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Dr Kate Bennett


I took my BA at Merton College, Oxford. I stayed in Oxford for my D.Phil and was elected a Junior Research Fellow of Christ Church, and subsequently a British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellow. For 6 years I was a teaching fellow in English at Pembroke College, Cambridge, and a Newton Trust Lecturer. I then had a career break to have my two boys, during which I published several articles and worked on a book. This was followed by a research fellowship at New College, Oxford, and a teaching position at Christ Church. I now teach Renaissance and eighteenth century literature at Magdalen College, Oxford.

Research I am editing Hyde Park as a member of the team responsible for the Complete Works of James Shirley. I am the leading authority on the seventeenth-century traveller, biographer, fellow of the Royal Society, and archaeologist John Aubrey, and am publishing the first annotated critical biography of his Brief Lives early in 2015. I am following this up with a biography which focuses on Aubrey's intellectual interests and presents him as a traveller and travel writer. In the longer term I am interested in the topic of "prospects" in seventeenth-century poetry, painting, travel writing, dramatic scenery, and landscape.

Selected publications

John Aubrey, Brief Lives with An Apparatus for the Lives of our English Mathematical Writers 2 vols (OUP, 2015)

‘John Aubrey and the Rhapsodic Book’, Renaissance Studies 28 (April, 2014), 317—32.

‘John Aubrey and the Printed Book’, Huntingdon Library Quarterly 76 (2013), 393—411.

‘John Aubrey and the “Lives of our English Mathematical Writers’’ in Eleanor Robson and Jacqueline Stedall, ed, The Oxford Handbook of the History of Mathematics (OUP, 2009), 329—52.

‘John Aubrey, Hint-Keeper: Life-writing and the Encouragement of Science in the pre-Newtonian Seventeenth Century’, The Seventeenth Century 22 (2007), 358—80