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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 18 September 2007
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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on 23 April 2011
I read this book first when I was 12, on a mission to improve my reading and read grown up books. I instantly loved it, and spent a whole sunny weekend locked up in my room, engrossed in the world of the Doones. I have recently reread it, and still love it as much as I did then.

The scenery described in the book is so clear and picturesque that I could imagine myself there, walking along side John Ridd (the protagonist and Narrator). The story is a romanace, though it covers quite abit of history of the time. The story of Lorna and John is a beautiful poignant tale of overcoming obsticals, both people and heritage for love.

Dont be put off by the strong cornish/ Devonshire accents, like in Wuthering Heights, not all characters have them, and they are mainly used to distiguish between classes and to remind of location and to add some flavour to the book. I think certainly if You like wuthering Heights then this book would be great for you, (and youll find the happy ending a refreshing change!)
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on 21 May 2011
R.D.Blackmore was a prolific author but of all his works only this one remains widely read. In all honesty the plot isn't very complex; the subtitle, 'A Romance of Exmoor,' gives it away. Boy meets girl; author creates untold delays and roughness on the path of true love; true love conquers all and that's about it. But read this and you soon realize why the book is so popular. The author's adoption of his hero's voice as narrator is a tour de force in itself but it is the whole atmosphere of the tale that so draws you into it. The action is played out against a beautifully created landscape and a social background of the country and farming life of the time. On top of that the weather and the seasons are so vividly drawn that they almost become a character of the story in themselves. The whole book is pure pleasure to read; a truly poetic creation.
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on 5 June 2007
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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When I was about 10 I was on a school holiday in the area this book mainly talks about. Being taken to the church where Lorna Doone was supposedly attacked at I wanted to know more. Since then I have read this book many times, and have often holidayed in the Devon/ Somerset region. Chances are that if you live in the region you will already know the story, and even if you don't you probably already know it or the main plot, so I won't discuss that here except to remark that some of the characters really existed, and some of the events really took place.

Set in the late 17th Century, R D Blackmore first published this anonymously and he was turned down by most publishers. The next year it was published more widely and instantly caught the imagination of the public, and since then has never been out of print. Blackmore didn't like this to be called an historical novel and preferred to refer to it as a romance, although you must remember that romance back then didn't exactly mean the same as today. Due to this difference in meaning on what we would call a romance novel today, and what would have been such back in the 19th Century this book is ideal for both sexes, with action and derring-do, as well as more romantic elements.

If you love reading good books with a storyline that draws you in and holds you, then you can't really go wrong with this. The only caution I would give to people who have never read this before is that the author did use dialect in some of the dialogues in this.
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on 25 February 2009
A 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.
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on 27 May 2014
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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on 21 January 2005
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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on 29 August 2013
It is many years since I first read this but was not disappointed. Well written, not at all dated, great story. The dialect bits that others seem to have had a problem with are so few and far between as to be unimportant and they are not that difficult to follow anyway. Not to everyone's taste but I enjoyed it. A love story.
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on 14 January 2013
I first read this book in my teens and am reliving the experience in maturity. Great read with lots of intrique
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