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Dodie Smith (1896–1990)

Författare till Jag erövrar slottet

34+ verk 12,930 medlemmar 373 recensioner 46 favoritmärkta

Om författaren


Verk av Dodie Smith

Jag erövrar slottet (1948) 9,027 exemplar
The Starlight Barking (1967) 467 exemplar
The New Moon with the Old (1963) 209 exemplar
The 101 Dalmatians (1956) 188 exemplar
The Town in Bloom (1965) 187 exemplar
It Ends with Revelations (1967) 118 exemplar
The Midnight Kittens (1978) 73 exemplar
Look Back with Love (1974) 70 exemplar
A Tale of Two Families (1970) 67 exemplar
The Uninvited [1944 film] (1944) — Screenwriter — 59 exemplar
Look Back with Mixed Feelings (1978) 15 exemplar

Associerade verk

101 Dalmatians (Disney's Wonderful World of Reading) (1995) — Original story — 1,177 exemplar
Pongo och de 101 dalmatinerna (1961) — Original story — 717 exemplar
101 Dalmatians (Mouseworks Classic Storybook) (1986) — Original story — 544 exemplar
101 Dalmatians [1996 live action film] (1996) — Original story — 185 exemplar
Walt Disney's 101 Dalmatians with Pictures From The Movie (1960) — Original story — 117 exemplar
102 Dalmatians [2000 live action film] (2000) — Original story — 111 exemplar
101 Dalmatians (Junior Novelization) (1996) — Original story — 87 exemplar
101 Dalmatians (Disney 101 Dalmatians) (Step into Reading) (2015) — Original characters — 50 exemplar
I Capture the Castle [2003 film] (2002) — Original book — 45 exemplar
Hundred and One Dalmatians (Disney Standard Characters) (1985) — Original story — 38 exemplar
Adventure Stories for Girls (1978) 34 exemplar
101 Dalmatians: The Big Dig (1997) — Original characters — 26 exemplar
Disney's 101 Dalmatians (A Golden Sight 'N' Sound Book) (1991) — Original story — 25 exemplar
The Hundred and One Dalmatians: Cruella and Cadpig (2017) — Original characters — 25 exemplar
The Hundred and One Dalmatians (Penguin Young Readers, Level 3) (2001) — Original characters — 20 exemplar
Hundred and One Dalmatians (Ladybird Book of the Film) (1996) — Original story — 11 exemplar
Disney's 101 Dalmatians (Mouse Works Six-in-One Set) (1997) — Original book — 10 exemplar
101 Dalmatians (Disney Landscape Picture Books) (1994) — Original characters — 7 exemplar
Hundred and One Dalmatians: The Puppies' Story (1996) — Original story — 6 exemplar
101 Dalmatians (Ladybird Book of the Film) (1993) — Original story — 6 exemplar
One Hundred and One Dalmatians Authorized Walt Disney Edition (1960) — Original story — 4 exemplar
Hundred and One Dalmatians (First Disney Picture Books) (1998) — Original story — 2 exemplar
Disney's 101 Dalmatians : Finger Puppet Puppy House (2001) — Based on characters by — 1 exemplar


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Allmänna fakta

Namn enligt folkbokföringen
Smith, Dorothy Gladys Beesley
Andra namn
Anthony, C. L. (pseudonym)
Percy, Charles Henry (pseudonym)
Cremated, Ashes scattered.
Land (för karta)
England, UK
Whitefield, Lancashire, England, UK
Uttlesford, Essex, England, UK
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)
Kort biografi
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.




3.5 stars

I loved the first half of the story, describing the ruined castle the family lives in, their poverty, the eccentricities of a couple of main characters; and, especially, the funny asides here and there from the narrator, 17-year-old Cassandra.

The second half is ultimately all about unrequited love. Wealth is introduced. A violent, moody, man is never called out for his failings, because he's a "genius." Tragic, romantic "twists" to the story are detailed.

The way everything ends is honestly just ridiculous, and I had a hard time rating this book because of my very mixed feelings about it...

Note: There is some mild profanity.
… (mer)
RachelRachelRachel | 287 andra recensioner | Nov 21, 2023 |
The sunny and romantic feel of Dorothy Macardle's wonderful book about a young brother and sister buying a home on the English coast and getting more than they bargained for was kept intact in this true film classic. Victor Young's beautiful score captured perfectly the light and comical intruded upon by a haunting mystery and ghost story. His “Stella by Starlight” is on a par with David Raksin's “Laura” as one of the most evocative songs ever composed for a film.

If asked to name the most beautiful star of the 1940s, most would probably tag Hedy Lamarr or Gene Tierney. But if asked who was the prettiest, most would probably say Gail Russell. She will always be remembered for her role as the young and lovely Stella Meredith, looking for love and acceptance from a mother long-deceased. Tragedy took this radiant star from us at a young age but she lives on in films like this one.

Ray Milland is excellent as always as Roderick (Rick) Fitzgerald and Ruth Hussey is his sister Pamela. They are both excited when they happen upon the beautiful house along the coast called Wynwood (Cliff End in the novel). They purchase it from the Commander (Donald Crisp) under protest from his lovely granddaughter Stella (Gail Russell). Her reason for not wanting the house sold is revealed when a light and enjoyable romance blossoms between she and Roderick.

She and Roderick go sailing and Russell is breathtaking with the ocean breeze blowing her hair. Roderick gets sea sick in an amusing moment and Stella's longing for a connection to the mother she lost when she was just a toddler is highlighted for the first time when she reveals the perfume she wears has the same mimosa scent as the one her mother wore. It is a scent that fills the nursery in Wynwood, and gives Stella a feeling of being loved when she is there.

But all is not well at Wynwood, with a sobbing heard late at night and a sea-fog driving Stella to the cliff where her mother fell and died. It is all tied to the mystery of a young Spanish Gypsy girl named Carmel who posed for Stella's artist father. Stella is protected and loved one moment, and in danger the next. Roderick loves Stella and knows he must somehow solve the mystery of what happened to rid their lives of this cloud so he that and Stella can be happy.

Dr. Scott (Alan Napier) may help them find the answers as he has access to notes the doctor of Stella's mother and Carmel made. Dr. Scott is also smitten with pretty Pamela, and it appears both Roderick and Pamela could be happy if only they could bring warmth back to Wynwood House!

To reveal more would lessen your pleasure if you have not experienced this wonderful film from the 1940s. There are some genuinely eerie moments mixed in with the lighthearted, but at its heart this is really a romance. It is that blend of romance and supernatural mystery which make this the best film of this kind ever made, and certainly one of the most romantic films of the 1940s.

The shy and beautiful Gail Russell will always be associated with the young and searching Stella Meredith in the hearts and minds of moviegoers. Viewers will fall in love watching Russell in one of her most memorable roles. A must-see film for classic movie lovers.
… (mer)
Matt_Ransom | Nov 19, 2023 |
One of the things I have learnt the value of from book club is rereading. I first read I Capture the Castle at the age of 17/18 and I have reread, or listened to it, for the second time 40 years later. And it is true! You understand the book so very differently after all those years of living and reading.

The first time I read the book I understood it to be a coming-of-age story but also a book about romance and love and it is but I had completely missed the writing element of the story.

The book takes the form of a journal written by Cassandra Mortmain, middle child of an eccentric, poverty stricken family. She lives with her father, Step-mother Topaz, older sister Rose, younger brother Thomas and Stephen the son of a cook who has since died. They are a quirky set of characters who live in a crumbling castle with no money and most items of any value sold. If you lived with this family, little access to a wider range of other people, no radio and only books for company, you too would probably develop some quirky views of people and the world.

There are laugh out loud moments in the book, moments of tragedy and the constant threat of financial ruin. There are Jane Austen elements, allusions to Virginia Woolf's writing and sometimes some slapstick comedy.

Cassandra wants to be a writer and so sets out to record the important events in her life, reflecting on her feelings and including notes and letters from others. Paper is in short supply so she has a very cheap notebook and uses her speed writing which she has recently learnt and no one else can read. As she moves through the year, her notebooks become more and more expensive reflecting her development as a writer. She does have one of the best first lines in a book.

I write this sitting in the kitchen sink.
Audiobook so no page numbers

There are other writers in the household, namely her father who wrote a very famous book 'Jacob Wrestling' but has been unable to write a second book. He works in the Gatehouse of the castle, disappearing there every day but only to read detective novels and complete crossword puzzles. His writer's block is enormous and he has become monstrous with anger and frustration, even being imprisoned for three months after attacking his wife with a knife - or waving a knife that he happened to have in his hand at the time of an argument depending on whose point of view you believe. A significant theme in the book is of the impact that a creative genius can have on a family who are waiting and waiting for this genius to strike up again.

Into the family's life come two young American men, Neil and Simon Cotton along with their mother. They are the new landlords, having bought the castle and come to visit the family only to be entranced by their eccentricities and by the place. Of course, marriage to them would mean an end to their financial problems - an Austen moment - and Rose sets out manipulate the men in order that she marry one of them because she does not 'do' poverty particularly well.

Simon is a writer of critical essays and would like to write about Mortmain and Jacob Wrestling but can't write the ending and his mother is a talkative, challenging woman who Mortmain enjoys a verbal tussle with and who is a kind benefactor and collector of famous people. Names are significant in the book and mort main could be read as dead hand.

When I first read the book I was slightly puzzled by the title. I could see how Cassandra was capturing the castle in terms of her writing. She sets out at the start of her journal that she wants to capture her father in words and the castle, both of which she does very well. But she captures the castle in more ways than this which is linked to the coming -of-age not just as a woman but also as a writer.

Mortmain's room for working is in the Gatehouse - the physical entrance to the castle and towards the end of the book Cassandra could be accused of invading the Gatehouse three times. The first time she enters, she sees comic strips pinned up everywhere and lists of things strewn around the room. The second time she goes in with Thomas and the comic strips are still there but all the lists and paperwork has been removed and locked up in a drawer suggesting that her father knows she has been in there. Eventually she sets up camp in the Gatehouse, in her father's study claiming it as her own and capturing the castle.

Smith has played around with gender stereotypes. The characters who are logical, pragmatic, determined, manipulative and sexually exploitative are the women with the men being romantic, film-stars, submissive and child-like in having their needs met by others. Written in the 1940s it probably mirrors the changes in society during and after the war when women stepped out of the home into the world of work. Unlike Austen, Cassandra doesn't marry one of the rich Americans but sets out to become an author and solve her financial problems herself.

The real strength of the book is Cassandra's voice. She is not generally an unreliable narrator and as we move through the book she becomes more and more accurate in 'reading' other people and understanding herself and her emotions. At the very end she is offered the chance to go to college and she replies 'I only want to write. And there's no college for that except life.' She has come to understand that she need not only write about herself but if she wants to tell stories needs to write about others as well.

There is so much else in this book. There is the symbolism of the tower on the mount, the tension between the traditional in the form of the castle and the modern in the form of Mortmain's writing and the idea of a room of one's own to write in. There is also the quality of Smith's writing. All present for future readings.

I am totally captured by this book.
… (mer)
1 rösta
allthegoodbooks | 287 andra recensioner | Sep 10, 2023 |
Another summer recommendation that a friend shared. An eccentric family living in artistic poverty, the English countryside, and two very different but romantic sisters.
rebwaring | 287 andra recensioner | Aug 14, 2023 |


1960s (1)
1940s (1)
Teens (1)
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Associerade författare

Dorothy Macardle Original novel
Valerie Grove Introduction
Ruth Steed Illustrator
Emilia Fox Narrator
Jenny Agutter Narrator
Martin Jarvis Narrator
John Porter Cover artist
Michael Dooling Illustrator
Alex T Smith Translator


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