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Dodie Smith - Author

About the Author

Dodie Smith was born in Manchester in 1896. Aged 17 she set off for London, determined to become an actress, but she struggled to find work, living off baked beans in freezing hostels. While working at the famous Heals department store, Dodie turned to writing plays instead, and her first was an overnight sensation - the newspapers excitedly declared 'Shopgirl Turns Playwright!'. During the war she moved to Hollywood with her husband, and it was there, spurned on by regret and homesickness for the English countryside she'd left behind, that Dodie began writing I Capture the Castle. When a friend gave Dodie a dalmatian puppy (presented in a hat box!) this began a life-long love of the spotty dogs. Dodie's well-loved novel 101 Dalmatians was inspired by her experiences of raising fifteen puppies. She lived in a ramshackle cottage with her husband and many other animals until her death in 1990, aged 94.

Featured books by Dodie Smith

Other books by Dodie Smith

The Hundred and One Dalmatians Modern Classic

The Hundred and One Dalmatians Modern Classic

Author: Dodie Smith Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/11/2018

A hundred and one dalmatians and more! This bumper Modern Classic edition includes the original Hundred and One Dalmatians and Dodie Smith's sequel, Starlight Barking. Cruella de Vil is enough to frighten the spots off a Dalmatian puppy. So when she steals a whole family of them, the puppies' parents, Pongo and Missus, lose no time in mounting a daring rescue mission. Will they be in time to thwart Cruella's evil scheme, or have they bitten off more than they can chew? Perfect for fans of the classic Disney film.

I Capture the Castle

I Capture the Castle

Author: Dodie Smith Format: Hardback Release Date: 21/09/2017

The eccentric Mortmain family have been rattling around in a vast, decrepit castle for years, gradually slipping into financial ruin. Mortmain is crippled by writer's block, while his beautiful second wife Topaz struggles to be a dutiful stepmother to Rose, Cassandra and Thomas. Rose needs a husband, Thomas an education but Cassandra lives for her writing. Through her gloriously witty and shrewd diaries, she chronicles the trials of family life, the impact on their prospects of the arrival of a glamorous American family, and the agonies of falling in love for the first time. A wonderfully quirky coming-of-age story, I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith, author of The Hundred and One Dalmatians is an affectionately drawn portrait of one of the funniest families in literature. This beautiful Macmillan Collector's Library edition of I Capture the Castle is illustrated by Ruth Steed, and features an afterword by publisher Anna South. Designed to appeal to the booklover, the Macmillan Collector's Library is a series of beautiful gift editions of much-loved classic titles. Macmillan Collector's Library are books to love and treasure.

Cant ac Un Dalmasiwn

Cant ac Un Dalmasiwn

Author: Dodie Smith, Peter Bently Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 14/09/2017

Dear Octopus Play

Dear Octopus Play

Author: Dodie Smith Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 19/04/2016

Successfully produced in London and New York. Dear Octopus is the family from which none of its members are either able or quite willing to escape. And on the occasion of a golden wedding anniversary, the children and grandchildren gather to reminisce and acquaint each other more fully with their activities. The life of this English family is shown in terms of the chatter of the youngsters, the careers and nursery memories of the middle-aged and the sense of the swift passing of the years, the sweetness of an old nurse, the minor frictions and abiding loyalty of brothers and sisters, the feast-day toast and the benevolent tyranny of the grandmother, Woven throughout the proceedings is a love story between Fenny, companion to Mrs. Randolph, and Nicholas Randolph.

I Capture the Castle A BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation

I Capture the Castle A BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation

Author: Dodie Smith Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 03/03/2016

Toby Jones and Holliday Grainger star in a new BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of Dodie Smith's enduringly popular coming-of-age novel In the 1930s, seventeen-year-old Cassandra Mortmain lives in a crumbling ruin of a castle in the Suffolk countryside. Her father, an author wrestling with writer's block, spends his time reading detective stories; her bohemian stepmother Topaz is an artist's model, and her beautiful older sister Rose is determined to escape the poverty of their existence - ideally by marriage to a rich man. Intelligent and observant, Cassandra chronicles the eccentricities of her relations in her journal, in a bid to capture her family and their lives at the castle. When two rich American brothers, Simon and Neil Cotton, arrive unexpectedly, the family's isolation is disrupted. Rose accepts a marriage proposal from Simon, and as she is whisked off to a world of wealth in London, Cassandra is left to deal with the increasingly bizarre behaviour of her father - as well as her own feelings for Simon... Dodie Smith's charming, funny and poignant love story is a classic of 20th-Century English literature and this sparkling adaptation, starring Toby Jones and Holliday Grainger, will enchant and delight. Duration: 2 hours

I Capture the Castle

I Capture the Castle

Author: Dodie Smith Format: eBook Release Date: 03/03/2016

Toby Jones and Holliday Grainger star in a new BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of Dodie Smith's enduringly popular coming-of-age novel In the 1930s, seventeen-year-old Cassandra Mortmain lives in a crumbling ruin of a castle in the Suffolk countryside. Her father, an author wrestling with writer's block, spends his time reading detective stories; her bohemian stepmother Topaz is an artist's model, and her beautiful older sister Rose is determined to escape the poverty of their existence - ideally by marriage to a rich man. Intelligent and observant, Cassandra chronicles the eccentricities of her relations in her journal, in a bid to capture her family and their lives at the castle. When two rich American brothers, Simon and Neil Cotton, arrive unexpectedly, the family's isolation is disrupted. Rose accepts a marriage proposal from Simon, and as she is whisked off to a world of wealth in London, Cassandra is left to deal with the increasingly bizarre behaviour of her father - as well as her own feelings for Simon... Dodie Smith's charming, funny and poignant love story is a classic of 20th-Century English literature and this sparkling adaptation, starring Toby Jones and Holliday Grainger, will enchant and delight. Duration: 2 hours

The Town in Bloom

The Town in Bloom

Author: Dodie Smith Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/11/2015

A determined young Lancashire girl arrives in London intent on a stage career - this tale from the author of I Capture the Castle is told with the candour and authenticity that derives from Dodie Smith's own experience of the theatre world. Mouse never did fully suit her nickname. Tiny she may have been, but timid never. After less than twenty-four hours in London she had bluffed her way into an audition at a famous theatre, infuriated its forceful young stage director, and amused its kind if quite amoral actor-manager. She had finally landed not a part but a toehold as a junior secretary. During her involvement in the engrossing affairs of the Crossway Theatre she met her friends Molly, a baby-faced six-footer; and elegant, ambitious Lilian, who was fated to clash disastrously with Mouse. Later, there was also Zelle, rich, generous, enigmatic, and responsible for an outing to Suffolk village pageant which proved a turning point for them all. Life was always surprising the fearless Mouse: when she unexpectedly got to a chance to act she made an unforgettable impression, though not the one she had intended. However, nothing prepared her for the assault of first love, highly unsuitable, but welcomed by her in a way which was to have far-reaching consequences. Only when she looks back after a reunion luncheon does she realise the full effects of that shared summer on her friends and herself. A startlingly frank yet nostalgic read, this is a charming novel about coming of age and the healing effects of time.

The Midnight Kittens

The Midnight Kittens

Author: Dodie Smith Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/09/2012

I Capture The Castle

I Capture The Castle

Author: Dodie Smith, Valerie Grove Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/03/2012

Cassandra Mortmain lives with her bohemian and impoverished family in a crumbling castle in the middle of nowhere. Her journal records her life with her beautiful, bored sister, Rose, her fadingly glamorous stepmother, Topaz, her little brother Thomas and her eccentric novelist father who suffers from a financially crippling writer's block. However, all their lives are turned upside down when the American heirs to the castle arrive and Cassandra finds herself falling in love for the first time.

Stop What You re Doing and Read To Your Daughter: I Capture the Castle & The Secret Garden

Stop What You re Doing and Read To Your Daughter: I Capture the Castle & The Secret Garden

Author: Dodie Smith, Frances Hodgson Burnett Format: eBook Release Date: 29/02/2012

To mark the publication of Stop What You're Doing and Read This!, a collection of essays celebrating reading, Vintage Classics are releasing 12 limited edition themed ebook 'bundles', to tempt readers to discover and rediscover great books. I CAPTURE THE CASTLE'I write this sitting in the kitchen sink' is the first line of this timeless, witty and enchanting novel about growing up. Cassandra Mortmain lives with her bohemian and impoverished family in a crumbling castle in the middle of nowhere. Her journal records her life with her beautiful, bored sister, Rose, her fadingly glamorous stepmother, Topaz, her little brother Thomas and her eccentric novelist father who suffers from a financially crippling writer's block. However, all their lives are turned upside down when the American heirs to the castle arrive and Cassandra finds herself falling in love for the first time...THE SECRET GARDENMary Lennox is an orphan who is sent to live with her uncle at gloomy Misselthwaite Manor. Neglected and lonely, she begins to explore her new home and learns of a secret garden that her uncle has forbidden anyone to enter. A friendly robin shows Mary the key to the garden and she discovers a world she could never have imagined... The Secret Garden has enchanted generations of children and adults alike.

I Capture The Castle

I Capture The Castle

Author: Dodie Smith Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 17/04/2008

This is the wonderful journal of Cassandra Mortmain, aged 17. A heartwarming and completely original coming-of-age story, it is the account of one year in her life and that of her extraordinary family. With great wit and sensitivity Cassandra reveals her eccentric father with writer's block, her clever younger brother Tom, and eldest sister Rose, beautiful, bored, and mainly interested in marrying a rich man. Then there is their stepmother Topaz, a rather exotic artist's model, and Stephen who works for the family and is hopelessly in love with Cassandra. When two young American men, Simon and Neil, arrive to live nearby, the lives of this intimate community are changed forever. Cassandra records the events in her diary from the crumbling castle, which is their home. The result is marvellously funny and genuinely moving. Emilia Fox the narrator, is one of Britain's best-loved television and radio actors, and star of Silent Witness.

101 Dalmatians

101 Dalmatians

Author: Dodie Smith Format: eBook Release Date: 10/10/2006

The book that inspired the animated movie classic!When Dearly's Dalmatians have their first litter of pupsfifteen in alleveryone is delighted. But their joy is shortlived, for the pups are kidnapped! Scotland Yard is baffled, but the keenest canine minds are on the caseand on the trail of Cruella de Vil, the most fiendish person to ever covet a fur coat.Pongo and Missis would give everything they have to bring their puppies safely home... but will they succeed in rescuing them from the cluthes of the evil Cruella de Vil?"e;A tale full to overflowing with those prime requisites of a good storywarmth and humor, imagination and suspense."e;Chicago Sunday Tribune"e;Superb reading. The puzzle of the hundred and one is delightful.... Highly recommended."e;SLJ

The Hundred And One Dalmatians

The Hundred And One Dalmatians

Author: Dodie Smith Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 07/08/2006

Patricia Hodge stars as Cruella de Vil in this full-cast dramatisation of the much-loved story. Pongo lives happily with his human pets Mr. and Mrs. Dearly in a large house in Regent's Park. When his wife Missis produces a litter of 15 beautiful pups, life seems wonderfully complete. But the mysterious disappearance of the puppies suddenly throws everything into turmoil. Pongo, one of the keenest brains in Dogdom, quickly realises that he and Missis are the only hope for their youngsters' survival. And so the fearless pair set out on a bleak winter's journey into great dangers, helped along the way by the gallant Colonel, a sheepdog of the Old School. Dodie Smith's canine classic brought pleasure to millions as a Disney film. All its original charm and warmth are fully evident here in this full-cast dramatisation which stars Patricia Hodge as Cruella de Vil, along with Joan Sims, Brenda Blethyn, Nicky Henson and Polly James.

The Hundred and One Dalmatians

The Hundred and One Dalmatians

Author: Dodie Smith Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/06/2006

Dodie Smith's classic tale about 101 Dalmations and their fight for survival against the evil Cruella De Vil. When Missis and Pongo's puppies go missing, the two Dalmatian parents know the scary Cruella De Vil has had something to do with it. After all, she adores furs, and the Dalmatians have such beautiful coats . . . The dogs' pets, Mr and Mrs Dearly, don't understand them, so it is up to Pongo and Missis to rescue their pups - with the help of all the dogs in England. The Hundred and One Dalmations is an all-time classic children's book. Famously adapted by Walt Disney Studios, it continues to be one of the most popular children's books long after the author's death.

I Capture the Castle

I Capture the Castle

Author: Dodie Smith, Valerie Grove Format: Paperback Release Date: 31/01/2004

A 2012 World Book Night selection. Cassandra Mortmain lives with her bohemian and impoverished family in a crumbling castle in the middle of nowhere. Her journal records her life with her beautiful, bored sister, Rose, her fadingly glamorous stepmother, Topaz, her little brother Thomas and her eccentric novelist father who suffers from a financially crippling writer's block. However, all their lives are turned upside down when the American heirs to the castle arrive and Cassandra finds herself falling in love for the first time...

The New Moon With the Old

The New Moon With the Old

Author: Dodie Smith Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 20/12/2003

From the author of I Capture the Castle and The Hundred and One Dalmatians, an unusual adventure in which humour and more than a touch of strangeness are inextricably blended. When Jane Minton arrives at Dome House as a secretary-housekeeper, she finds herself sharing the comfortable country home of four attractive young people. Their charming widower father, Rupert Carrington is too occupied with his London business to see very much of them. Richard, the eldest, is a composer; Clare, whose true talents (if they can be called that) have not yet disclosed themselves, dreams of courtly romance; Drew is collecting material for a novel; and Merry, still at school, has her heart set on a stage career. Jane is warmly welcomed into this happy household and feels her luck is too good to be true. However, the private world of Dome House is fated to break up as Rupert flees England under threat of prosecution for fraud. He asks Jane to break the news to the children, who must now fend for themselves, and to do what she can to help them. However, the Carringtons are extremely unusual young people and the story of the eclectic choices they make next is an absorbing and unpredictable one.

It Ends With Revelations

It Ends With Revelations

Author: Dodie Smith Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 20/12/2003

During a summer festival in an English spa town Miles Quentin, a distinguished actor, and his devoted wife become friendly with the local MP Geoffrey Thornton, and his young daughters Robin and Kit. All of these attractive, intelligent and busy people seem untroubled at first. But the surface of their lives conceals problems which start to come to light after the Quentin's return to their London theatre world and the Thornton's to their Westminster home. This leads to an unconventional love story in which loyalty may prove more important than love. It Ends with Revelations deals with complex issues of love and commitment, while retaining elements of the light hearted comedy of I Capture The Castle and the nostalgic charm of The Town in Full Bloom. As ever, the vivacity of Dodie Smith's writing and the warmth of her characters will keep readers guessing until the last page.

Hundred And One Dalmatians

Hundred And One Dalmatians

Author: Dodie Smith Format: eBook Release Date: 07/07/1996

Patricia Hodge stars as Cruella de Vil in this full-cast dramatisation of the much-loved story. Pongo lives happily with his human pets Mr. and Mrs. Dearly in a large house in Regent's Park. When his wife Missis produces a litter of 15 beautiful pups, life seems wonderfully complete. But the mysterious disappearance of the puppies suddenly throws everything into turmoil. Pongo, one of the keenest brains in Dogdom, quickly realises that he and Missis are the only hope for their youngsters' survival. And so the fearless pair set out on a bleak winter's journey into great dangers, helped along the way by the gallant Colonel, a sheepdog of the Old School. Dodie Smith's canine classic brought pleasure to millions as a Disney film. All its original charm and warmth are fully evident here in this full-cast dramatisation which stars Patricia Hodge as Cruella de Vil, along with Joan Sims, Brenda Blethyn, Nicky Henson and Polly James.

I Capture The Castle

I Capture The Castle

Author: Dodie Smith Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 17/01/1991

Cassandra Mortmain is no ordinary teenager. She belongs to an extraordinary family including a father suffering from writer's block and a lute-playing stepmother, Topaz, who communes with nature near the wild, tumble-down castle that is their home. Cassandra's diary reveals how their lives are changed forever two American brothers arrive to lay claim, not only to their home, but also their hearts.

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