March 2010. Retrieved 29 March 2012.
  6. ^ "Confessions of a Shopaholic release info". IMDb. 20 June 2018. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  7. ^ "Teen Reads". 20 June 2018. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  8. ^ "WICKHAM – Births Announcements – Telegraph Announcements". 15 April 2010. Archived from the original on 23 July 2011. Retrieved 29 March 2012.
  9. ^ Kinsella, Sophie. "Sharing some news". Retrieved 17 April 2024.

External links[edit]