A medievalist amidst modernity: John Meade Falkner | University of Oxford

A medievalist amidst modernity: John Meade Falkner

Richard Davenport-Hines
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Weston Library
Broad Street
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Lectures and seminars
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John Meade Falkner (1858-1932), was a unique Oxonian. He was director and then chairman of Armstrong, Whitworth, the armaments and shipbuilding in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. His working life thrilled him with its power and modernity. Yet he made time to write a pioneering architectural guide to Oxfordshire, poems of enduring interest and three striking novels, The Lost Stradivarius, Moonfleet and The Nebuly Coat. Falkner identified himself as a medievalist in his temperament and opinions. He collected missals and illuminated manuscripts. He tried to return to Oxford at least once a term for a day’s respite in the Bodleian. His greatest luxury was to spend months in the Vatican Library. In old age he was appointed honorary reader in palaeography at the University of Durham, and honorary librarian of the Cathedral there. Meet the man and his biographer.