After graduating from Putney High School and earning a degree in PPE from New College, Oxford in 1987, Wickham worked as a financial journalist (including for Pensions World) before turning to fiction.
While working as a financial journalist, at the age of 24, wrote her first novel. The Tennis Party was immediately hailed as a success by critics and the public alike and became a top ten bestseller. 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.Her first novel as ' Sophie Kinsella' was submitted to her existing publishers anonymously and her editors jumped at it not knowing who it was really from. 'Sophie' revealed her real identity for the first time when Can You Keep a Secret? was published in December of 2005.
Sophie 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. 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, with Isla Fisher playing Becky and Hugh Dancy as Luke Brandon.
Her latest novel under the name Sophie Kinsella, Twenties Girl, was released in the UK in July 2009. She also has another addition to the Shopaholic series, Mini Shopaholic, which is out September 2010.
Madeleine lives in Hertfordshire and London with her husband, Henry Wickham, a headmaster of a boys' prep school. They have been married for 17 years and have four sons, Freddy, 14, Hugo, 12, Oscar, 5, and Rex, 5 months.. She is also the sister of fellow writer, Gemma Townley.