Thursday 28 August 2014

In Memory of MM Bennetts

Over the past year as I have been writing this blog, I have had the fortune to meet some lovely people and enjoy their support, warmth and shared expertise. One of these was MM Bennetts, a remarkable lady who sadly passed away this week. I will remember her as a woman with a passion for history, family, horses and life itself, always full of good humour and grace.

For some twenty years, she was a book critic for the Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper, The Christian Science Monitor, specialising in history and fiction. She was one of the editors of Castles, Customs and Kings ~ True Tales by English Historical Fiction Authors, as well as the author of two novels set amidst the turmoil of the Napoleonic wars:  May 1812 and Of Honest Fame.  

Earlier this year MM gave an interview to Stephanie at the wonderful Layered Pages site. My post today is simply a link to that interview and to a tribute to MM. I hope you will enjoy it and hopefully read MM's books too, if you haven't already, you won't regret it.

An Interview with MM Bennetts

A tribute by the Bennetts family

Of Honest Fame cover


Debra Brown said...

This is the second day in a row I have crawled out of bed early to talk with others about MM. Yesterday it was still only the family who knew at the time and a few they had contacted, and today I just had to get up and rejoin the great throng of grieving authors and readers. MM will long be missed--as long as we live.

My last email to MM was August 6 (I was trying not to bother her often). It was titled "Missing you". It read:

"Dear MM,

"I am missing you terribly, not to mention worried. Please tell me how you are. People seem to know you must be ill, and some have told me to give you their love (Linda Root and Catherine Curzon "Madame Gilflurt").

"I do hope you are well enough to reply, but I understand if you are not.

"Debbie xox xox xox"

MM, as always, had a positive outlook. Though she had never answered the email before the above, this time I heard from her. She said:

"I've had a rough few weeks, but have finally turned the corner, I think. Love to everyone. "xxxMM"

Those were her last words to me. I'm in tears.

Catherine Curzon said...

Thanks, Debbie, I'm still trying to process the news, she had such an impact on so many people. x

historywriter said...

Thanks for posting. THough I never met her in person, she was one of my on-line friends who loved history as much as I did. We "met" several years ago and drifted over to Facebook with a bunch of other writers from Authonomy where we were testing out our novels. She was going to be part of my launch of my 20th century novel in late March, then wrote the day of that she wasn't feeling well. Nothing other than that. I will miss her greatly. Such a shock to learn yesterday.

Catherine Curzon said...

Thanks for sharing your memories; as a fellow online friend, I share your shock. I knew she was unwell but this was such unexpected and tragic news.

Debra Brown said...

Somehow "not feeling well" and "unwell" don't seem fatal, do they? I knew it probably was and fairly soon, but she was so private and just did not want everyone to know. If it were not for our work together, she probably wouldn't have told me, either.