Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Falkner, J Meade

(1858-1932) UK armaments manufacturer and writer whose first novel, The Lost Stradivarius (1895), is a compellingly told Supernatural Fiction. The 19th-century protagonist, after playing an anonymous 18th-century piece of music, finds himself haunted by the Ghost of a musician and profligate from that period. He traces the ghost to a sealed-over cupboard, which when opened reveals the eponymous violin. The protagonist's life goes downhill from this point. JMF imparts a message similar to that conveyed by Vernon Lee: that art – in particular the art of 18th-century Italy – is deeply alluring but deadly. The terror underlying the work of both authors is not in fact of Possession but of transcendence. [JC]

John Meade Falkner


This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.