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Brunoniana

From Martha Mitchell’s Encyclopedia Brunoniana:

Damon, Lindsay Todd

Lindsay Todd Damon (1871-1940), professor of English, was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, on November 8, 1871. He graduated in 1894 from Harvard, where he remained as assistant in English from 1894 to 1896. After a year as instructor in English at Brown, he held the same position at the University of Chicago until 1901, when he returned to Brown as associate professor of rhetoric. He became professor of English in 1905 and succeeded to head of the English Department in 1927 on the retirement of Professor Walter C. Bronson. At the time Alfred H. Gurney ’07 contrasted the two men 𔂿 the physically delicate Bronson who disapproved of emphasis on athletics, and Damon, Harvard crew member in his youth, who “true to his early training and inclinations, maintains his interest in rowing, and football and tennis, too, and has no qualms about not meeting classes on the day of a big football game.” I. J. Kapstein ’26 described the impact of Damon’s teaching:

“Damon loved to read from Swinburne and it wouldn’t take him long to warm up to his task. His face would get red, his white hair would fly, and he would roll out those lines like an actor on a stage. Sometimes right in the middle of a reading the students would catch the fever of the moment and show their appreciation by stamping their feet in unison until one would think the old floor was going to go crashing down.”
With Robert Herrick he wrote Composition and Rhetoric, a standard textbook. After the death of his first wife, he married Bertha Clark ’05, who had formerly been married to Arthur Upham Pope ’04. Damon retired in 1936. He died on May 6, 1940 in the Hyde Park Hotel in New York City. The memorial minute of the faculty described him as “Forthright and picturesque in speech, witty in repartee, shrewd in counsel, charitable in judgment, impulsive in action ... He had a quick sympathy for young men and was generous in helping them: many are indebted to him for assistance which shaped their entire lives.”

The above entry appears in Encyclopedia Brunoniana by Martha Mitchell, copyright 1993 by the Brown University Library. It is used here by permission of the author and the University and may not be copied or further distributed without permission.


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