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Dodie Smith (1896–1990)

Author of I Capture the Castle

37+ Works 13,324 Members 381 Reviews 46 Favorited

About the Author


Works by Dodie Smith

I Capture the Castle (1948) 9,230 copies
One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1956) 2,398 copies
The Starlight Barking (1967) 482 copies
The New Moon with the Old (1963) 212 copies
The 101 Dalmatians (1956) 194 copies
The Town in Bloom (1965) 192 copies
It Ends with Revelations (1967) 121 copies
The Midnight Kittens (1978) 75 copies
Look Back with Love (1974) 71 copies
A Tale of Two Families (1970) 69 copies
The Uninvited [1944 film] (1944) — Screenwriter — 62 copies

Associated Works

101 Dalmatians (Disney's Wonderful World of Reading) (1995) — Original story — 1,235 copies
101 Dalmatians [1961 film] (1961) — Original story — 762 copies
101 Dalmatians (Mouseworks Classic Storybook) (1986) — Original story — 572 copies
101 Dalmatians [1996 film] (1996) — Original story — 194 copies
Walt Disney's 101 Dalmatians with Pictures From The Movie (1960) — Original story — 125 copies
102 Dalmatians [2000 film] (2000) — Original story — 117 copies
101 Dalmatians (Junior Novelization) (1996) — Original story — 89 copies
101 Dalmatians (Disney 101 Dalmatians) (Step into Reading) (2015) — Original characters — 52 copies
I Capture the Castle [2003 film] (2002) — Original book — 47 copies
Hundred and One Dalmatians (Disney Standard Characters) (1985) — Original story — 39 copies
Adventure Stories for Girls (1978) 35 copies
The Hundred and One Dalmatians: Cruella and Cadpig (2017) — Original characters — 30 copies
101 Dalmatians: The Big Dig (1997) — Original characters — 27 copies
Disney's 101 Dalmatians (A Golden Sight 'N' Sound Book) (1991) — Original story — 26 copies
The Hundred and One Dalmatians (Penguin Young Readers, Level 3) (2001) — Original characters — 20 copies
Hundred and One Dalmatians (Ladybird Book of the Film) (1996) — Original story — 11 copies
Disney's 101 Dalmatians (Mouse Works Six-in-One Set) (1997) — Original book — 10 copies
101 Dalmatians (Disney Landscape Picture Books) (1994) — Original characters — 8 copies
Hundred and One Dalmatians: The Puppies' Story (1996) — Original story — 6 copies
101 Dalmatians (Ladybird Book of the Film) (1993) — Original story — 6 copies
Hundred and One Dalmatians (First Disney Picture Books) (1998) — Original story — 2 copies
Disney's 101 Dalmatians : Finger Puppet Puppy House (2001) — Based on characters by — 1 copy


1930s (72) 20th century (154) adventure (98) animals (178) British (201) British literature (97) castles (126) children (154) children's (345) children's fiction (86) children's literature (88) classic (154) classics (184) coming of age (291) diary (58) Disney (310) dogs (290) DVD (86) England (382) English (62) family (147) fantasy (110) favorite (59) favorites (58) fiction (1,728) Folio Society (97) historical fiction (96) literature (86) love (60) movie (73) novel (174) own (77) poverty (58) read (202) romance (289) sisters (59) to-read (693) unread (65) YA (143) young adult (260)

Common Knowledge

Canonical name
Smith, Dodie
Legal name
Smith, Dorothy Gladys Beesley
Other names
Anthony, C. L. (pseudonym)
Percy, Charles Henry (pseudonym)
Date of death
Burial location
Cremated, Ashes scattered.
Country (for map)
England, UK
Whitefield, Lancashire, England, UK
Place of death
Uttlesford, Essex, England, UK
Places of residence
Whitefield, Lancashire, England, UK
Manchester, England, UK
London, England, UK
Doylestown, Pennsylvania, USA
Academy of Dramatic Art
St. Paul's Girls' School
children's book author
Heal, Ambrose (lover)
Barnes, Julian (literary executor)
Laurence Fitch (estate agent)
Short biography
Dorothy "Dodie" Smith was born in Whitefield, Lancashire, England. Her father died when she was 18 months old, and her mother took her to live with her grandparents, aunts, and uncles in Manchester. Influenced by an uncle who was an amateur actor, Dodie went on the stage by age 13, playing boy's parts. Her mother remarried in 1910 and the family moved to London. Dodie enrolled in the Academy of Dramatic Art and pursued a career as an actress for several years, with little success. In 1923, she gave up acting and took a job as a toy buyer for a department store. In 1929, she went to Leipzig, Germany for the annual toy fair, and spent some time with a friend at an inn in a small German village. On her return to England, she wrote a play, Autumn Crocus (1931), which became a hit. The "girl playwright," as the newspapers called her, then had five successful plays in a row on the London stage. In 1938, she moved to the USA with her companion and business manager, Alec Beesley, who was a pacifist. They married the following year. She began working as a screenwriter in Hollywood in 1941. In 1948, she published her first novel, I Capture the Castle, which was an immediate success. She returned to Britain in 1951 and had another major success with The Hundred and One Dalmatians (1956), later adapted into the hugely popular animated film by Disney. She continued to write books for adults and children into the 1980s, including her four volumes of autobiography, Look Back With Love: A Manchester Childhood (1974) followed by Look Back With Mixed Feelings, Look Back With Astonishment, and Look Back With Gratitude.




(Print: 1957; 978-0330243759; Piccolo Books; 199 pp.)
(Digital: Yes.)
Audio: 1/22/2002; 978-0739349540; Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group; Duration 04:33:38 (6 parts); Unabridged.
(Film: Yes).

Yes, there was an animated series from 1997-1998.

CHARACTERS: (Not comprehensive)
Pongo – Mr. and Mrs. Dearly’s male Dalmatian dog
Misses (pronounced like Mrs.) – Pongo’s wife
Perdita – A wet nurse (dog)
Prince – Perdita’s husband
Nanny Cook – The Dearly’s cook
Nanny Butler – The Dearly’s butler
Mr. Dearly – Mrs. & Pongo’s pet male human
Mrs. Dearly – Mr. Dearly’s wife
Cruella De Vil – Mrs. Dearly’s former schoolmate whose menace begins for Pongo and Missis when they hear her comment on how she’d love to have a Dalmatian fur

When Pongo and Missis have 15 puppies, their pets, Mr. and Mrs. Dearly, on the advice of a veterinarian, set about trying to find a female dog who has recently had puppies to help with the feeding of their new family. Mrs. Dearly finds just such a dog on the side of the road who is so muddy and thin that much about her is a mystery. Meanwhile a neighbor, Cruella De Vil, who loves color opposites like red and green but especially black and white, since she was born with hair that is black on one side and white on the other, sees the adult dogs and decides a Dalmatian fur is just what she needs. Thus begins the danger and adventure of this tale. I’d seen the movie but never read the book. My husband and I decided to listen to the book after he noticed that the recent movie, Cruella De Vil, was “based on the book, ‘101 Dalmatians’”
Of course, we loved it!

Dorothy Gladys (Dodie) Smith (May 3, 1896 – November 24th, 1990). According to Wikipedia, Dodie “was an English novelist and playwright. She is best known for writing the children’s novel The Hundred and One Dalmatians (1956). Other works include I Capture the Castle (1948), and The Starlight Barking (1967). The Hundred and One Dalmatians was adapted into a 1961 animated film and a 1996 live-action film, both produced by Disney. Her novel I Capture the Castle was adapted into a 2003 film version. I Capture the Castle was voted number 82 as "one of the nation's 100 best-loved novels" by the British public as part of the BBC's The Big Read (2003).[1]”

Martin Jarvis (August 4th, 1941) According to Wikipedia, Martin “is an English actor and a producer of radio drama.[1] Described by the BBC as "one of Britain's most distinguished and versatile actors",[2] he has had a varied career in theatre, film and television, and become particularly noted for radio acting and voicing audiobooks.”

Classic Literature, Juvenile Fiction

London, Suffolk

TIME FRAME: unstated

Dogs, Dalmatians, Cats, Cows, Horses, Animals

From Chapter 1, “The Happy Couples”
“Not long ago, there lived in London a young married couple of Dalmatian dogs named Pongo and Missis Pongo. (Missis had added Pongo’s name to her own on their marriage, but was still called Missis by most people.) They were lucky enough to own a your married couple of humans named Mr. and Mrs. Dearly, who were gentle, obedient, and unusually intelligent—almost canine at times. They understood quite a number of barks: the barks for “Out, please!” “In, please!” “Hurry up with my dinner!” and “What about a walk?” And even when they could not understand, they could often guess—if looked at soulfully or scratched by an eager paw. Like many other much-loved humans, they believed that they owned their dogs, instead of realizing that their dogs owned them. Pongo and Missis found this touching and amusing and let their pets think it was true.”

5 stars. How could it be anything less than 5 stars?

… (more)
TraSea | 49 other reviews | Apr 29, 2024 |
The heroine pulled me in like a magnet, and I couldn't stop reading. Love the whole motley crew in this castle.
pianistpalm91 | 293 other reviews | Apr 7, 2024 |
I wish I had stopped reading this BEFORE Cassandra's complete 180 personality shift, the second half of this was just awful and it's so sad because I was enjoying it up until she decided she was in love with Simon out of NOWHERE. I'm supposed to believe that after she spent the whole book setting him up with her sister because she wanted to? And I'm supposed to buy that ACTUALLY Rose and Neil were in love the WHOLE TIME and wtf poor Steven. Also the cover of this book said it's now "the most romantic movie of the year"... this is NOT A ROMANCE. The second half of this book is so jarringly awful compared to the delight of the first half. I loved Cassandra and now I can't stand her. I swear she has anti-character-development. What a disappointment.… (more)
ZetaRiemann | 293 other reviews | Apr 4, 2024 |
A surprisingly sweet play about a family coming back to their childhood home for their parents golden wedding anniversary. It has a lot of opportunities to be cruel, but swerves away from them all, in a warm hearted celebration of family.
atreic | Feb 1, 2024 |


1960s (1)
Teens (1)
1940s (1)
1950s (1)


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