Falkener, Edward (DNB01)

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FALKENER, EDWARD (1814–1896), born in London on 28 Feb. 1814, was the son of Lyon Falkener, head of the ordnance department in the Tower of London. He was educated at a private school in Kent, and after declining a nomination for the civil service of the East India Company on the ground of delicate health, he was articled to John Newman (1786–1859) [q. v.], an architect. He became a student of the Royal Academy in 1836, and in 1839 gained its gold medal for a design for a cathedral church. In the latter year he published 'Was the Ceiling of the Parthenon flat or curved?' which was described as 'the introduction to a proposed work on Greek sculpture.' In 1842 he started on a tour through all the countries of Europe except Spain and Portugal, through Asia Minor, Syria, Palestine, and Egypt, and visited some of the Greek islands. He made careful studies of the architectural remains in the various places he visited, many of them being out of the ordinary track. While in Denmark he made sketches of the palace of Fredericksberg. When it was burned in 1859 the king of Denmark, desiring to restore it in its original form, obtained Falkener's original drawings. The king in acknowledgment made him a knight of the order of the Dannebrog. In 1847, when he was at Pompeii, he was allowed to excavate, at his own expense, a house named the House of Marcus Lucretius, a plan and description of which is given in his 'Museum of Classical Antiquities.' The Greek inscriptions he collected during his travels were edited in 1852 by Dr. W. Henzen.

Falkener practised his profession for a few years, building some offices on St. Dunstan's Hill, E.C., and subsequently made alterations to his house at Glanymor, Langharne, Carmarthenshire, but devoted most of his time to literary work and making drawings of restorations. His drawings, which were exhibited in Paris at the Exposition Universelle, 1855, gained him the grande médaille d'honneur, and in 1861 he was presented with another gold medal by the king of Prussia for his works on classical archæology. In 1866 he married, relinquished all private practice, and retired to Wales; but he continued his studies and restorations to the end of his life, being engaged on a treatise on the Greek houses at Pompeii up to the time of his death at Glanymor on 17 Dec. 1896.

Falkener had a thorough knowledge of every branch of architecture and classical archaeology, and, among other things, wrote on the lighting of museums of sculpture, and the artificial illumination of churches and mosques. He was a firm supporter of the lighting of Greek temples by the hypæthron, in opposition to the views of James Fergusson (1808–1886) [q. v.] and Dr. Dorpfeld, and published a treatise 'On the Hypæthron of Greek Temples,' London, 1861, 8vo. Some of the illustrations in Fergusson's 'History of Architecture' were furnished by him, and many of his sketches were published in the 'Architectural Publication Society's Dictionary.' He was a member of the Academy of Bologna, of the Architectural Institutes of Berlin and Rome, and was elected honorary fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects on 2 Dec. 1895.

In 1866 he married Blanche Golding Victoria, daughter of Benjamin Golding [q. v.], who, with a son and three daughters, survives him.

Besides the works mentioned and 'Dædalus; or, the Causes and Principles of the Excellence of Greek Sculpture,' London, 1860, 4to, Falkener edited from 1851 to 1855 the 'Museum of Classical Antiquities,' and frequently contributed to the 'Proceedings of the Royal Institute of British Architects.' Two books by him, 'Ephesus and the Temple of Diana,' 1862, and 'Games, Ancient and Oriental,' 1892, which are not in the British Museum Library, are in the library of the Royal Institute of British Architects. Under the pseudonym of E. F. O. Thurcastle (Edward Falkener of Thurcastle) he published in 1884 'Does the "Revised Version" affect the Doctrine of the New Testament?'

[Works in Brit. Museum Library; Times, 23 Dec. 1896; Mr. F. C. Penrose in Journal of the Royal Institute of British Architects, 1896-1897, pp. 149–52; Genealogist, new ser. i. 129–139; Fletcher's Leicestershire Pedigrees and Royal Descents, pp. 45-9.]

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