Bertha Clark Pope Damon was an American humorist, author, lecturer, and editor. She wrote the best-selling humorous memoir Grandma Called It Carnal.
The composer Ernst Bacon dedicated two songs to Bertha Damon. Benjamin Lehman, English professor at the University of California, Berkeley, said she “had a real talent for gathering people around her, and that she "was so great a wit that we were all delighted periodically into really uncontrolled laughter.” Well-known writers who were part of her circle include Stella Benson, Witter Bynner, Oscar Lewis, Winfield Townley Scott, and Marie de Laveaga Welch. She was also active in the Sierra Club and wrote accounts of some of its camping trips for the Sierra Club Bulletin.
After graduating from Brown University in 1905, Bertha Clark married Arthur Upham Pope, who had graduated from Brown in 1904 and was soon hired to teach philosophy there. Pope did graduate work at Brown, Cornell and Harvard. In 1910 the couple moved to Berkeley, where he taught until 1917. An affair with student Phyllis Ackerman, who became his second wife, led to his resignation from the university and a divorce from Bertha. Bertha continued to live in the Tudor-style house they had purchased after its use at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition.
She became a close friend of Albert M. Bender, who was treasurer and publications chair of the Book Club of California. Bertha held a part-time job as the first paid secretary of the Book Club in 1920-21, and she edited and wrote an introduction toThe Letters of Ambrose Bierce, published by the club in 1922.
She owned a series of homes in the East Bay in the 1920s. As she told it in her author biographies, "Bertha Damon has earned her living in various ways, the most interesting to her being the successful building and remodeling of houses, though she had no formal training as an architect." In 1927 she traveled by automobile to Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico, with Albert Bender and Ansel Adams. In 1928 she married Lindsay Todd Damon (1871-1940), an English professor at Brown from 1901 to 1936. They bought a house on 250 acres of land near Alton, New Hampshire and spent much of each year there, where she created extensive gardens. Soon she was president of her local garden club and then president of the New Hampshire Federation of Garden Clubs. After her book Grandma Called It Carnal became a best-seller, she was a popular guest lecturer to women's clubs and other groups. She returned to Berkeley for part of each year.
The house she had built on Eagle Hill in Kensington, California was occupied by J. Robert Oppenheimer while he was working on the Manhattan Project; he rented it at first and then bought it from her in 1941. Another home she lived in and worked on was on the waterfront in Point Richmond, California.
- Grandma Called It Carnal (Simon and Schuster, 1938), review, preview) describes her experiences being raised in a Connecticut village by an eccentric grandmother who combined Victorian notions of propriety with a great admiration for Henry David Thoreau and an aversion to modern inventions.
- A Sense of Humus (Simon and Schuster, 1943),  published in England as Green Corners (London: Michael Joseph, 1947), focuses on her adult life in the 1930s in rural New Hampshire, where she became an enthusiastic gardener and enjoyed getting to know some of the local characters. It includes much humor as well as serious passages. "Ruffled Paws," the chapter about cocker spaniels, has appeared in more than one anthology.
- Benjamin H. Lehman, “Recollections and Reminiscences of Life in the Bay Area and Beyond,” 1969, p. 47.
- Joy Grant's 1987 biography of Stella Benson (ISBN 978-0333393178) contains considerable information about Bertha Damon.
- "With the Sierra Club in 1914," Sierra Club Bulletin vol. 9 (January 1915), pp. 247-257 ; "The High Trip of 1925," Sierra Club Bulletin vol. 12, no. 3 (1926).
- "Remnants of a Dream" website , retrieved 31 July 2012.
- David Magee, The Hundredth Book, 1958, pp. xii-xiii. The Letters of Ambrose Bierce was reprinted in 1967 by Gordian Press.
- Ansel Adams, An Autobiography ISBN 0821222414, p. 71.]
- Encyclopedia Brunoniana
- Jack Goodman, editor, The Fireside Book of Dog Stories (Simon & Schuster 1943); Love of Spaniels (Voyageur Press 2000, ISBN 0896584534).