Support Daisy Belle – a new swimming champion

09th June, 2017

Outdoor Swimmer and writer Caitlin Davies is asking swimmers for support of a new project – a novel based on the real-life stories of female swimming champions from Victorian times.

Caitlin is a journalist, novelist, writer, teacher and swimmer. She has written five novels and six non-fiction books – swimmers might know her best for her books, Downstream: a history and celebration of swimming the River Thames and Taking the Waters: A Swim Around Hampstead Heath. Caitlin’s main interest lies in the buried lives of women from the past and this latest project is no different.

Daisy Belle: Swimming Champion of the World is a novel about love, betrayal and swimming. It is inspired by the career of Agnes Beckwith, a champion Victorian swimmer who was once world famous, but now largely forgotten. Caitlin writes about Agnes in her book Downstream, Agnes first swim the River Thames as a 14-year-old. “I was so inspired by the story that I’ve now written a novel. It opens in Margate in 1862 and follows Daisy Belle as she becomes, against all the odds, champion lady swimmer of the world,” says Caitlin. “It’s a tale that has never been told before and it would be wonderful if, with swimmers’ support, I can make this project happen.”

Caitlin has decided to return to the Victorian tradition of subscribers for this book, where readers decide what books they want to see published, so has signed up to Unbound, a crowd funding publishing company. “Readers ‘pledge’ in advance for the book – in other words, place a pre order,” says Caitlin. “The pledges are used to publish the book, and they then receive a beautiful copy of Daisy Belle as well as their name printed in every edition as a patron.”

If you want to find out more about the book and pledge for a copy visit To learn more about Caitlin and her other work visit