Janet Adam Smith and Michael Roberts at Pike's Farm in Surrey, April 1937.
© T. S. Eliot Estate; from the collection of the T. S. Eliot Estate.

Janet Adam Smith


Janet Adam Smith (1905–99): writer, biographer, editor, journalist, translator, and mountaineer (vice-president of the Alpine Club, 1978–80); wife of the author and teacher Michael Roberts. Her father, Sir George Adam Smith (1856–1942), a biblical scholar, was Principal of Aberdeen University, 1909–35. In 1965 she married John Dudley Carleton, Headmaster of Westminster School, who died in 1974. Assistant Editor, 1930–5, of The Listener, where she worked hard to promote contemporary poetry. She edited Poems of Tomorrow: An Anthology of Contemporary Verse (1935), and she wrote many poetry reviews for the Criterion. She worked from 1949 for the New Statesman: as literary editor, 1952–60. A trustee of the National Library of Scotland, 1950–85, she was president of the Royal Literary Fund, 1976–84. OBE, 1982. Her works include Robert Louis Stevenson (1937), Mountain Holidays (1946), Henry James and Robert Louis Stevenson: A Record of Friendship and Criticism (ed., 1948), Robert Louis Stevenson: Collected Poems (ed., 1950): The Faber Book of Children’s Verse (1953), Michael Roberts: Collected Poems (ed, 1958), and John Buchan: A Biography (1965). See Nicolas Barker, ‘Janet Adam Smith: a woman of substance in Literature and Mountaineering’, The Guardian, 14 Sept. 1999.