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Lorna Doone (1869)

by R. D. Blackmore

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,833423,752 (3.77)93
In seventeenth-century England, John Ridd returns home to Exmoor and forms a forbidden but enduring friendship with Lorna Doone, the granddaughter of the head of the outlaw Doone clan responsible for the death of John's father.
  1. 20
    Green Mansions by W. H. Hudson (atimco)
    atimco: The romantic relationships are very similar in these two books, and both are told in the first person by the man.
  2. 10
    The Facts on which Blackmore based Lorna Doone [Tenth Edition] by Atholl Oakeley (Sylak)
    Sylak: For true Doonaphiles only.
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» See also 93 mentions

English (40)  French (2)  All languages (42)
Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
I thought Lorna Doone was a wonderful, moving book when I was a teenager. It was one of those "best books ever!" type of book for me. I loved the drama, I loved the characters, it got a hold of me in a way a lot of books did not.

I miss being a teenager sometimes with those raw emotions and being able to be so moved by literature that your life could be changed by one paragraph.

I plan on re-reading this again at some point, but I don't want to be disappointed. That happens sometimes, but the review will stay 4 stars because that's the feeling I get when I see the cover. ( )
1 vote Chica3000 | Dec 11, 2020 |
When I realized that this was a nineteenth-century work set in the seventeenth century, I thought, "Well, this is either going to be grueling or delightful." It turned out to be just the right blend of delights to win my heart. The beautiful descriptions of Devonshire and Somerset, the homely likeability of John Ridd, the charmingly anthropomorphized descriptions of animals (!), an ample dash of political and religious history adding texture to the setting, with a good balance of dry humor and melancholy that wasn't too heavy-handed. It's too soon to tell if this is the sort of novel I'd reread more than once a decade, but I'm certainly glad I didn't wait longer to pull it out of the to-read queue. ( )
  LudieGrace | Aug 10, 2020 |
This was a slog. Very much from a male perspective, in the most boring way. ( )
  ErinCSmith | Jul 24, 2020 |
John Ridd’s life as he narrates his story is as large as he is. The Hercules of Exmoor, as his author describes his strength, is as gigantic as the near seven-foot yeoman himself. He has been the sole male support of his family since he was schoolboy when his father’s death at the hands of the Doones, the aristocratic outlaws of his region of southwest England, placed him in this position. A champion wrestler at county fairs, he must, as an adult, tackle the wiles of the lawyers and court of King James II, as well as the outlaws of Bagworthy Forest, and the labors of the harvest and fields. Ironically, his only true love, Lorna Doone, is a member of the clan of his enemies.

Blackmore’s romance, a he terms his most popular book, is more than a seventeenth century Romeo and Juliet. In addition to John’s striving for a match above his station in life, there are Blackmore’s expert characterizations of John, his family, friends and rivals. The countryside and its seasons are described so vividly and actively that it’s more an active character than background or setting. There are also episodes of court intrigue, religious contention between Catholics and Protestants, several pitched assaults and battles, secret business deals, open rebellion, multiple near escapes, and even hints of supernatural doings. It’s a bit of something for every reader formula that still works for best sellers today as it did in 1869 when Lorna Doone was first published. ( )
2 vote MaowangVater | Aug 9, 2019 |
Does no one read Lorna Doone anymore? Only ~2400 copies are listed at LibraryThing, less than 10% of what I would have expected. I loved this work as a boy and teen, and read it at least twice. Those were days in which I loved classic novels such as The Three Musketeers, The Prisoner of Zenda, The Scarlet Pimpernel, and The Thirty-Nine Steps. I do not remember details of the plot of Lorna Doone, but do remember thrilling to the powerful combination of passionate romance, danger, intrigue, and deep family secrets, all told against the backdrop of rural, western England. Then there's the unforgettable climax, when Carver Doone shoots Lorna during her wedding to John Ridd, is chased down by John, and meets his end sinking into the bog. (In fact, I carried that image with me for years -- Carver deep in the quicksand, with one lone hand extended above, as he sank out of sight).

Coming across this title in my collection makes me want to experience it again, and to wish other readers to seek it out as well. ( )
2 vote danielx | Dec 27, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
[This review relates to the Naxos unabridged audiobook version, ISBN 9781843793618]

Its audio form releases the language from the page thanks to Jonathan Keeble, an extraordinarily skilled voice actor who takes on the archaic Devon accent as though born to it - which, as a native of the region, he was. The novel's quietly droll passages and paeans to nature are greatly enhanced by his country aplomb.
 

» Add other authors (55 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Blackmore, R. D.Authorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Austen, JohnIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Budd, KennethIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carlin, Jeromesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Christ, Henry I.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Keeble, JonathanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rooney, DavidIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rose, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sutherland, JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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If anybody cares to read a simple tale told simply, I, John Ridd, of the parish of Oare, in the county of Somerset, yeoman and churchwarden, have seen and had a share in some doings of this neighborhood, which I will try to set down in order, God sparing my life and memory.
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In seventeenth-century England, John Ridd returns home to Exmoor and forms a forbidden but enduring friendship with Lorna Doone, the granddaughter of the head of the outlaw Doone clan responsible for the death of John's father.

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Book description
Lorna Doone, a Romance of Exmoor is an historical novel of high adventure set in the South West of England during the turbulent time of Monmouth's rebellion (1685). It is also a moving love story told through the life of the young farmer John Ridd, as he grows to manhood determined to right the wrongs in his land, and to win the heart and hand of the beautiful Lorna Doone.Continuously in print since its first publication in 1869, Lorna Doon has remained perennially popular with a wide readership ever since--Back cover.
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Average: (3.77)
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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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