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Lorna Doone: A Romance of Exmoor
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Lorna Doone: A Romance of Exmoor

3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  12,778 Ratings  ·  482 Reviews
First published in 1869, Lorna Doone is the story of John Ridd, a farmer who finds love amid the religious and social turmoil of seventeenth-century England. He is just a boy when his father is slain by the Doones, a lawless clan inhabiting wild Exmoor on the border of Somerset and Devon. Seized by curiosity and a sense of adventure, he makes his way to the valley of the D ...more
Kindle Edition, 702 pages
Published March 1st 1997 by Public Domain Books (first published 1869)
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Patti Guptill There is a fair amount of description - of the seasons and his surroundings - it's really quite wonderful - the main character keeps saying what a…moreThere is a fair amount of description - of the seasons and his surroundings - it's really quite wonderful - the main character keeps saying what a blockhead he is, and yet his descriptions are beautifully poetic.(less)

Community Reviews

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Tea Jovanović
Mar 27, 2013 Tea Jovanović rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Divan klasik, a po njemu je snimljen i dobar film... kako to samo Britanci umeju :)
Aug 20, 2008 Misfit rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 19c-lit
What an awesome tale. Written in the 19th century, but telling a tale about the late 1600s 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 n
Sep 19, 2008 Werner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of 19th century Romantic novels
This enduring 19th century classic (never out of print since it was first published) has been on my radar ever since I saw an old black-and-white film version of it as a kid; but my interest was really piqued by the 2000 BBC/A&E miniseries adaptation. (As it turns out, I would rate the fidelity of the latter to the book at only about 65%; but that's another discussion!) Recently, I nominated it as a common read in the classics group I belong to here on Goodreads, and it won the poll.

Author B
Luís C.
I put a lot of time reading this book, yet the story is very good but I admit that it's very slow. On the one hand because the choice of characters is quite small and the other partn it is a great (big) paved anyway. I started the story in the summer, and it is for these two reasons I have just finished it.
So no, the story is beautiful, she tackles the subject of love that will meet many problems: the aspect of social class (if we can still speak like that), money, religion and royalty .
Sep 03, 2008 K. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: language lovers, adventure lovers, romance lovers
Recommended to K. by:
2nd Review
Nov 09, read with bookgroup

I hate it when this book ends! Really it couldn't keep going, but I so want it too. I just want to live on that farm in that beautiful country.

Learning that Blackmore was devoted to gardening and farming made this book and the narrator's love for the land even more beautiful.

I wrote a little note to by bookgroup apologizing to them if anyone was annoyed by the many many asides, colloquialisms, archaic words and descriptions (which I love) they would apprecia
The plethora of interesting aspects to this book makes it difficult to decide about which ones to write. John Ridd is a young boy living in the wilds of western England in the 17th century, when his father is murdered by a band of outlaws who torment, bully and rob the farmers and good people of Exmoor. The Doones occupy their own outlaw village and not only survive by robbing those around them but also prey on the their neighbors for sport. When John Ridd’s father stands up to these bullies, he ...more
Jun 17, 2009 Terence rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sabatini fans
A pleasant surprise, I admit.

I first saw a copy of this book on my library's (used) bookshelves for 25 cents but even that ridiculously low price didn't tempt me enough to purchase it. I didn't want to get stuck with one of those heavy, portentous, late Victorian tomes that would render me comatose.

Then, however, I watched this version of the book. The plot looked interesting so the next time I was browsing the library's shelves I took the 2-bit plunge and bought the book.

And I'm glad I did. Fro
Sean Kennedy
May 23, 2012 Sean Kennedy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was surprised at how much I struggled with this book. I love my nineteenth century literature, and I absolutely love the last TV adaptation (although it seems they took the best parts of the book and eradicated all the filler) but there were times I was almost ready to give up on this. It just so happened that then a scene would come along to distract me and hold my attention and then be followed by fifty pages of sheer boredom.

Not to mention that the characters are all unlikable. John Ridd is

Just as good the third time round as the first!

I can't say anything that hasn't already been said so I'll just say what I liked and why.

R. D. Blackmore's descriptions of the countryside and the Doone's valley are some of my favorite parts. One of my favorite chapters is chapter 8, where we first see inside Doone Valley.

Next we have Tom the highwayman with his strawberry horse Jenny. What a pair. Tom manages to be endearing even when he's a thief with an eye for finery.

Lorna Doone has a sweetn
I was assigned a (vastly abridged) version of this when I was in grade school, which kept 90% of the plot but cut out a lot of the description and the on and on. This was in 4th or 5th grade, but it has stayed with me ever since. I read the abridged version so many times it literally fell to pieces, and this was my first time reading the unabridged version.

Blackmore wrote in the dialogue of the time, writing "in accent" so to speak, which was difficult to get through at times. For some of his c
Aug 23, 2007 Jonathan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
That Carver Doone's a real bastard, if I remember correctly.
Jun 29, 2016 Ashwood rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book!
Sarah Sammis
Feb 21, 2008 Sarah Sammis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Back in March I tried to read Lorna Doone but realized too late that my copy was a horribly abridged edition. The book was barely recognizable as the original R. D. Blackmore romance. By July I had found a second, older and complete version and added it to my list for the Classics Challenge. In the meantime, other obligations got in the way and I was forced to leave Lorna Doone to the wire.

Lorna Doone is framed around the Monmouth rebellion but the book isn't a historical fiction. The Doone clan
Naomi Sarah
Nov 24, 2015 Naomi Sarah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, bleh-books
I'm sorry. This is not the classic for me. I will explain why. (And I will also add that I read it until the middle, and then promptly went to the last five chapters. So I didn't really read EVERYTHING. I admit this. Hehehe.) (And I will also add that the movie wasn't my cup of tea, either. So I DO understand if you would like this. It's a personal thing.)

1. It's too long, and hardly any dialogue. You know the kind: Thick paragraphs; endless thick paragraphs; hardly ANY immediate talking. This d
Apr 12, 2014 RitaSkeeter rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, 2016, classics
I was excited to read this *romance not historical* classic, but sadly (very sadly given there were 750 pages of it) it just wasn't really my cup of tea.

Ironically, it was the historical parts of the novel I liked a lot more than the 'romance'. I liked the setting, I liked the way the story was set up with those evil Doones, and I liked all the descriptions of the natural environment and the farmin' life.

What I didn't like, and what made those 750 pages drag, were the characters. We have our pro
Library Shelf
Oct 14, 2007 Library Shelf rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well---I think Blackmore outdoes the Brontes in romance and stirring action with Lorna Doone. The best romance action packed novel. I was so proud of myself as an eleven-year old when I read the "dumbed down" version of the book. They need to do a Young Adult version of Blackmore's heavy-weight novel so that readers allergic to anything over 250 pages will pick this one up for a good reading experience. OK---forget it you purists out there---I've already argued in favor of Classic Comics, abridg ...more
Sep 05, 2013 Cricketb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This looks like the right cover.

As a young teen, I would read this late into the night while babysitting. When the parents came home, I'd greet them in 1811 English.

In grade 8, my teacher noticed me reading the last in the Anne of Green Gables series (a book I'd spent 3 years looking for, pre-internet), and said it was too young for me.

So, next week I brought in this. Tiny print. Onion skin paper. Huge number of pages.

The teacher stopped bothering me.

After writing my final university exam, I ask
Sara Madden
Jun 09, 2008 Sara Madden rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
I read this in high school because I found a copy my mom had when she was in high school. I loved it so much, I started reading more English literature which carried me into college and ultimately my introduction to Jane Austen and the Brontes. Lorna Doone sent me into a world of great literature in which I will always be grateful. The story of Lorna and John is timeless and gets pushed into the shadows by other great works of art like Romeo and Juliet, Tristan and Isolde and Elizabeth and Darcy ...more
Clare Cannon
Feb 02, 2012 Clare Cannon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 13-15yrs, young-adult
Just finished listening to this on audio. Masterfully read, but for the first few hours it was hard work deciphering the old English accent. After that it was fine, I don't know if the actor lightened up on the twang - maybe John started speaking more properly as he spent more time with Lorna, or maybe I just got used to it.

An interesting classic romance with plenty of historical detail from the late 1600s. The story of the star-crossed lovers surrounded by the evil Doones reminded me a little o
May 18, 2008 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Tis an enjoyable yarn. However, the narrator/ hero is detestable. He admits that he wouldn't have loved Lorna if she'd been plain. And his bovine sensibilities are offended by intelligent women. Why is the she with him? Superficiality is his only distinction. Really, which is sexier a highwayman or a farmer?

*concludes with rendition of 'I've got a brand new combine-harvester'*

*rests case*

Michael Arnold
Feb 05, 2017 Michael Arnold rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, fiction
I really loved this book. I have a love for the 18th century, and stories about rural life, and of history. This novel appeals to all of those perfectly. The start is like the novel Cider with Rosie and about growing up in a rural and rough 'agricola' world, the middle involves the political turmoils in the 1700s, and the end is sort of gothically like Jane Eyre, just with guns and firefights with outlaws.

Never read this book? READ IT! READ IT NOW!
Ann Klefstad
Nov 29, 2008 Ann Klefstad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another book from childhood. Read it sitting in the woods by a river. Every day, took it outside and read with my feet in the water. 12? 13? like that. To this day, I remember the odd union of the virtual landscape so vividly evoked and the actual one around me.
Andrea Zuvich
Jul 07, 2011 Andrea Zuvich rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Even better the second time around!
Jan 05, 2012 Douglas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great story told in the first person by the novel's protagonist, John Ridd. It is wonderfully nostalgic and a detailed account of country life in England in the late 17th century. There's a lot of vocabulary in this book that is archaic but interesting to learn. Some of it may be peculiar to Exmoor and may be still in use. I really like the homespun wisdom of Betty Muxworthy who is occasionally funny as when Ridd observes about her,

"It was part of Betty's obstinacy, that she never wou
Jul 09, 2013 Violet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've joined goodreads because of Lorna Doone.
This book spawned a myriad of adaptations, one of which is also responsible for my sexual awakening, 'cause:
(also, it holds full responsibility for my forever love of perms).

My love for classic is also firmly confirmed in Lorna Doone. It's amazing, how a book, published in 1869, with a romance plot based on a group of historical characters and set in the late 17th century in Devon and Somerset, is so contemporary and relevant.
Author is a master of s
Mar 26, 2016 Myla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
You know the saying, "Life's a journey, not a destination."? Well, this book is a journey and if you're waiting for the end to be your destination you'll miss all the flowers you didn't stop and smell along the way.
This was published in a time when both author and reader had time and were patient with a story to be told and unfold, to be enriched with back-stories and details and history to make it a full and complete picture. Now grant it when I started this I wasn't aware of how much time I w
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
This is one of those books on my highschool parallel reading list that I had to take a couple of runs at before I could finish. After a few decades I began to wonder if I had imagined it. I vaguely remembered the scene of the "foreign lady" and the kid pumping water till the glass was clouded and cold...and for some reason thought it was Elsie Dinsmore. Uh, no. So not.

As I say, I had started it in highschool and got distracted....then tried again and got part-way through...and finished it at las
Apr 25, 2015 Christine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Why have I not read Lorna Doone before? I found myself smiling, chuckling and laughing out loud. It is a swashbuckling, poetic victorian romance novel and left me feeling just plain happy. The narrator and main character, John Ridd told his story so real I found myself saying, "yes... that is really what it must have been like." He starts his story telling about a school boy's wrestle.

"But, lo! I am dwelling on little things and the pigeons' eggs of infancy, forgetting the bitter and heavy life
Heather Stone
Feb 17, 2016 Heather Stone rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Well I could sense that somewhere hidden deep in the long winded rambling prose that a reasonable love story with a bit of a family dispute was trying to get out.
I love reading and can normally stick with a story but this book was so arggh draining for example at one point there was 1/2 a page of writing which could be reduced to "she's my Aunty on my Mums side", after getting to the stage of talking to the book "come on get on with it" that after 2 months and only just managing to read 60% of t
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Richard Doddridge Blackmore, referred to most commonly as R. D. Blackmore, was one of the most famous English novelists of his generation. Over the course of his career, Blackmore achieved a close following around the world. He won literary merit and acclaim for his vivid descriptions and personification of the countryside, sharing with Thomas Hardy a Western England background and a strong sense ...more
More about R.D. Blackmore...

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“...because I rant not, neither rave of what I feel, can you be so shallow as to dream that I feel nothing? ” 192 likes
“May be we are not such fools as we look. But though we be, we are well content, so long as we may be two fools together.” 18 likes
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