Dodie Smith is best known for her novel 101 Dalmatians published in 1956. By the time it was published Smith had been a famous playwright and novelist of works such as I Captured the Castle (made into a movie in 2003.) Smith was given her first Dalmatian dog, Pongo by her future husband Alex Beesley in 1934. She had many Dalmatians after that. Her friend and actor Joyce Kennedy joked once about how Pongo would make a lovely fur coat. It was that joke that led Smith to write her famous story (first as a play featuring her friend Kennedy as Cruella de Vil.) Smith began writing the story in 1954 and it was published at Christmas 1956 and was an instant hit. It was bought by Disney and turned into a hit animated movie in 1961. (It has subsequently been turned into two live action movies. Smith died in 1990.
This is the fifth in a series of classic tales written between 1949-59.