Dorothy Gladys "Dodie" Smith, was born in 1896 in Lancashire, England, and she was one of the most successful female dramatists of her generation. She wrote "Autumn," "Crocus," and "Dear Octopus," among other plays, but her first novel, I Capture the Castle (Little Brown, 1948) was written when she lived in America during the '40s and marked her crossover debut from playwright to novelist. the novel became an immediate success and was produced as a play in 1954. Her other novels were The Town in Bloom, It Ends with Revelations, A Tale of Two Families, and The Girl in the Candle-Lit Bath. Today, however, she is best known for her stories for young readers, The Hundred and One Dalmations (Heinemann, 1956) and The Starlight Barking (Heinemann, 1967; Simon & Schuster, 1968). The Hundred and One Dalmations was inspired by Dodie's own Dalmation named Pongo, and became the basis of two Disney films. The Starlight Barking is also available in paperback from St. Martin's press. Dodie Smith died in 1990.