The Classics Reclamation Project is my personal challenge to read and enjoy the classics. Each Wednesday, I post about the classic I’m reading at the moment.

The Classics Reclamation Project

It’s been another slow classics week, so I don’t have much to report this week. But I have at least started my next read! I’ve just begun I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. Published in 1948, it’s narrated by 17-year-old Cassandra Mortmain, who lives in a crumbling castle with her family and aspires to be a writer. It also features a fabulous opening line:

“I write this sitting in the kitchen sink.”

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith (cover)I’m only a chapter or so in, but already I like Cassandra. She’s not the most eloquent of narrators, as she’s really just practicing her writing, but I can tell she’s trying. The setting is intriguing, as is the cast of characters so far: Cassandra and her sister, Rose; their father; and their father’s young second wife, Topaz. Oh, and a dressmaker’s dummy named Miss Blossom.

I’m not sure where I Capture the Castle is headed yet, but I’m looking forward to finding out.

Fun fact: Dodie Smith is also the author of The Hundred and One Dalmatians. Guess what movie was based on that one? I never realized Disney’s “101 Dalmatians” was based on a book!

More on I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith next week!

Join the Conversation


  1. I was surprised to find out Smith was the author of 101 Dalmations too, especially since i thought the book versions were just movie-to-book Disney things.

  2. I just bought a copy last month, but I haven’t started it yet. I’m glad to hear that you’re enjoying what you’ve read so far.

    That is really interesting about The Hundred and One Dalmations. Who knew it was a book first?! I may have to see if I can find a copy. I’m guessing my oldest child might enjoy it.

  3. This opening line always cracks me up. It’s such a wonderful book. I have the movie on my Netflix queue, maybe I’ll watch it this week.

    I had no idea Dodie Smith wrote “101 Dalmatians”! Great trivia info!
    Happy Birthday!

  4. “I can tell she’s trying” – that sounds like a good aspect of the book, perhaps she improves over time and so the theme develops.

    I’ve wanted to read this for a while though I was put off by the film version (seeing it as a teenager and not knowing it was a classic made me think it was dull).

    Hope it continues to be good!

  5. 101 Dalmatians is one of my favorite Disney films, and I remember being totally surprised by how different the film was to the book, when I read the book as a kid. But I Capture the Castle is miles above it — I reread it every year, or a few times a year, and it never palls. Topaz charms me.

  6. I just watched this movie a couple months ago. I had no idea it was a book! I may have to pick it up now.

    The movie was good, too, so after you read the book you’ll have to see the movie to see if it compares.

  7. I loved this book. It became an instant favourite, and the opening line is just – wow! Big big fan, so really hope you enjoy the rest of it.

    I really wish I’d discovered this book as a teenager though.

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