The Nebuly Coat

The Nebuly Coat
Author J. Meade Falkner
Country Britain
Language English

The Nebuly Coat is a suspense novel written by J. Meade Falkner. It was published in 1903 and has since been adapted for the stage.


The book tells of the experiences of a young architect, Edward Westray, who is sent to the remote town of Cullerne to supervise restoration work on Cullerne Minster.[1] He finds himself caught up in Cullerne life, and hears rumours about a mystery surrounding the claim to the title of Lord Blandamer, whose coat of arms in the Minster's great transept window is the nebuly coat of the title. When the new Lord Blandamer arrives, promising to pay all the costs of the restoration, Westray suspects that the new lord is not what he seems.

The Telegraph said the book "could strike the careless reader as no more than a curiosity, a bit of amateur work. Yet this would be a mistake."[2]


A coat of arms with a 'nebuly' design of the kind referenced in the title.

The Nebuly Coat includes elements that were central interests in Falkner's life, church architecture and heraldry.[citation needed] The massive Romanesque arches of Cullerne Minster recall those of Durham Cathedral which Falkner was familiar with through his work as Honorary Librarian to the Dean and Chapter as well as viewing it from his house on Palace Green.[citation needed]

Publication history

  • 1903 1st edition, Edward Arnold, London
  • 1904 5th impression, Edward Arnold, London
  • 1943 Penguin Books[3] No 437
  • 1954 Geoffrey Cumberlege / Oxford University Press (together with The Lost Stradivarius)[4]
  • 1983 Three Rivers Bks, ISBN 978-0-907951-05-6 and ISBN 978-0-907951-08-7
  • 1988 Oxford University Press
  • 1989 Oxford Paperbacks, ISBN 978-0-19-281612-2
  • 2004 Ash-Tree Press, Ashcroft, British Columbia, ISBN 1-55310-073-5
  • 2006 Steve Savage Publishers Limited ISBN 978-1-904246-22-0
  • 2009 Athelstane Kindle Edition ASIN B0015YEQ1Y


It was adapted for radio in the Story Time slot on the BBC Home Service by Thea Holme starting on 1 April 1965.[5] It was produced by Brian Miller, and the organ was played by Edward Fry at St. Monica's Chapel, Bristol. The actors were:[6]

  • Canon Parkyn: Eric Anderson
  • Westray: Peter Marinker
  • Dr Ennefer: Ronald Russell
  • Sharnall: Peter Pratt
  • Janaway: Robert Bashford
  • Creole singer: Mollie Petrie
  • Anastasia: Carol Marsh
  • Miss Joliffe: Gladys Spencer


  1. ^ "The Nebuly Coat. By John Meade Falkner. Edward Arnold". Leeds Mercury. England. 23 November 1903. Retrieved 18 March 2019 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  2. ^ Wilson, AN (5 January 2004). "World of books". The Telegraph. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  3. ^ "London Notes and Comment". Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer. England. 24 September 1943. Retrieved 18 March 2019 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  4. ^ "Christmas Choice". Birmingham Daily Post. England. 30 November 1954. Retrieved 18 March 2019 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  5. ^ "Television and Radio". Coventry Evening Telegraph. England. 1 April 1965. Retrieved 18 March 2019 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  6. ^ "Thursday, 1st April 1965". The Radio Times (2159): 60. 25 March 1965. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  • Review. The Spectator. 14 November 1903. pp. 813–14.

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