Biographies of the Inklings:
J.A.W. Bennett

Jack Arthur Walter Bennett (1911 – 1981) was born in New Zealand. He studied at Auckland University before getting a scholarship to Oxford University. Apparently he was often forgetful and considered himself lucky to have gotten the scholarship at all, as he completely forgot to include any testimonials in his application. There was an Oxford Group called the “New Zealand Mafia,” made up of young students from New Zealand, which Bennett was a member of. He formed many long-lasting relationships among the members of this group.

Bennett worked with the British Information Service in America during the Second World War. He returned to Oxford at the end of the war, in 1943. From 1956 to 1980 he was the editor of the journal Medium Aevam as a scholar of Middle English Literature. In 1964, he took over C.S. Lewis’ old position as a Professor of Medieval and Renaissance English at Cambridge University. Bennett was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1976. He worked on the volume “Middle English Literature” for the Oxford History of English Literature. It was completed after Bennett’s death by Douglas Gray and was published in 1986.

He died at the age of 70 and was buried at the Parish of the Ascension Burial Ground in Cambridge with his wife, Gwyneth.

Courtney McCullough

Author and Proofreader