Friday, May 3, 2013

Novelist & playwright Dodie Smith was born - 1896

This will be the last blog for about a week as I will be taking a much needed break from blogging and vacationing in Ireland. Blog will be back on May 12, 2013.
English novelist and playwright Dorothy "Dodie" Smith was born on May 3, 1896 in Whitefield, Lancashire, England. She is best known for her novel The Hundred and One Dalmatians (1956). In 1914, Dodie entered the Academy of Dramatic Arts in London and her first acting role came in Arthur Wing Pinero’s Playgoers. She also performed in the Portsmouth Repertory Theatre, traveled with a YMCA company to entertain the troops in France during World War I. During her mother's decline while dying of breast cancer, Dodie began to follow the teachings of Christian Science.

Even though she had sold a film script, Schoolgirl Rebels under the pseudonym Charles Henry Percy, and written a one-act play, British Talent, that premiered at the Three Arts Club in 1924, she still had a hard time finding steady work as a writer. In 1931, she authored her first full play, Autumn Crocus, under the pseudonym C.L. Anthony. Its success, and the discovery of her identity by journalists, inspired the newspaper headline, "Shop girl Writes Play. Her fourth play, Call It A Day (1936) ran in London for 509 performances, the longest run of any of Smith's plays to date. During the 1940s, Smith moved to the United States due to legal difficulties. She felt homesick for England, which inspired her first novel I Capture the Castle (1948) and this was followed by One Hundred and One Dalmatians in 1956. Smith died on November 24, 1990 in Uttlesford, Essex, England. She was cremated and her ashes scattered in the wind.
Michael Thomas Barry is the author of Great Britain’s Literary Legends. The book can be purchased from Amazon through the following links:

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