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Jack Arthur Walter Bennett
(1911–1981) was a New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...
-born literary scholar. He was best known as a scholar of Middle English
Middle English is the stage in the history of the English language during the High and Late Middle Ages, or roughly during the four centuries between the late 11th and the late 15th century....
literature. He was editor of the journal Medium Aevum
from 1956 to 1980, having earlier assisted his predecessor, C. T. Onions
Charles Talbut Onions was an English grammarian and lexicographer and the fourth editor of the Oxford English Dictionary....
, and was a colleague of C. S. Lewis
Clive Staples Lewis , commonly referred to as C. S. Lewis and known to his friends and family as "Jack", was a novelist, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian and Christian apologist from Belfast, Ireland...
at Magdalen College, Oxford
Magdalen College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England. As of 2006 the college had an estimated financial endowment of £153 million. Magdalen is currently top of the Norrington Table after over half of its 2010 finalists received first-class degrees, a record...
. In 1964 he succeeded Lewis as Professor of Medieval and Renaissance English, Cambridge University
The Chair in Medieval and Renaissance English is a professorship in English at Cambridge University. It was created in 1954 for C. S. Lewis, and is unusual among professorships in this field in uniting 'medieval' and 'renaissance' categories and fields of study.-Professors of Medieval and...
. He was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
The American Academy of Arts and Sciences is an independent policy research center that conducts multidisciplinary studies of complex and emerging problems. The Academy’s elected members are leaders in the academic disciplines, the arts, business, and public affairs.James Bowdoin, John Adams, and...
in 1976. His most substantial work was the volume on Middle English Literature
for the 'Oxford History of English Literature', which was completed after his death by Douglas Gray and published in 1986.
- Piero Boitani & Anna Torti, eds. (1983) Literature in Fourteenth-Century England: The J. A. W. Bennett Memorial Lectures, Perugia, 1981-1982. Tübingen: Narr; Cambridge: Brewer
- P. L. Heyworth, ed. (1981) Medieval Studies for J. A. W. Bennett: aetatis suae LXX. Oxford: Clarendon Press