In Loving Memory…

On 25th August 2014, MM Bennetts passed away at her home in Hampshire, England. We can tell you all that it was painless and she was very peaceful.


Although she had been fighting her illness for some time, MM Bennetts was determined not to be known or remembered as the victim of a disease. She wanted people to know her as a writer, historian, keen horse-rider, great friend, mother and general smarty-pants.

002Many people have asked or wondered if MM was every inch the person that she seemed to be on this blog. The simple answer is yes. She was exactly as witty and knowledgeable in person as she was in writing, and talking to her was delightful. She had a quirky sense of humour that appreciated both sophisticated word-play and plastic slug pranks. And what she wrote was based on experience or extensive research.

When it came to her work and her research, she was passionate about both. She would try anything to get a better understanding. IMG_0444In previous blogs she talked about shooting with the guns from Waterloo, about her riding, tying a cravat, taking snuff, and a great many other things. I can safely tell you that I personally witnessed the big green bruise on her arm from the kick of that gun (the same bruise of which she was very proud, parading it around like an old battle wound). I heard her complain of saddle sores, and she showed me how to take snuff for myself.

The woman herself was something of a walking paradox. MM was both the simplest and most complicated person. Her love of horses and ‘cakey’ was clear to anyone, and it was impressive how she managed to consume as much tea as she did. The horses she knew and loved were more like members of the family than anything else. Riding was one of her favourite things, particularly riding dressage and hacking out in the countryside. She loved art, and beautiful MM 01gardens – she was particularly fond of roses. She was also a fine pianist. She could be reduced to tears by certain pieces of classical music, and it was a pleasure to hear her play. However, when you spoke to her, especially on history, you knew that you were talking to the brightest and sharpest of minds.

That sharp mind never stopped working. It has been working brilliantly for decades. Whilst we may not be able to enjoy what was to come in the next book ‘Or Fear of Peace’, this does not mean that she has nothing left to give. We have yet to go through her notes and computer, and if there is anything we can tell you regarding the later books we will publish it here at a later date.

Should you miss her, and we know that many of you will, we invite you to stick the kettle on and open one of her books, or return to this blog. In all honesty, she is not truly gone. She left behind her words and plenty of cake-related references for us to enjoy again and again. She inspired so many people and I know that I, among many, are so happy to have had her in my life.

Now, to finish, I would like to rely on someone whom she felt, in this song, summed her up perfectly. Al Stewart, and his wonderful number Red Toupee. (And yes, many of the things he mentions were things she either did, or wanted to do. I kid you not, she was possibly quite mad.)

With love, the Bennetts clan.

52 comments on “In Loving Memory…

  1. I was shocked to hear that she had died. She was a dear, dear friend. The last time we were in touch, was on June 14. She was reading a book I had sent her. She said she was tired but resting and seemed happy. She gave so much to so many in her own, quiet, thoughtful way. I will never forget her. My sympathies to her family, especially her beautiful daughters she loved so much. She will be missed.

  2. kescah says:

    I can’t even express how much MM will be missed. She impressed me so much with her uncomplaining spirit and continued amazing humor. May we all do as well when we face such challenges.

    My sympathy and blessings to the family.

  3. kescah says:

    I wish I had kept every email she sent me. Each was filled with humor and kindness.

  4. Although I knew M.M. only through the virtual world her passion for history and her ability as a writer came strongly through. She will be missed by lots of folks like me who, doubtless, you (her family) never even knew existed. There is something telling in that–in the fact the tendrils of what she loved to do reached out so far. Condolences.

  5. Cheri Lasota says:

    Thinking of you all. I started re-reading May 1812 today, and suddenly the tears dried on my cheeks and I found myself smiling at Myddelton’s predicament of marriage. She’ll live on always, through her words especially. ❤ Love to you all.

  6. RachelB. says:

    It’s clear she lived a life well-lived. She will be sorely missed!

  7. Everybody needs to smile, laugh, and gobble cakey and tea. That’s absolutely what she would want. If we all mope around and get depressed she WILL haunt us and break our furniture. Trust me on this. 😉

  8. Tee Tyson says:

    She will always be here. In my heart. A golden lady, wry and wonderful. A bright star that will never fade. My memories of her hold nothing but love.

  9. I’m very sorry to hear this. I enjoyed her blog. She was enormously entertaining. You are right that she is not gone – she is everywhere, especially in the books she wrote and characters she created.

  10. I’m simply shocked, and very, very sad. My very best wishes to Ben and the girls. Let’s hope there are horses in heaven.

  11. A wonderful tribute to a wonderful lady.

  12. J.S. Colley says:

    My condolences to the family. She will be missed by many.

  13. skrizzolo says:

    I had a social media exchange with MM just a few months ago after I responded to a blog post she had written. What a lovely human being who will be missed! My condolences to her family.

  14. So very shocked and saddened. I’m currently reading Of Honest Fame. I only knew her through FB as a fellow writer – and a superb one at that – and a very intelligent strongly spirited woman. I had missed her on FB recently, but never suspected she was so ill. My deepest condolences to her family and close friends. She has left so much behind …

  15. John Booth says:

    Shocked and saddened by this news. My sincere condolences to her family and all who knew her.

  16. Annette White says:

    My deepest sympathy to the family. It has been a privilege to know MM a little bit through the medium of Facebook. Her sparkling wit and profound historical insights will be remembered fondly.

  17. Maggi Andersen says:

    So shocked, my deepest sympathy. She will be missed.

  18. hannahwar says:

    Struggling in the middle of the horrible disease myself (one daughter lost on 15 March 2014 and a son fighting for his life right now), I will forever remember and cherish M.m.’s consoling words in the darkest hours of my daughter’s fight.
    It is very still in me right now because I fully realise the sacrifice this beautiful soul, this mother, his wife, this superb writer, historian, horse-woman, pianist has had to make, leaving this world where there was so much to love for her still and where people loved her so dearly and were far from ready to let her go.
    I know she was much, much more than the disease and she will be remembered for all that made her so unique and loved but my heart weeps right now for all those bright stars that leave us too soon, making us bewildered, lost, confused about the meaning of life. I pray we may still find meaning in life that surpasses death and I pray her family and friends will find comfort in the legacy of her radiant spirit.

  19. Lori White says:

    What a beautiful memorial. I loved your mother and her love for life. I love all she taught. She was a wonderful friend,calling me all the way from England when I adopted my daughter. I will still sense her with me while I am drinking tea. My love to you and your family.

  20. margaretskea Author of prize winning historical novel Turn of the Tide says:

    What a wonderful tribute to a fine writer who brought so much enjoyment to many through her books and a lovely person who gave so generously of her time, her knowledge and always honest opinion to encourage others and to help get hopelessly non-technical folk (like me) out of trouble. I was privileged to have met her in person as well as online, though I wish it had been sooner. I will miss her, but I won’t forget her. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  21. leisie93 says:

    I am so saddened. To her family and friends and especially to the person writing this post, please accent my sincerest condolences. She wrote such a great blog. I never met in her person. But if a person writes so well, I don’t always need to meet them to know them.

  22. Nya Rawlyns says:

    I am shocked and saddened beyond measure. I shall miss her keen wit, her deep appreciation for history and her abiding love for horses. My condolences to the family.

  23. I am saddened to learn of the passing of this remarkably witty, talented and wonderful woman. My deepest sympathy to her family and friends.

  24. prue batten says:

    I can’t begin to tell you how shocked and saddened I am. M.m was sparkle in champagne for me. I became friends with her, as hist. dict writers do, on EHFA and we shared a love of Dorothy Dunnett, horses and cake. Such a loss of a bright bright mind and I’m so glad her blog will remain as a perfect example of intelligent conversation, master swordsmanship and shed love of all things historical. My kindest thoughts are with the Bennetts clan and with all M.m’s friends – equine, canine and human.

  25. prue batten says:

    M.m would laugh – I meant master wordsmithing but of course hit the wrong buttons and was helped along by wordpress. So sorry, M.m!

  26. Andrew says:

    So shocked and so sad to hear this news. I will remember her as someone who was so very kind to me and a good friend and a great deal of fun, we had such good times making up stories. Rest in peace. x

  27. historyweaver says:

    So very sorry and shocked to hear. We met on Authonomy when it first came out and loved her books right away, respected her historical research chops and of course, horses. I had no idea. She was going to be on my Facebook event in late March, then on the day of, she said wasn’t feeling well. She will be missed. Will have to reread 1812. Thinking of all you, especially you Ben as I know how hard it is to lose someone you love dearly. Peace to all of you.

  28. Pam says:

    I love her books and was patiently waiting for the next one. Loved reading all that she put on line. I learned quite a bit about history from her and I thank her.
    My sympathy to her family and friends.

  29. I am so sorry to learn of M.m.’s passing. I admired her tremendously. This will leave an unfillable gap in our EHFA fellowship. She will be missed profoundly.

  30. jabeardrf says:

    My deepest condolences.

  31. J.P. Lane says:

    I am so sorry to hear of her passing. I admired her tremendously. She was an inspiration and a generous sharer of information. I’ll miss her blogs very much.

    • Debra says:

      I had no idea that she was sick. I found her blog by accident as I love history and I loveed her stories, it was fantastic to read her stuff. May the most High God remember her for good.

  32. She was my friend and today is hard. Very hard.

  33. Jason Quinn (Lord Dunno) says:

    I am so stunned to hear the news. MM is one of the great wits of the age. A great laugh, an inspiration, a sauce-box, and the world is emptier without her.
    Lord Dunno

  34. Thank you for posting such a beautiful tribute. My condolences to the Bennetts clan.

  35. danholloway says:

    So saddened to read this. An inspiration to so many. My thoughts are with you all xxx

  36. Ingibjörg Ágústsdóttir says:

    I am so very sorry to hear of her passing. I never met her personally but we had some very interesting discussions on Facebook on the subject of historical fiction. I have also enjoyed her blog immensely, she was such a witty and intelligent writer with a great knack for words. My deepest condolences to her family and friends.

  37. I didn’t know M.M. personally, but bumped into her from time to time in historical fiction circles and loved her facile mind. My deepest condolences to her family and friends.

  38. I read both her books and had a few Facebook conversations with her, so I can’t say I knew her more than a little, but still, tears come to my eyes every time I think of her. She will be much missed by a great many people.

  39. I am shocked and saddened to read this news. She will be a great loss to the history community. I am glad she was able to write down so much of her knowledge to share with others. My sympathy goes to her family and friends.

  40. Gerri Bowen says:

    I am shocked and saddened by this news, and so very sorry for your loss. She will be missed.

  41. linda collison says:

    She will indeed be missed. Thank you for letting us know of her passing, and for this lovely memorial.

  42. My sincerest sympathies to the Bennetts family.

  43. Cindy Rehm says:

    What a loss to historical fiction as well as to her many family and friends. Even though I didn’t know her except throught her books; she became a great encourager to my daughter a fellow writer. The world will be a little darker without her talent to make it shine.

  44. Ben Bennetts says:

    Reblogged this on Things Unrespected and commented:
    My daughter’s deeply moving tribute to her mother.

  45. Kirsty b says:

    An amazing person who will never be forgotten
    She will be remembered for her witty remarks,wicked sense of humour but most of all for her passion for life
    I shall miss her more than words can express and i hope she has tea and cake wherever she is.

  46. “Age cannot whither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety.” ❤

  47. So sorry to hear about her passing! My condolences to her family and friends!

  48. mmFahren (mignon) says:

    O my God, emmie, I had no idea. Praying and cherishing the very long reply you mailed me and your counsels, dearie. I’ve been so out the loop, on email and in FB, I’m stricken. God’s peace, braveone and dear heart!

  49. I’m shocked and saddened to hear this. My thoughts and prayers are with MM’s loved ones.

  50. jayne says:

    I got to know MM through our mutual love of Dorothy Dunnett books and our love of the Regency era. I learnt a lot from this lovely lady. I will miss our chats.RIP MM.

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