I Capture the Castle

12 Sep

Some books provide the same reassuring comfortable feeling as curling up in your childhood bed or putting on a favourite snuggly jumper. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith is one such book for me. First encountered in my impressionable years I’d say it had a profound effect on my character but its legacy was also some romantic affectations (to this day I harbour aspirations to live in a tumble-down castle). Cassandra is one of the most charming narrators I’ve ever encountered and the lightness of touch with which Dodie Smith handles her coming of age belies the wisdom of many of her observations. The line about noble deeds and hot baths being the best cures for depression has lingered with me as has the idea of the importance of satisfying creative urges. I hold the eclectic yet entirely convincing cast of characters in great affection.

The film version is pretty good (with Bill Nighy, a Pick Me Up favourite, on incredible form as Mortmain) although nothing beats reading and re-reading it.

Ellie

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