F K , Falkner, J  Meade Exell - Author Picture

F K , Falkner, J Meade Exell - Authors

John Meade Falkner, born on May 8th,1858, in a village in Wiltshire, England, was the second son of Thomas Alexander Falkner (1819-87) and his wife, Elizabeth Grace (Mead). Falkner’s formal education started with Latin lessons from his mother, commencing on his fifth birthday, followed by Greek from his father on his 6th. These two excellent teachers imbued him with a life-long love of classical learning. In 1888 he was made Company Secretary to Armstrong Mitchell & Co. Because of his abilities and Noble family contacts, his climb was rapid; he became Secretary to the newly amalgamated Armstrong Whitworth Co. in 1897 and a director in 1901. His command of foreign languages, which allowed him to negotiate for the company directly with foreign governments as well as follow military reports from around the world, made him an invaluable member of the firm. In 1899, at the age of 40, he married Evelyn Violet Adye who was then 29. The marriage lasted the rest of his life, but seems to have been, on his part at least, a relatively passionless affair, for there were no children. His first book, A Pocket Guide to Oxfordshire was published in 1894. This was followed by The Lost Stradivarius (1895), Moonfleet (1896) and, in 1899, A History of Oxfordshire. His last books were A Pocket Guide to Berkshire (1902), and The Nebuly Coat (1903). He had been writing poetry ever since his days at Marlborough, but, as his health worsened, his poetic output declined considerably.

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