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Nathaniel H. Brown

November 18, 2012 12:10 am

Nathaniel H. Brown

Nathaniel H. Brown, 83, died Friday, Nov. 2, 2012, in Sante Fe County, N.M., from complications of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

Nathaniel was born in New York City on April 23, 1929, and was raised on Staten Island. He graduated from Princeton in 1951 and later earned his graduate degrees from Syracuse and Columbia universities.

Nathaniel was married to Derval Cohalen in 1959 and they raised a daughter, Curry Brown of Fielddale, and sons Mackenzie Gates Brown of Austin, Texas, and Whitney Brown of Cedar Grove, N.M.

In 1960, Nathaniel moved to Fredericksburg to teach English literature at Mary Washington College, where he was a professor for more than 30 years. He was a respected Romantics scholar, with a particular interest in the poet Percy Byshe Shelley, and in 1979, Harvard University Press published his book "Sexuality and Feminism in Shelley."

Nathaniel was a great tennis enthusiast and an accomplished player. He was a mainstay of the tennis community in Fredericksburg for decades and was a daily player well into his 70s. He was a willing hitting partner of players of all levels and helped countless players improve their games.

Lucky enough to experience the golden era of jazz in New York City during the 1940s and '50s, Nathaniel remained a great lover of this music for the rest of his life. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of all the players and loved life the most when it had a jazz soundtrack.

Nathaniel's life took an unexpected turn in 2007, when he left the lush greenery of Virginia for the high desert mountains of Santa Fe County to live with his son, Whitney, his daughter-in-law, Beth Brown, and his only grandchild, Nola Grace Brown. He found great joy in his last years getting to watch his granddaughter grow up and discover the things he so enjoyed: tennis, music, reading and nature.

Nathaniel is also survived by his brothers, Geoffry Brown of Vermont and Cooper Brown of Tucson, Ariz.; and his sister, Eleanor Nelson, also of Tucson.

A graveside memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23, at Brooklin Cemetery in Brooklin, Maine.





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