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Mayo, Robert D. (Robert Donald), 1910-1998

 Person

Dates

  • Existence: 1910-1998

Robert Donald Mayo was born to Frank and Clara (Rea) Mayo on August 4, 1910 in Chicago, Illinois. He graduated from Oberlin College in 1932 with a B.A. in English Literature. He received a Masters Degree in English Literature from the University of Chicago in 1934. He received a second Masters Degree in English Literature from Princeton University in 1936 and his PhD in English Literature from Princeton in 1938. Mayo married (Mary) Pauline Maris on September 17, 1947. They had a daughter, Ann.

Mayo was an Instructor at Oberlin College from 1936 through 1937 and from 1938 through 1941. He came to Northwestern University as an Instructor in the Department of English in 1941. In 1942 he temporarily left the University to serve in the U.S. Army, where he held the rank of sergeant in the Signal Corps in the First French Army until 1946. He was decorated with the Bronze Star for meritorious service in support of combat operations in France. He returned to Northwestern University in 1946 as an assistant professor in the Department of English. In 1953 he was appointed to Associate Professor. Mayo attended Harvard University in 1954 under a Ford Fellowship and spent a year in London under a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1963. In 1961 he was appointed Professor, a position he held until he became a Professor Emeritus in 1978. He served as Chairman of the Department of English from 1966 through 1970.

Mayo's research interests included 17th and 18th century English periodicals, the novel in 18th and 19th century England and 20th century America, Gothic Fiction, 20th century criticism, and Romantic and Modern poetry.

In 1962 Mayo published his major scholarly work The English Novel in the Magazines, 1740-1815. With a Catalogue of 1375 magazine novels and novelettes. Mayo published two books on Ezra Pound's poetry, A Guide to Ezra Pound's Cantos (VIII) in 1954 and A Guide to Ezra Pound's Cantos (IX) in 1957. Mayo also published several articles and book reviews as well as works on William Wordsworth's Lyrical Ballads, 19th century Gothic Fiction and the Waverly Novels of Sir Walter Scott.

Mayo served from 1953 through the mid-1960's as editor of The Analyst. Although originally meant to provide the Northwestern University English Department with an internal publication of general interest, with articles of recent scholarship and criticism, The Analyst came to have worldwide readership and respect. The primary focus of The Analyst was difficult texts in modern literature, particularly the writings of James Joyce and Ezra Pound, and as such it was one of the earliest publications to cover this field.

From 1966 through 1970, Mayo was director of the John Hay Fellows Program. This innovative program offered high school teachers the opportunity to do in-depth study in their fields at various universities throughout the country, including Northwestern.

Robert D. Mayo died on November 6, 1998.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Robert D. Mayo (1910-1998) Papers

 Collection
Identifier: 11/3/11/32
Abstract Robert D. Mayo came to Northwestern University as an Instructor in the Department of English in 1941. He returned to the University after service in the U.S. Army as assistant professor in 1946, became an associate professor in 1953, and professor in 1961, retiring in 1978. Mayo's research interests included 17th and 18th century English periodicals, the novel in 18th and 19th century England and 20th century America, gothic fiction, 20th century criticism, and romantic and modern poetry. His...