Donald H. Reiman, age 85, peacefully ended his years-long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease on November 20, 2019 in Wilmington, Delaware, under care of hospice. Don was born on May 17, 1934, in Erie, Pennsylvania, the first child of Henry Ward Reiman and Mildred Abby (Pearce) Reiman.
Upon graduation from Erie’s Strong Vincent High School, Don set out for college with the intention of preparing for the Presbyterian ministry. Ultimately, however, he focused his studies on English literature, earning his B.A. from the College of Wooster (1956), and his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois (1960). He later received an honorary Doctor of Letters from the College of Wooster (1981). Between 1965 and 2011, he was Editor (later, Co-Editor) of Shelley and his Circle at what is now known as the Carl H. Pforzheimer Collection (New York Public Library), and for more than two decades an Adjunct Professor of English at the University of Delaware. As one of the premier Percy Bysshe Shelley scholars of the 20th century, Don helped to shape the fields of British Romanticism and textual scholarship. He will be fondly remembered as a stalwart mentor, friend, and advocate to generations of students, teachers, and scholars in his field. He served as a director and officer of the Keats-Shelley Association, a founding director of the Society for Textual Scholarship and the Byron Society of America, and among the founders of the Romantic Circles website and the Wordsworth-Coleridge Association. He wrote, edited, or co-edited more than 200 volumes of literary and textual criticism. In 2011, he donated many of his collected rare and scholarly books to the University of Delaware Library, creating the Donald H. Reiman Collection in the Special Collections Department. In 2015, a festschrift entitled Publishing, Editing, and Reception: Essays in Honor of Donald H. Reiman was published, reflecting on the scholarly interests that defined his long career.
He was predeceased by his wife of more than 40 years, Hélène Dworzan Reiman, his parents, and his sister Janet (Reiman) Laise. Survivors include one daughter from his first marriage, Laurel Reiman Henneman, son-in-law Charlie Henneman, and grandsons Wyatt and Caspar, of Charlottesville, Virginia.
The family is planning a memorial service on January 4, 2020 at 10AM at First Presbyterian Church, 292 W. Main Street, Newark, DE 19711, following a private interment. Donations in Don’s memory may be made to Lori’s Hands (a volunteer organization supporting local residents diagnosed with chronic illness who wish to age-in-place in the community), 100 Discovery Blvd, 4th Floor, Newark, DE 19713 (www.lorishands.org) or The Keats-Shelley Association of America, Rm. 226, The New York Public Library, 476 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10018 (www.k-saa.org). To send condolences visit: www.mccreryandharra.com.