Encyclopedia Brunoniana

Brown, Harcourt

Harcourt Brown (1900-1990), professor of French, was born in Toronto, Canada, on May 30, 1900. He received his B.A. degree in modern languages in 1925 and his M.A. degree in French in 1926, both from the University of Toronto. He taught at Queen’s College in Kingston, Ontario, and at Brooklyn College and the University of Rochester before earning his Ph.D. degree at Columbia in 1934. He taught at Washington University from 1935 until 1937, when he came to Brown as professor of French language and literature. He became interested in the history of science, and his first book, written while he was at Columbia, was Scientific Organizations in Seventeen-century France (1620-1680). He became a member of the History of Science Society in 1934, and was its president in 1952. In 1938 he was awarded the Prix Moulin of the Academie des Sciences, Arts et Belles Lettres of Caen for his paper on French physician André Graindorge. He was one of the founders of the Annals of Science, and served as associate editor from 1935 to 1974. A collection of his papers, Science and Human Comedy: Natural Philosophy in French Literature from Rabelais to Maupertuis was published in 1976. After retiring from teaching in 1969, he returned to Canada, and died on November 17, 1990 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.