I’m in the middle of reading I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith (my Classics Club spin book!), and I’m really loving it. Although it was written in 1949, it has a very modern feel and the main character of Cassandra is just great. She reminds me in a lot of ways of a slightly older Flavia DeLuce from Alan Bradley’s series of mystery novels. She’s smart, adventurous, and saddled with a very eccentric family.
Because this is my first Dodie Smith novel, I was curious to learn more about her. After reading up a bit online, I discovered some pretty interesting things that I thought I would share:
1. Smith grew up surrounded by family members with theatrical ambitions, and she wrote her first play at the age of 10.
2. Smith eventually married her longtime friend and business partner, Alec Macbeth Beesley, whose father was one of the survivors of the sinking of the Titanic.
3. Her first novel, I Capture the Castle, was written after she had moved to the U.S. and was feeling nostalgic about her English childhood.
4. Her most famous work, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, was inspired by a friend’s comment that her Dalmatians would “make a lovely fur coat!”
5. Pongo was named after Smith’s own pet Dalmatian.
Have any of you read other works by Dodie Smith? Have any recommendations for which one I should read next?