C. Fox Smith

C. Fox Smith

Cicely Fox Smith (1 February 18828 April 1954) was an English writer and poet. The daughter of a lawyer, Smith started writing poems at a young age and published her first book of poetry when she was only sixteen years old. She was very adventurous, and even though she lived in the late Victorian era, she managed to pursue her desire to see the world by taking jobs on sailing ships. Reaching the Pacific Coast of North America, she also worked in lumber camps and with cowboys.(There is no physical evidence as yet to support that CFS sailed in sailing ships or worked with the cowboys or in lumber camps despite many wishing it was so.)

She poured her adventures into her poetry and children's books, as well as pieces written for Punch, Country Life, The Times Literary Supplement, and similar publications. But until she was established as a popular writer, she published under the name "C. Fox Smith" because she believed that people would be less interested in her books if they knew the writer was a woman. Her poems in Punch were frequently credited only to "C.F.S."

She received a civil-list pension at the age of 67 for her "services to literature."

Lately her work has been popularized again by folk musicians who have set her poems to music.


Books by C. Fox Smith include:

  • A Book of Famous Ships
  • Adventures and Perils of the Sea
  • All the Way 'Round
  • Anchor Lane
  • Ancient Mariners: Some Salt Water Yesterdays
  • Country Days & Country Ways: Trudging Afoot in England
  • Fighting Men
  • Full Sail
  • Here and there in England with the Painter Brangwyn
  • Knave-go-by: the Adventures of Jacky Nameless
  • Lancashire Hunting Songs, and Other Moorland Lays
  • Ocean Racers
  • Painted Ports
  • Return of the Cutty Sark
  • Sailor Town Days
  • Sailor's Delight
  • Ship Aground: a Tale of Adventure
  • Ship Alley
  • Ships and Folks
  • Small Craft: Sailor Ballads and Chantys
  • Songs & Chanties, 1914-1916
  • Songs in Sail and other Chanties
  • Tales of the Clipper Ships
  • Thames Side Yesterdays
  • The City of Hope: A Story of the New West.
  • The Naval Crown, Ballads and Songs of the War
  • The Thames
  • The Valiant Sailor
  • There Was a Ship: Chapters from the History of Sail


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