Cruella de Vil is a character in the 1956 novel, The One Hundred and One Dalmatians, by British author Dodie Smith. She also appears as the villain in the Disney cartoon
movie of the same name.
In the novel, Cruella is a glamorous and wealthy London heiress who knew the female protagonist, Mrs. Dearly, in school. Mrs. Dearly was frightened of Cruella in school, and the two were not friends. Cruella was a bully with black and white braids and was expelled for drinking ink. After encountering Mrs. Dearly again as adults at the beginning of the book, the two are on slightly friendlier terms, until Cruelly steals the Dalmatian puppies
belonging to Mr. and Mrs. Dearly because she believes they would make delightful fur coats.
Cruella is the last in the line of her formerly prosperous, well-known family. The family keeps up wealthy appearances but is heavily in debt. She is married to a furrier whose first name is never mentioned in the book. She married him only because of his occupation, rather than for love, and she made him take her surname upon marriage so she could keep her family name alive, though the couple had no children together. Cruella bosses around
her husband, and he timidly obeys her, giving her all of the extravagances she desires, such as a white mink fur coat...