Sunday, 6 January 2013

I CAPTURE THE CASTLE – Dodie Smith, 1948

I have no idea how I managed to live my entire teenage years without knowing of this book. It is beloved, so everyone tells me now, of teenage girls the world over. I would gladly have forgone my ‘Danielle Steele years’ to have read this sooner.
Cassandra keeps a diary in order to hone her writing skills while she makes sense of her eccentric family and their exciting neighbours. Her Father is an author with writer’s block and the family live in poverty awaiting the time when he will be inspired once again. The castle is rented and the new landlords bring more than a flutter to the hearts of Cassandra and her sister, Rose.
There is however, a particularly odd passage in the first chapter. My brother pointed it out to me and we pondered as to why it is never referred to in any way. Cassandra writes that the castle was built in the time of Charles II and then ruined by Cromwell.  But Charles II came after Cromwell. There is nothing in the rest of the novel to suggest that Cassandra deliberately or accidentally mixes up facts or any clue as to why this mistake is there. The question is, therefore, why it was not picked up and edited.  A mystery to which I can find no answer, even online.

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