Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

The Nebuly Coat   By: (1858-1932)

Book cover

First Page:

The Nebuly Coat, by John Meade Falkner.

This extraordinary book was acclaimed on its publication in 1903 as one of the very best books ever written in the English language. We have worked for this transcription from the first edition, which was given two printings, of which we used the second.

There are not so many actors in the story that the reader is baffled, and each of them is beautifully drawn, so that their characters stand out clearly and consistently. It appears that the action of the story was set in the 1860s.

There is a sudden death. Was it a murder? It was recorded as an accidental death in the inquest. If it was a murder then who did it? There is one possibility, but it is unthinkable.

Through a very minor accident the whole situation becomes clear: the mystery is unravelled; the reasons for various earlier actions become known to us.

From the very beginning of the book there is sustained tension, and our interest is kept with ever increasing intensity until we reach the extraordinary climax in the last words of the book.



Sir George Farquhar, Baronet, builder of railway stations, and institutes, and churches, author, antiquarian, and senior partner of Farquhar and Farquhar, leant back in his office chair and turned it sideways to give more point to his remarks. Before him stood an understudy, whom he was sending to superintend the restoration work at Cullerne Minster.

"Well, good bye, Westray; keep your eyes open, and don't forget that you have an important job before you. The church is too big to hide its light under a bushel, and this Society for the Conservation of National Inheritances has made up its mind to advertise itself at our expense. Ignoramuses who don't know an aumbry from an abacus, charlatans, amateur faddists, they will abuse our work. Good, bad, or indifferent, it's all one to them; they are pledged to abuse it."

His voice rang with a fine professional contempt, but he sobered himself and came back to business.

"The south transept roof and the choir vaulting will want careful watching. There is some old trouble, too, in the central tower; and I should like later on to underpin the main crossing piers, but there is no money. For the moment I have said nothing about the tower; it is no use raising doubts that one can't set at rest; and I don't know how we are going to make ends meet, even with the little that it is proposed to do now. If funds come in, we must tackle the tower; but transept and choir vaults are more pressing, and there is no risk from the bells, because the cage is so rotten that they haven't been rung for years.

"You must do your best. It isn't a very profitable stewardship, so try to give as good an account of it as you can. We shan't make a penny out of it, but the church is too well known to play fast and loose with. I have written to the parson a foolish old fellow, who is no more fit than a lady's maid to be trusted with such a church as Cullerne to say you are coming to morrow, and will put in an appearance at the church in the afternoon, in case he wishes to see you. The man is an ass, but he is legal guardian of the place, and has not done badly in collecting money for the restoration; so we must bear with him."


Cullerne Wharf of the Ordnance maps, or plain Cullerne as known to the countryside, lies two miles from the coast to day; but it was once much nearer, and figures in history as a seaport of repute, having sent six ships to fight the Armada, and four to withstand the Dutch a century later. But in fulness of time the estuary of the Cull silted up, and a bar formed at the harbour mouth; so that sea borne commerce was driven to seek other havens. Then the Cull narrowed its channel, and instead of spreading itself out prodigally as heretofore on this side or on that, shrunk to the limits of a well ordered stream, and this none of the greatest... Continue reading book >>

eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book

Popular Genres
More Genres
Paid Books