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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

One of BBC's 100 Novels That Shaped Our World. 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. Part of the Macmillan Collector's Library; a series of stunning, clothbound, pocket sized classics with gold foiled edges and ribbon markers. These beautiful books make perfect gifts or a treat for any book lover. This edition is illustrated by Ruth Steed, and features an afterword by publisher Anna South. 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.

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

The life of an English family shown in terms of the chatter of youngsters, the careers and nursery memories of the middle-aged and the sense of the swift passing of the years.-12 women, 5 men

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 Starlight Barking

The Starlight Barking

Author: Dodie Smith Format: Audio disc Release Date: 01/03/2015

The Starlight Barking

The Starlight Barking

Author: Dodie Smith Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 01/03/2015

One Hundred and One Dalmatians

One Hundred and One Dalmatians

Author: Dodie Smith Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/10/2013

Pongo and Missis Pongo, pampered dogs from Regent's Park, have their 15 beloved puppies stolen by the outrageous Cruella de Vil, who thinks their coats will make a nice fur jacket. The Pongos set out to rescue their pups from an isolated mansion.

One Hundred and One Dalmatians

One Hundred and One Dalmatians

Author: Dodie Smith Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/10/2012

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.

The Midnight Kittens

The Midnight Kittens

Author: Dodie Smith Format: Paperback / softback 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.

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