John Meade Falkner, the son of a country cleryman, was born in 1858. After taking his degree at Oxford, he went to Newcastle-upon-Tyne as a private tutor to the sons of Andrew Noble. When they had grown up he stayed on with the family, and entered the firm where Sir Andrew worked. He travelled a great deal for the firm, particularly to the Balkans, helping to export warships and armaments, for which he received many decorations from appreciative foreign governments.Meade Falkner was a great collector of books, and an expert palaeographer - he even received a medal from the Pope for this. He was a benefactor to libraries, not only in England, but also to the Vatican library in Rome. He loved the small Cotswold town of Burford which it was said of in 1970 that it owed its then present state of preservation to his generosity. He was buried in its churchyard after his death in 1932.He published guide books, historical essays, and some poetry, but his best work was in his novels. He wrote four, but only published three as he lost one while on a train. Of these, Moonfleet, his best adventure story, was made into a feature film.