When Bennett first arrived in California in 1890, he began working for architect Robert White. During this time, he was also mentored by architect Bernard Ralph Maybeck, an informal teacher of sorts who encouraged many to pursue a career in architecture. It was Maybeck’s friend, the philanthropist Phoebe A. Hearst, who later financed Bennett’s schooling at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Bennett left for Paris in 1895, and he kept in touch with Maybeck throughout his schooling. Some of Maybeck’s letters, along with other correspondence from this important time in Bennett’s life, are now a part of Lake Forest College’s Edward H. Bennett Collection.
I shall have a little money to spend for books before I go but no time to go to London. Will you please call at once on Mr. Shaw & ask him whom to see to find out what English books the Eng. Architects have in their libraries—I want nothing treating of Italian, French, etc. architecture—want English country houses, domestic architecture, manor houses, palaces, churches, colleges, cathedrals, old castles (& new ones) in fact I want of England what I can get here of Italy & France—what I would see myself if I could spend a year in Eng. I want [unknown] works of course—& prices & must know where to buy the works—but first I want the list & either Mr. Belcher or Mr. Shaw to O.K. it. I must have this at once—will will pay you for your time while you look it up—We sail Dec. 14& must pack much before so “tout suite” please,
B. R. Maybeck, A.M.
7 Rue Honor Chevalier, Paris