I Capture The Castle by Dodie SmithI Capture The Castle by Dodie Smith

I Capture The Castle

byDodie Smith

Paperback | June 15, 1999

Pricing and Purchase Info

$18.54 online 
$23.99 list price save 22%
Earn 93 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


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

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...
Title:I Capture The CastleFormat: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


Rated 5 out of 5 by from A childhood favourite I read this as a young adult and I loved it so much that I've re-read it at least five times. Beautiful!
Date published: 2018-02-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my favourites This is one of my favourite books. I don't usually like "diary style" novels, but this one did it so well. Cassandra is hilarious and so charismatic. Highly recommend! :)
Date published: 2017-05-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Absolutely Recommend This is such a funny little book. So well written, such fabulous and unique characters, and a beautiful, romantic setting. It's written in journal entries but hardly reads that way at all. Cassandra is a brilliant narrator and completely likeable even in her most unlikeable times (which are very few indeed). I absolutely recommend this to anyone who likes castles, romance, and smart British humour.
Date published: 2017-03-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Occasionally difficult to read but it does deliver a beautiful story I remember selecting this book for my grade 12 English class and I was glad I did. It is beautiful with a strong protagonist, quirky characters, especially the fathers and a love story that should please most people whatever one's taste for romance. While it is a bit long (some pages should definitely been excised I found it to be a deep and charming novel that is worth reading. Recommended
Date published: 2017-02-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A favourite A beautiful coming of age story. Cassandra is a classic literary heroine: funny, thoughtful, warm, hopeful, and charming.
Date published: 2017-01-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Loved the beginning... A very promising beginning gave way to an extremely disappointing second half.
Date published: 2016-11-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Top Notch A real classic. One of the first books I ever read and still go back to from time to time.
Date published: 2016-11-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An old favorite This was one of my favorite books when I was a kid and one that I still go back to from time to time. Just a lovely magical story that takes you back in time.
Date published: 2016-11-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good read Lovely story. One of the first novel I read that was so captivating.
Date published: 2016-11-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Average The Mortmain family is an odd family unit living in an odd residence. The family exists of sisters Rose and Cassandra, their brother Thomas, their father, their step-mother Topaz, and their orphaned helping hand Stephen. The family lives in an old dilapidated castle and their money is running out as they wait for their father to return to his writing glory and follow up his first successful book with another. When brothers Simon and Neil Cottom get stuck in the Mortmain drive, their world starts to change. They just inherited land from England even though they had been living in America for a while. Rose determines that she is going to make one of the brothers fall in love with her so that she no longer has to live in poverty. Cassandra finds herself being left at home more and more as her family goes on trips to London with the Cottons, which gets Cassandra thinking about whether she agrees with Rose's selfishness. As she writes in her journal, she tries to find a way to help her father get back into writing. The book is told through Cassandra's journal entries. She believes that she may be able to become a writer some day so she has some pretty lengthy descriptions of things that are not essential to moving the story along. I found myself skimming through these parts because I wanted to get on with the story. Rose's selfishness also made me increasingly frustrated with her as I got further and further through the book. Maybe that was the point though? For a BBC Top 100 book I expected more from this book. There was a twist at the end but I felt it kind of fizzled out and wasn't worth the journey.
Date published: 2010-10-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from B for BRILLIANT! I thought this book was a magical piece of work, I couldnt even put it down. I love the way the author connected each character to one another through their arguments and their turmoil. i enjoyed this book very much and i recommend it to anyone who loves a perfect love story.
Date published: 2005-12-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AWESOME! This was was excellent! It is one of the best books I have ever read! I suggest that you all read it. It is worth it!
Date published: 2001-10-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing!!!!!! I loved this book! It was excellent! Every single word was interesting! My fave characters were Stephen and Cassandra! I totally recommend this book!!!!!!!!
Date published: 2001-10-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from WOW!! I enjoyed this book so much and I've been recommending it to everyone young and old. Its a great coming of age story set in strange and mostly comical situations. Cassandra is a wonderful character, full of life and spirit. The story she tells about her family, her life and her first love all come alive through great narration and description. It's a story not to be missed!
Date published: 2000-06-28

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