Wendy Holden is a bestselling British author. Her historical novel about the Queen's childhood, The Governess (2020), was published in ten countries. Not to be confused with Wendy Holden (born 1961), novelist and journalist.
Wendy Holden grew up in Cleckheaton, a town in the West Riding of Yorkshire. She went to Whitcliffe Mount School and then studied English at Girton College, graduating from Cambridge University in the mid-1980s.
Holden relocated to London, where she found work in the magazine business. She worked for The Diplomat monthly and eventually became an editor there. Later on, Wendy started working at The Sunday Times, which she left in 2000 to concentrate on writing.
"At the beginning of my career, I drew a lot of inspiration from various of my jobs. I was a journalist for fourteen years, and there were few national newspapers or magazines whose glass doors were not darkened by me at some stage. The Telegraph, The Mail, Harpers & Queen to mention a few, but what really lit the blue touchpaper was the Sunday Times," Holden says.
One of her responsibilities at the title was ghostwriting a column on behalf of socialite Tara Palmer-Tomkinson, an experience that Holden says influenced her first novel, Simply Divine (1999).
Wendy Holden continued to write a series of novels, most of which became bestsellers. She describes her early work as "chick lit" and "supermarket novels."
After over a decade focused on the genre, Holden turned her attention to historical fiction. Her first novel in the genre, The Governess, told the story of Marion Crawford, governess to the future Queen Elizabeth II.
Her subsequent, The Duchess, released in 2021, focused on the life of Wallis Simpson.
Wendy Holden is married, has two children, and lives in the north of England in a house built of dark stone and shaped like a tiny castle.