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About the Author: Dodie Smith

Born Dorothy Gladys Smith in Lancashire, England, Dodie Smith was raised in Manchester (her memoir is titled "A Childhood in Manchester"). She was just an infant when her father died, and she grew up fatherless until age 14, when her mother remarried and the family moved to London. There she studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and tried for a career as an actress, but with little success. She finally wound up taking a job as a toy buyer for a furniture store to make ends meet. Giving up dreams of an acting career, she turned to writing plays, and in 1931 her first play, "Autumn Crocus", was published (under the pseudonym "C.L. Anthony"). It was a success, and her story -- from failed actress to furniture store employee to successful writer -- captured the imagination of the public and she was featured in papers all over the country. Although she could now afford to move to a London townhouse, she didn't get caught up in the "literary" scene -- she married a man who was a fellow employee at the furniture store.

During World War II she and her husband moved to the US, mostly because of his stand as a conscientious objector and the social and legal difficulties that entailed. She was still homesick for England, though, as reflected in her first novel, "I Capture the Castle" (1948). During her stay she formed close friendships with such authors as Christopher Isherwood and John Van Druten, and was aided in her literary endeavors by writer A.J. Cronin.

She is perhaps best known for her novel "The Hundred and One Dalmatians", a hugely popular childrens book that has been made into a string of very successful animated films by Walt Disney. She died in 1990.


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Find the best price forLook Back with Love

Goodreads rating: 4.11

Hardcover, Published in Nov 2011 by Slightly Foxed

ISBN10: 190656230X | ISBN13: 9781906562304

Page count: 272

Writing in Slightly Foxed, Dodie Smith’s biographer Valerie Grove describes Look Back with Love as ‘one of the happiest and funniest accounts of an Edwardian upbringing’.

And indeed it is. Best known for her first novel I Capture the Castle, for the evergreen The Hundred and One Dalmatians, and for Dear Octopus, her 1938 play set at a family reunion, Dodie did not publish this account of her early life until 1974 when she was 78.

Brought up among her mother’s family since her father had died when she was a baby, Dodie spent her childhood surrounded by doting adults. It was the jolliest environment imaginable – the Furbers adored seaside trips, motor-car outings, fairgrounds, circuses, jokes, charades and musical soirées. Above all they loved the theatre, and it was through her bachelor uncles’ involvement in amateur dramatics that she conceived her passion for the stage.

Her memoir gives a wonderful picture of this large extended family and of life at that time in the ‘basking Sunday afternoon charm’ of Manchester’s Victorian suburbs. And of the funny, complicated, creative little girl who would later say of herself ‘I think I’m an oddity really, but I do my very, very best to write well’ – which in Look Back with Love she certainly did.

Look Back with Love was featured in the Winter 2011 issue of Slightly Foxed.

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Compare book prices with SocialBookco. Get Look Back with Love by Dodie Smith at the best price. This book is for ISBN 9781906562304 which is a Hardcover copy Published in Nov 2011 by Slightly Foxed.