Cover image for Dear Dodie : the life of Dodie Smith
Dear Dodie : the life of Dodie Smith
Grove, Valerie, 1946-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
London : Pimlico, 1997.

Physical Description:
339 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
Originally published: London: Chatto & Windus, 1996.

Includes index.
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PR6037.M38 Z68 1996 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Frank and Funny, unorthodox, liberated and quintessentially English, Dodie Smith, was the author of those immortal classics, THE HUNDRED AND ONE DALMATIONS and I CAPTURE THE CASTLE. One of the most successful dramatists of her generation, she spent the war years in America, befriended Christopher Isherwood and, through Walt Disney's film, became a household name. I have nothing but praise for this engrossing book, which on the one hand recreates a recent, but forgotten theatrical age, and on the other should introduce Dodie to a host of new readers. Antonia Fraser LITERARY REVIEW Beautifully written, warm and lively, with enough detchment for us to see Dodie for ourselves. . . Full of life and zip. Joanna Trollope A successful portrait of a powerful and original woman of devastating wit and intelligence. Elspeth Barker. INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Despite the Disney version of Smith's Hundred and One Dalmatians, Grove, a London journalist, acknowledges here that her subject is "essentially limited." A second-rate actress, Smith (1896-1990) became a shopgirl and after-hours writer, turning out a clever comedy, Autumn Crocus, that altered her life in 1931. She acquired a younger companion who remained with her devotedly as husband and business manager. For all his usefulness, however, Alec Beasley was the cause of her fading as a writer, according to Grove. A pacifist, he could not remain in England as war threatened in 1939 so Smith and Beasley left for Los Angeles, where she did hack writing for films and lost her bearings as a playwright. A dog lover in the extreme, she rescued her finances with Dalmatians, about which rival children's author John Rowe Townsend remarked, "If dogs could read, they would be unable to put it down." A strained chattiness emanates from Grove's book, making it easy to put down. Photos. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved