For years, the only Dodie Smith book most U.S. readers had heard of was The Hundred and One Dalmatians, which was the basis for one of Disney's most successful animated films. More recently, Smith has become known as the author of one of J. K. Rowling's favorite novels, I Capture the Castle, the captivating tale of a 17-year-old writer and her eccentric family.
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Also Known As:
Dorothy Gladys Smith (full name); C. L. Anthony
Date of Birth:
May 3, 1896
Place of Birth:
Withefield, Lancashire, England
Date of Death:
November 24, 1990
|Place of Death:
Academy of Dramatic Art, 1914
|Our Book Club Pick|
|I Capture the Castle|
In I Capture the Castle, the teenage narrator and her sister briefly discuss whether it would be better to live in a Jane Austen or a Charlotte Brontë novel. Author Smith cleverly combines courtship follies with gothic romanticism, light irony with a sense of the sublime, to produce a tale that's a little bit Austen, a little bit Brontë -- and entirely enchanting.
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|From Page to Screen|
|The film adaptation of I Capture The Castle hit theaters in July 2003. The movie stars Rose Byrne (Two Hands), Romola Garai (Daniel Deronda), and Henry Thomas (Legends of the Fall). Salon calls the film "a quiet, charming picture (if not a dazzling one) that's true in spirit to its source material, capturing most of the carefully-shaped dimensions of Smith's characters, as well as much of her sharpness about the exceedingly unromantic reality of poverty."|
|Smith's Canine Classic||A Doting Fan on Dodie|
|The Hundred and One Dalmatians|
Smith's best-loved work was a novel before Disney made it a cinema sensation. In it, Pongo the Dalmatian (inspired by Smith's real-life pooch) and his wife, Missis, undertake a daring expedition to rescue their 15 puppies from the clutches of the vicious Cruella de Vil.
|Dear Dodie: The Life of Dodie Smith|
Grove, a London journalist and longtime admirer of Smith's, tells her favorite author's colorful life story, deftly illuminating the wit, charm, and sass of her subject.