Robert Furneaux Jordan

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Robert Furneaux Jordan (10 April 1905 – 14 May 1978) was an English architect, architectural critic and novelist.

A son of the prominent surgeon John Furneaux Jordan,[1] Robert Jordan was educated at King Edward's School, Birmingham, Birmingham School of Art, and the Architectural Association School of Architecture, London. He married Eira Furneaux Jordan in 1965. He worked as an architect from 1928 to 1961, after which he became an academic, broadcaster and lecturer, writing many books on architecture.

Other positions occupied were:

  • 1934-63, Lecturer at the Architectural Association School
  • 1948-51 Principal, Architectural Association School
  • 1951-61 Architectural Correspondent, The Observer, London.
  • 1961-62 Hoffman Wood Professor of Architecture, University of Leeds
  • 1962-? Visiting Professor, Syracuse University, New York[2]

He wrote five crime novels under the name of Robert Player, mostly set in the Victorian and Edwardian periods and published from 1945 until the late 1970s. They contain a strong element of social satire, concerning the hypocrisy and corruptions of those periods.


Detective novels[edit]

  • The Ingenious Mr Stone, 1945: a detective story about the poisoning of the ultra-High Church headmistress of a girls' school in Devonshire
  • Let's Talk of Graves, of Worms, of Epitaphs, 1972: ISBN 0-575-01922-0. A fictional account of an Anglican clergyman who becomes Pope, loosely based on Lytton Strachey's life of Cardinal Manning
  • Oh, Where are Bloody Mary's Earrings?, 1972: concerns a pair of earrings given as a wedding present by Philip II of Spain to Mary I of England, and the times they were stolen or copied between then and the Edwardian period
  • The Homicidal Colonel, 1974: concerns a psychopathic colonel from the American Deep South who reinvents himself as an English country squire and later disappears back to America, there committing a series of sex murders.
  • The Month of the Mangled Models, 1977: a series of murders set at the time of the Pre-Raphaelite and Arts and Crafts movements

Works on architecture[edit]