Professor of Early Modern History.
Professor Bennett is a proponent of the New British History as applied to the Early Modern Period having published a series of books on the civil wars and a biography of Oliver Cromwell, although he has been known to publish and give lectures on the space race of the 20th Century. Professor Bennett has written a series of internationally acclaimed authoritative works on the civil wars and revolutions that wracked the mid-17th Century in Britain and Ireland. His work is distinguished by the use of local and regional sources to build up a comprehensive picture of the effects of war and revolution across the British Isles. In collecting this material he has used the resources of over fifty record repositories around Britain and Ireland.
Currently Professor Bennett is continuing the work on Oliver Cromwell's military career as part of a series of projects related to a study of the development of the Three Kingdoms / Four Nations of the British Isles during the seventeenth century. He is also continuing his work on Oliver Cromwell as part of the Advisory Board of the Cromwell Project which will publish the Lord Protector's letters and papers by the middle of this decade.
Professor Bennett was also a founder member of FORWARD the 17th Century research seminar established at the University which ran for over a decade and provided a forum for researchers and students working on the period in related disciplines of History and related disciplines. A book of essays written by members of the forum, edited by him was published in 2005. Forward was the subject of an article in the Times Higher Education Supplement in 2000 because of its innovative practices of integrating teaching and research.
Professor Bennett is a regular contributor to local radio programmes and has appeared on national television on the BBC's History Cold Case Series in 2011 and Michael Wood's BBC 2 series The Great British Story in 2012. Professor Bennett has also presented History programmes on Notts TV during 2014.
Professor Bennett is History Editor of the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire journal: Transactions of the Thoroton Society.
Research students currently and previously supervised have worked on gender and crime in the early modern period, protestant dissent, millenarian thought in the pre-civil war era, witchcraft, presentations of manhood in the 17th Century, the development of male homosexual culture in the late 17th and early 18th Century, the East midlands' Gentry and the reign of James II, women's writing in early modern Britain and female dramatists of seventeenth century England, and more recently the development of British infantry firepower during the seventeenth and eighteen centuries. By working on the four nations Professor Bennett has been able to explore a wide range of societal issues within the period, including law and order, war and gender history.
Opportunities to carry out postgraduate research towards an MPhil / PhD exist in all the areas identified above. Further information may be obtained from the NTU Graduate School.
Sponsors and collaborators
Major grants and current projects:
- AHRC / IRCHSS Research Development Initiative for Irish and Britich Projects: (joint PI with Dr Micheal O'Siochru of Trinity College Dublin (2009-2010), £15,270
- British Academy Small Award (2007 – 2008), £4081.30
- Joint director of Perdita Project, AHRB (1998), £160,000
- The Tempest: The British Isles 1589-1614: Britain and Ireland 1620-1637
- Cromwell Project
- an edition of Lucy Hutchinson's Memoirs of the Life of Colonel Hutchinson , with Professor David Norbrooke of Oxford University
- the Cromwell Project with Dr Michael O'Siochru of Trinity College Dublin
- The A-Z of The British and Irish Civil Wars. Bennett M, 2010, Lanham, Maryland, Scarecrow Press, pp280; pbk 0-8108-7626-4 | 978-0-8108-7626-2, (second American edition and fourth edition overall of five)
- Oliver Cromwell. Bennett M, 2006, Abingdon, Routledge, pp299, ISBN 0-415-31922-6
- 'A Constable to keep the peace': The violent context of Oliver Cromwell's Protectorate. Bennett M in (ed) Frank Jacobs, HRSG, Diktaturen Ohne Gewalt? Wie Dictatoren Ihre Macht Behauptenm, Globalhistorische Komparativstudien 2, 2014, Velag Konigshausen & Nuemann, GmbH, Wurzberg
- 'The wars of the three kingdoms'. Bennett M in (eds) Spiers EM, Crang J, Strickland M, A Military History of Scotland, 2012, Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press
- Roman catholic officers in the North Midlands: 1642-1646. Bennett M, Journal of Military and Strategic Studies, 6, Winter 2003-Spring 2004, pp15
- 'Up in flames: King James and the pyrotechnical vision of militant protestant Europe'. Bennett M, Centre for Seventeenth Century Studies 13th International Conference, 22 July 2010, Durham University
- History Cold Case, Series Two 'The York 113': Shine TV with Red Planet Pictures, Producer Mike Taylor, first broadcast BBC 2, 7 July 2011, 9 pm - 10 pm
Professor Bennett is an experienced media commentator and has provided expertise for programmes such as BBC 2's History Cold Case, The One Show and National Geographic's Bloody Tales.
He can offer comment on England; Ireland; Scotland; United Kingdom; graduate schools; postgraduate research; postgraduate research students; Oliver Cromwell; Seventeenth Century British and Irish history; the civil wars 1639-1656; social, political military; King Charles I; King Charles II; King James VI and I; King James VII and II; King William III.