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Lorna Doone (Penguin Classics) Reprint Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 110 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0143039327
ISBN-10: 0143039326
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Historical romance by R.D. Blackmore, published in 1869. Set in the wilds of Exmoor (northern Devonshire, Eng.) during the late 17th century, the novel concerns the adventurous life of the yeoman John Ridd and his love for Lorna Doone, a beautiful maiden. Blackmore considered the novel a romance and studded it with the high adventure, dramatic set pieces, bloody villainy, and obstacles to love that characterize the genre. -- The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Richard Doddridge Blackmore (1825–1900) wrote more than a dozen novels, five books of poetry, and translated Virgil’s Georgics.

Michelle Allen teaches Victorian literature at the U.S. Naval Academy.
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Product Details

  • Series: Penguin Classics
  • Paperback: 800 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Reprint edition (October 25, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143039326
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143039327
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.7 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,211,399 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Oddsfish VINE VOICE on March 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
I was surprised that Lorna Doone by Richard Blackmore was a good as it turned out to be. It had a very compelling story and good characters even if the novel seemed a bit wordy at times. Lorna Doone is also the single best example of a romantic novel. It may not be among the very best of this category (like The Scarlet Letter, Moby Dick, or any of Jane Austen's novels), but it does fit every criteria. It had a major emphasis on feeling as the whole of the book is a love story between John Ridd and Lorna Doone. The book also has a lot of high adventure in it and an emphasis of nature (Blackmore was just about the only English forerunner of Thomas Hardy in novels in this respect). The novel was even about the common man.
The plot of the novel follows John Ridd. He is a respectable farmer who one day happens into the valley of the Doone's, a family/community of outlaws who had killed his father. There, he ends up falling in love with one of the Doone's own, Lorna. Then, John has to find a way to save his love and overcome their differences of birth.
Lorna Doone is a very interesting read. It may not be for everyone because it is long and does tend to dwell on some trivial things for a bit too long. The novel would be good for anyone who likes classics of romanticism. Lorna Doone can be a very worthwhile read.
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Format: Paperback
Yes, this is a romance, complete with endangered heroine, noble highway man, political intrigue, and unlikely last minute reprievals from doom. BUT the hero and narrator, John Ridd, is a farmer; big, strong, no brighter than he ought to be, benevolent, and practical. The fabulous valley of the Doones is firmly ensconced in the everyday Exmoor of 18th century England: the stock must be fed, the hay must be made, the farm-hands managed. In this world it's wonderfully right that the only farmer in Exmoor strong and determined enough to rescue his entire flock from the worst blizzard in years should also rescues lovely Lorna from the vicious Doone clan. Better yet, he also views both extraordinary feats as his simple duty, and describes their despatch more in terms of expedient (the mechanics of snow-shoes, the failure of the signals arranged between the parted lovers) than in flowery language of the heart. Lorna Doone is a paragon of 19th century Romances; Blackmore's writing displays, at their best, the literary qualities sought by his contemporaries: read this book for novel adventure, copiously detailed incident, moral improvement and wonder. You'll wish for an entire winter by the fire-place in order to savor it fully.
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Format: Paperback
Lorna Doone is a classic tale of romance and bravery, vengance and villany. What is important about the book besides the story is the societal subtext. When you read this book you get a picture of what made the British Empire great. We see Master Jan, or John Ridd, a simple squire, who catches his own fish, harvests his own wheat at the head of his labourers. This humble man is not afraid to take matters all the way up to his king and expect justice in return. We see a comedy of errors as militia groups vie with each other and end up fighting each other instead of the enemy. The whole tale is told amid the last battles ever fought on English soil during the little known Monmouth rebellion. A remarkable and noteworthy book, which tells more than the main story. It is both a great read and a portrait of English rural society of the time.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I remember This was a book I had to read for school when I was 11 or so. Usually that meant I was made to read something I really didn't want to. But with this book I found I couldn't stop reading it. I was only suppose to read a chapter at a time but I finished right off. It is at it's core a romantic tale, and being a young boy at the time I would never have picked something described as such. But it goes beyond just a regular romance novel. The story is captivating and the ending will grab you like very few books do.
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Format: Paperback
Lorna Doone is a forgotten classic, typically known and read by everyone of a certain age in the UK, but pretty much ignored in school here in the US.

It's not an easy read, as Blackmore's English is not the modern English we are used to, but it's not all that difficult and well worth the time and effort.

If you read and enjoyed Bronte's Wuthering Heights or Jane Eyre, you will enjoy this romance. At it's core is a wonderful love story of a boy John Ridd) who never forgets his first love, and ultimately fights for the chance to win her heart against his lower social standing, and a band of robbers that have kept her captive -- unbenownst to her, since she was a little girl.

The BBC have made this into a mini-series many times over, and of course Nabisco has named a cookie for dear Lorna. I am sure Disney will catch up at some point. Enjoy the book before that happens and John Ridd's horse talks and sings!
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Format: Paperback
Lorna Doone is a blend of romance and historical fiction. It is both a romantic and action novel. The Doones are a large outlaw clan who were cheated out of their wealth and privilege (they are based on a real historical group of outlaws), who live in Badgworthy Valley and regularly rob and terrorize the local community. For various reasons they are left alone by the authorities and allowed to multiply mainly by kidnapping local women for their wives.
The story is told by John Ridd whose father is killed by one of the Doones when John is 12. One day John accidentally wanders into Doone Valley, where he meets 8 year Lorna. He is immediately smitten and what seems an impossible romance develops several years later. The brutal Carver Doone wants Lorna for his wife, so John must rescue her. The Doones, of course, want her back. John and Lorna also have to overcome differences in rank (she has it, he doesn't), money (she has a lot more than he does) and religion (she's Catholic, he's Protestant).
Blackmore's book vividly describes the Devon countryside in which the novel is set, and the lifestyle of a yeoman farmer. Some people may find all these details unnecessary, and a distraction from the central story but I really enjoyed learning about the lifestyle of late 17th century rural England.
The story is set against the historical backdrop of the death of King Charles II, the Monmouth Rebellion, the brutal suppression of that rebellion by Judge Jeffreys known as the Bloody Assizes, and the short-lived assent of the very Catholic King James to the throne (and fears of 'Papist' rule). I recommend doing some brief research on these events on the Internet before reading this book. An understanding of the historical context will make this an easier and more understandable read.
If you enjoy a good romance novel you will love this book. If you enjoy historical fiction you will also love this book. This book is moving, action packed and educational.
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