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Janet Adam Smith Dies at 93

September 14, 1999

LONDON (AP) _ Janet Adam Smith, a biographer and former literary editor of the New Statesman magazine, has died. She was 93.

Smith died Saturday, according to newspaper reports Tuesday. No cause or location of death was given.

Born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1905, Smith was educated at Cheltenham Ladies’ College and Somerville College, Oxford, where she studied English.

After graduating, she learned typing in London but concealed this skill, fearful of being made to work as a secretary, The Guardian reported.

Instead, Smith landed a job for the British Broadcasting Corp.’s new weekly magazine, The Listener. She rose to assistant editor and was responsible for publishing new poetry by W.H. Auden, Conrad Aiken and Stephen Spender, The Daily Telegraph said.

In 1935, Smith married the poet and teacher Michael Roberts. During the early years of her marriage, she published a short biography of poet Robert Louis Stevenson, while also raising her children. But Smith’s husband died of leukemia in 1948.

She returned to full-time work as an assistant editor of the New Statesman and Nation. She succeeded V.S. Pritchett as literary editor in 1952, a position she held for eight years.

In 1960, Smith was called as an expert witness for the defense in the obscenity trial over D.H. Lawrence’s ``Lady Chatterley’s Lover.″

After retiring, Smith married John Carleton, the headmaster of the prestigious Westminster School, in 1965. She also published a biography of John Buchan, a governor-general of Canada and adventure writer.

An avid mountain climber, Smith combined her love of literature with mountain adventures all her life. She climbed every year and translated several mountaineering books, The Daily Telegraph said.

In 1982, Smith was awarded an Order of the British Empire.

Her second husband died in 1974. She is survived by three sons and a daughter. Funeral arrangements were not immediately available.

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