I Capture The Castle

Paperback | June 15, 1999

byDodie Smith

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One of the 20th Century's most beloved novels is still winning hearts!

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.

"This book has one of the most charismatic narrators I've ever met." -- J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series

Bonus: Reading Group Discussion Guide included in this edition

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From Our Editors

Call it Jane Austen meets My So-Called Life, set in 1930s Suffolk. The castle in question is the crumbling, unlikely home of 17-year old Cassandra Mortmain, who seeks to "capture" its essence in a journal -- her fledgling effort to become a writer like her father. Or rather, unlike her father. William Mortmain hasn't written a line in ...

From the Publisher

One of the 20th Century's most beloved novels is still winning hearts! 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 sharpl...

Dorothy Gladys "Dodie" Smith, born in 1896 in Lancashire, England, was one of the most successful female dramatists of her generation. She wrote Autumn, Crocus, and Dear Octopus, among other plays. I Capture the Castle, her first novel, was written in the 1940s while she was living in America. An immediate success, it marked her crosso...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 8.21 × 5.42 × 0.94 inPublished:June 15, 1999Publisher:St. Martin's PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0312201656

ISBN - 13:9780312201654

Appropriate for ages: 13 - 17

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From Our Editors

Call it Jane Austen meets My So-Called Life, set in 1930s Suffolk. The castle in question is the crumbling, unlikely home of 17-year old Cassandra Mortmain, who seeks to "capture" its essence in a journal -- her fledgling effort to become a writer like her father. Or rather, unlike her father. William Mortmain hasn't written a line in 12 years, but he remains a literary cult figure. But after a violent scene which landed him in prison for three months, his talent seems to have dried up and with it, the family's fortunes. The ruined Norman castle is a romantic but dreary place for a family, even one as mixed-up as the Mortmains. Aside from observant but ingenuous Cassandra, there is her beautiful sister Rose, intelligent brother Thomas, their stepmother Topaz -- a bohemian artist's model -- and handsome house boy Stephen, who is in love with Cassandra. This unusual family scrapes by in this implausible edifice, without any real hope of improving their situation. When Rose makes a joking pact with the Devil to find a husband and a pair of wealthy American brothers stumble into their lives, the family is thrown into further disarray. Suddenly a plot is hatched to get Rose married to the heir and the cerebral foreigners are riling the unstable father into exerting himself socially and intellectually again. As the relationships between these wildly complex and fascinating characters form, dissolve and re-form again, the novel twists its way through a calendar year, which ends in a way readers will never expect. This remarkable novel is most memroable for its setting: the decrepit castle and Belmotte tower darkly outline the family and class conflicts at play in this engrossing work of fiction. Ages 12 and up

Editorial Reviews

"This book has one of the most charismatic narrators I've ever met. Seventeen-year-old Cassandra Mortmain captures the castle in her insightful, witty journal entries." -Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling "What a lovely book is I Capture the Castle. It's as fresh as if it were written this morning, and as classic as Jane Austen. I'm very happy to have met it." -Donald E. Westlake "A delicious, compulsively readable novel about young love and its vicissitudes. What fun!" -Erica Jong "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