A Woman to Know: Dodie Smith

Contemplation seems to be about the only luxury that costs nothing. — Dodie Smith

(image via Jane Bown)

In 1961, when Disney's "101 Dalmatians" hit the big screen, Dodie Smith became a household name. But she'd already been writing for more than two decades, as the playwright behind theatrical productions like "Autumn Crocus" and "Dear Octopus."

But Dodie has been striving for recognition. Her first novel, "I Capture the Castle," is today a classic, beloved for its depiction of teenage perspective. But it wasn't until a friend made a joke about Dodie's own Dalmatian Pongo -- "Those spots would make a lovely fur coat!" -- that she got the idea that would make her famous around the world.

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