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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Wonderful
What an awesome tale. Written in the 19th century, but telling a tale about the late 1600's during the times of Charles II and James II. Our hero, John Ridd is a simple, albeit wise and honorable farmer who as a young lad meets Lorna Doone of the dreaded, evil outlaw family of higher born Doones, and it's love at first sight.

There are lots of ups and downs and...
Published on 18 Sept. 2007 by Misfit

versus
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Playthings of Fate
Though a lover of Victorian novels, I found this one quite hard going. The basic story of great love that survives various vicissitudes is enjoyable, but some of the divergences of the narrative are tedious in the extreme.

The problem is that Blackmore was trying to write in a seventeenth century idiom in imitation of the early novel. He strays into...
Published 19 months ago by M. J. Saxton


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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Wonderful, 18 Sept. 2007
By 
Misfit (Seattle, WA USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
What an awesome tale. Written in the 19th century, but telling a tale about the late 1600's during the times of Charles II and James II. Our hero, John Ridd is a simple, albeit wise and honorable farmer who as a young lad meets Lorna Doone of the dreaded, evil outlaw family of higher born Doones, and it's love at first sight.

There are lots of ups and downs and surprises, along with the author's gorgeous prose describing the english countryside and farmlife. You have to pay attention though, as none of the characters are wasted. What might seem as inconsequential events and characters earlier in the story are brought back in full circle to the tale, along with a great mystery about Lorna's past as the author slowly peels out the many layers of his story.

Highly highly recommended. If you enjoy Thomas Hardy, Charlotte Bronte or Dickens this will probably be right up your alley.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars John Ridd - Gentle Giant of Exmoor, 5 Jun. 2007
By 
Mr. Stephen Holmes (N. Wales) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Lorna Doone (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
It reads like the memoirs of a 17th century gentleman so much so that you have to remind yourself constantly that it was fictional and written nearly 200 years later. Despite this, although I am no expert, the hitorical setting seems accurate and entirely believable. It appears that the tumultuous events of the late 17th century in West Country England had left an imprint in collective memory of the region and R.D. Blackmore has captured this skillfully in this novel. I love the atmosphere whispers and rumours of discontent and rebellion, the portrait of utter folly of Monmouth's claim to the throne,the pain and frustration of battle and aftermath of the Bloody Assizes.

I will not be the first to suggest that it should be entitled "John Ridd" Indeed I find the central romance of his love of Lorna Doone a little syrupy sweet for my liking although it does act as a central spine for the rest of the epic tale. Our hero, John Ridd is clearly not the simple "clod hopper" they he purports to be. He has an education, he can read and write in a time when that was a rarity and he has wisdom as broad and strong as his shoulders. I like him very much for his simple honesty, modesty but also for towering physical strength.

R.D. Blackmore prose is not as rich say as Dickens but he has ability to weave a tale that is intricate and complex as any classic novel. There are times when the language is difficult there are word used of which I still have not found the meaning despite web searches. There are passages written in West Country dialect that I could only understand by voicing them as my Auntie Norah (a true Devonian) would have spoken them. On occssion R.D. Blackmore drifts off the subject to discuss morals or generally air his views (or should I say John Ridd's views) on an issue which I find superflusous. In general sometimes you feel it could have done with a good editor to stop R.D. Blackmore' self indulgance.

Despite these reservations, it thoroughly good read. It a story that will haunt you for the the rest of your life - definately a book to read before you die.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Most Complete English novel, 21 Jan. 2005
By 
A Cheshire Lad (Rural Cheshire, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Lorna Doone (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
Lorna Doone is my favourite of all classic English novels and is still under-rated. This is one of the most complete books ever written.
It is a tale with something for everyone. It has romance, chivalry, action, revenge, factual history and some great twists of plot.
Written in 1869 but set in the late 1600s, its characters are based around the exploits of real historical figures.
The only thing that may put off the modern reader is that it contains some extra historical narrative, making it a long book. This can be omitted by the reader without being essential to the plot. Just skip through this and enjoy Blackmore's best novel.
R D Blackmore's lovingly detailed observations of nature are always a delight.
For me to this day, it is quite simply the best book I've ever read and I am now fortunate enough to own a copy of the first edition. I cannot recommend it enough.
This paperback edition simply has to be read once by us all.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I wish I had read it earlier, 27 May 2014
By 
DB "davidbirkett" (Co. Kildare, Ireland (but born & raised Liverpool, UK)) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Lorna Doone (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
As a child I always had a pretty good reading age, but I am nevertheless impressed with what our parents and teachers used to push at us as a good read for 10-13 year old boys: "Ivanhoe", "Kidnapped", "Last of the Mohicans", "Great Expectations", "The Three Musketeers", this book. One teacher even tried to get my class to read Joseph Conrad! Presumably they had read and enjoyed them at a similar age. Maybe they had fewer sources of entertainment and just had to persevere. Maybe they didn't find the language quite so dated. Whatever. I certainly couldn't be doing with them, and the sad thing is that I was put off trying them again for 30 to 40 years or more, even though I would have coped with them very nicely in my twenties or thirties.

Anyway, over the last few years I have been patching up these lacunae in my reading and am enjoying the experience. This one was a particular delight. The Doone family are excellent villains while the hero and heroine are pretty good too. Plenty of humour, interesting historical setting and an attractive set of minor characters. I wonder if showing the "nice side" of Judge Jeffries was Blackmore's little joke.

I see that several other Blackmore books are available for free or very cheap Kindle download. I must follow up on some of them.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Wonderful, 22 April 2007
By 
Misfit (Seattle, WA USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Lorna Doone (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
What an awesome tale. Written in the 19th century, but telling a tale about the late 1600's during the times of Charles II and James II. Our hero, John Ridd is a simple, albeit wise and honorable farmer who as a young lad meets Lorna Doone of the dreaded, evil outlaw family of higher born Doones, and it's love at first sight.

There are lots of ups and downs and surprises, along with the author's gorgeous prose describing the english countryside and farmlife. You have to pay attention though, as none of the characters are wasted. What might seem as inconsequential events and characters earlier in the story are brought back in full circle to the tale, along with a great mystery about Lorna's past as the author slowly peels out the many layers of his story.

Highly highly recommended. If you enjoy Thomas Hardy, Charlotte Bronte or Dickens this will probably be right up your alley.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Lorna Doone was a 2 part BBC production film., 21 Feb. 2013
By 
Mr. W. J. Bourne "Walter Bourne" (Milton Keynes, U.K.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lorna Doone (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
This was BBC production TV at its very best. acting, action, costumes, romance, scenery all of the highest enjoyment and entertainment value DVD.. Forget that it did not adhere strictly to R.D. Blackmore's original 19th C novel, it was just sheer gripping viewing that had me glued to my 40" TV screen, (which also has Panoramic,, CInema of Auto screen-size facility,) I chose cinema of course!! All that was missing was the ice-cream and popcorn vendor!

One item caused me to find fault, that was during the gun battle scenes between the dreaded Doone clan and the John Ridd yeomanry when the single shot, muzzle loading muskets appeared to fire continuously within recourse to re-loading, but I am nit-picking here.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Lorna Doone revisited, 8 Jan. 2010
By 
P. B. Hiley (Lincolnshire UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Lorna Doone (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
This classic romance story set in the wilds of Exmoor in the 17th C nevertheless has a timeless appeal.

If you can get past the 17th C prose, the strength and integrity of John Ridd and the matchless beauty of his beloved Lorna will grip every reader of romances. But this is more than a thrilling adventure and unsentimental romance. Blackmore puts into the mouth of his main character profound yet simple philosophy, brilliant passages of rural and urban description and flashes of genuine fear and terror as the fearsome Doones are subdued against a background of English Civil War.

This is a book which deserves a renaissance.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Playthings of Fate, 22 July 2013
By 
M. J. Saxton (Dewsbury, West Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Lorna Doone (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
Though a lover of Victorian novels, I found this one quite hard going. The basic story of great love that survives various vicissitudes is enjoyable, but some of the divergences of the narrative are tedious in the extreme.

The problem is that Blackmore was trying to write in a seventeenth century idiom in imitation of the early novel. He strays into quasi-philosophical and religious territory in an attempt to flesh out John Ridd as character writing in old age. This proves to be rather too worthy for contemporary taste, though no doubt popular with the Victorians.

It is possible to see the influence of Henry Fielding in the divergences, but sadly lacking his humour.

The story is a classic romance from John's fateful first meeting with Lorna in the Doone valley to their eventual wedding. The secret meetings, her rescue and subsequent rise in fortune, his earning of a knighthood are the stuff of sighs. Add to this the raids on Doone valley and their final ousting along with the highwayman (mis)adventures of Tom Faggus and there are some great bits of storytelling. The philosophising makes for too many longueurs.

The sentiment is high Victorian and a little queasy, but that goes with the territory.

An abridged version would probably prove more readable to anyone other than a student of literature.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the effort!, 28 Jan. 2013
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Definately worth the effort that working through the West of England dialect may be for many. The dialect passages are fairly brief and in total amoung to a small percentage of the whole. If you read these passages aloud they tend to make more sense, though this may give you strange looks on the train! A wonderful story and fascinating piece of social history. The sense of place is powerful and although I often find descriptive passages boring this was definately not the case with this book. The writing is simply gorgeous; all this supports a wonderful story which will not easily be forgotten.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Done Doone, 26 Sept. 2011
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This review is from: Lorna Doone (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
This edition was the cheapest, that's why I bought it but, it was the longest version and the smallest print imaginable hence, very hard to read yet well worth the effort. The prose was quite beautiful but the pace of writing (a page to say what a writer of today would have clinched in a sentence) must reflect the pace of life in the 1600s. I haven't actually finished it but intend to, before I die.
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Lorna Doone (Wordsworth Classics)
Lorna Doone (Wordsworth Classics) by R.D. Blackmore (Paperback - 5 Nov. 1993)
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