I Capture the Castle
By Dodie Smith
(St. Martin's Griffin, Paperback, 9780312316167, 352pp.)
Publication Date: April 2003
Now a major motion picture from the Academy Award-winning producer of Shakespeare in Love
I Capture the Castle tells the story of seventeen-year-old Cassandra and her family, who live in not-so-genteel poverty in a ramshackle old English castle. Here she strives, over six turbulent months, to hone her writing skills. She fills three notebooks with sharply funny yet poignant entries. Her journals candidly chronicle the great changes that take place within the castle's walls, and her own first descent into love. By the time she pens her final entry, she has "captured the castle"--and the heart of the reader--in one of literature's most enchanting entertainments.
Dorothy Gladys "Dodie" Smith, was born in 1896 in Lancashire, England, and she was one of the most successful female dramatists of her generation. She wrote "Autumn", "Crocus", and "Dear Octopus", among other plays, but her first novel, I Capture the Castle (Little Brown, 1948) was written when she lived in America during the '40s and marked her crossover debut from playwright to novelist. the novel became an immediate success and was produced as a play in 1954. Her other novels were The Town in Bloom, It Ends with Revelations, A Tale of Two Families, and The Girl in the Candle-Lit Bath. Today, however, she is best known for her stories for young readers, The Hundred and One Dalmations (Heinemann, 1956) and The Starlight Barking (Heinemann, 1967; Simon & Schuster, 1968). The Hundred and One Dalmations was inspired by Dodie's own Dalmation named Pongo, and became the basis of two Disney films. The Starlight Barking is also available in paperback from St. Martin's press. Dodie Smith died in 1990.
"This book has one of the most charismatic narrators I've ever met."--J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series
"Dreamy and funny . . . an odd, shimmering timelessness clings to its pages. A thousand and one cheers for its reissue. A+"--Entertainment Weekly
"I Capture the Castle is finally back in print. It should be welcomed with a bouquet of roses and a brass band. Ever since I was handed a tattered copy years ago with the recommendation 'You'll love it,' it has been one of my favorite novels."--Susan Isaacs
"It is an occasion worth celebrating when a sparkling novel, a work of wit, irony, and feeling is brought back into print after an absence of many years. So uncork the champagne for I Capture the Castle."--Los Angeles Times
"A delicious, compulsively readable novel about young love and its vicissitudes. What fun!"--Erica Jong