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I Capture the Castle - what else can I read that might be similar?

(47 Posts)

I get so many good ideas from the threads on here, I thought I'd appeal to you all for help!
I've just finished I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith and loved it. I'd never even heard of it before, but there was something about both the writing and the setting which captured me completely.

Can anyone recommend anything in a similar vein? I think it's the 30s time period which I really liked, plus the very English setting.

I know there are lots of 20s/30s novels like this, I just can't think of any at the moment!
I don't want anything harrowing, I want English gentry in a lovely English town-and-country type setting kind of thing.

Any ideas?


EleanorHandbasket Sun 30-May-10 19:50:33

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EleanorHandbasket Sun 30-May-10 19:51:07

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janeite Sun 30-May-10 19:53:05

It's lovely, isn't it?

Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day is set just before the 2nd World war (written in 1938) and is lovely and light and feel-good.

Brideshead Revisited is a bit heavier but the first half in particular is lovely.

janeite Sun 30-May-10 19:53:32

Sorry - please shoot me for over-use of the word 'lovely' in previous post.

Ledodgy Sun 30-May-10 20:00:58

Yes i'd also say The lost art of keeping secrets


Flight of the maidens

Also Atonement, the book is far better than the film imo.

Ledodgy Sun 30-May-10 20:05:01

Cold Comfort Farm

You might like Elizabeth Goudge, in particular The Dean's Watch.

iloveasylumseekers Sun 30-May-10 20:27:38

Marianna by Monica Dickens.

The Cazalet books by Elizabeth Jane Howard - the first in the series is The Light Years.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!
They sound perfect! Or should I say lovely? wink

I've picked up so many fabulous suggestions from just diving into various Adult Fiction threads every now and again, you are all wonderful!

Am off to amazon; if I order now I'll have them by Tuesday, which means I'll have lots to read over the long weekend (it's a holiday here on Thursday (I'm in Germany)).

janeite Sun 30-May-10 22:04:20

Yes to Cold Comfort Farm - that is lovely too.

How about some Noel Streatfield?

Lilymaid Sun 30-May-10 22:11:28

As mentioned earlier the Cazalet Chronicles are a great read - start pre-war and works through the war years.

All suggestions are in amazon shopping trolley. Oh, I love that feeling of new books on the way! Well, in this case mainly second-hand books, but ykwim, I'm sure.

Is that the shoes author, janeite? If so, I have vague memories of reading Ballet Shoes for Anna when I was v. young, but nothing else. What would you recommend?

(If not him, then please ignore that and tell me who you mean!)

(her, I meant HER!)

iloveasylumseekers Sun 30-May-10 22:43:51

Yes, Noel Streatfeild wrote the Shoes books. Her adult fiction is worth a look, try "Saplings".

CornishKK Sun 30-May-10 22:54:25

The Constant Nymph - Margaret Kennedy
The Go Between - LP Hartley
Family Roundabout - Richmal Compton
The Chamomile Lawn - Mary Wesley
Love In A Cold Climate - Nancy Mitford
The Enchanted April - Elizabeth von Arnim

The Cazalet Chronicles are brilliant (and lovely).

This is a great bookshop Persephone Books

dittany Sun 30-May-10 23:10:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Oh yes, the Chamomile Lawn, had forgotten I'd read that, but yes, that is exactly the kind of thing I'm looking for!

First order has been sent off, am noting down all the others for the second one

I do find I tend to get into a certain theme with reading quite often, especially if I've really enjoyed reading something - I want more of the same! Does anyone else find that?

JeffVadar Mon 31-May-10 15:25:07

Cornish - excellent list of books!

I would also add Emma Smith 'Maidens' Trip' and 'the Far Cry'. She also recently published her memoirs called 'the Great Western Beach'. All very funny.

exexpat Wed 02-Jun-10 23:37:03

A couple of decades later, but similar coming-of-age feel to I Capture the Castle (and great if you like Paris) is The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy.


am halfway through The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets, and really, you lot are brilliant!

Just what I was looking for; I'm loving it

<hopes McDonald's don't feel like suing today>

GrendelsMum Sun 13-Jun-10 18:30:24

Yes to Miss Pettigrew Lives for A Day

Travellerintime Sun 13-Jun-10 21:33:33

To CornishK's great list, I'd add The Weather in the Streets by Rosamund Lehmann. Haven't read it since I was about 21, but I recall it was about a very romantic doomed love affair - the sort of thing that'd happen to the Capture the Castle girls once they'd grown up.

PandaG Sun 13-Jun-10 21:35:55

Enchanted April - has a similar feel to I capture the Castle I think.

Merrylegs Sun 13-Jun-10 21:51:25

'The Beautiful Visit' by Elizabeth Jane Howard is my other favourite book beside I Capture the Castle. A coming of age novel set against the backdrop of the First World War. It was EJH's first novel and she was only in her 20s when she wrote it. It has that kind of adolescent longing and anguish, but also humour, that I Capture does.

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