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

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  8,070 ratings  ·  310 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
Paperback, 750 pages
Published October 25th 2005 by Penguin Classics (first published 1869)
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Community Reviews

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Misfit
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...more
Tea Jovanović
Divan klasik, a po njemu je snimljen i dobar film... kako to samo Britanci umeju :)
K.
May 15, 2011 K. rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: language lovers, adventure lovers, romance lovers
Recommended to K. by: krislynelliott@yahoo.com
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...more
Terence
Jul 24, 2010 Terence rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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...more
Jonathan
That Carver Doone's a real bastard, if I remember correctly.
Sean Kennedy
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...more
Rebecca
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...more
Sarah Sammis
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...more
Library Shelf
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
Clare Cannon
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...more
Cricketb
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...more
Sara
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
Cphe
I struggled with this novel and wanted to cast it aside quite a few times. I know that many reviewers have loved it but I just think it wasn't for me.

To my mind the novel ebbed and flowed - I really enjoyed the wonderful descriptions of farm life and the beautiful and lonely countryside that leant itself to secrecy and the dastardly, villanous Doones.

My main quibble with the book were the characters themselves. I've never known a leading female character to spend so much time weeping and falling...more
Rebecca
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*

Leslie
Whilst I enjoyed this historical fiction romance, I felt at times that I was reading two separate books that had been merged into one - the romance and the depiction of a farmer's life in the late 1600s. I think that both halves would make a good book one their own (and of a shorter length!), but the romance in particular would be an exciting tale on its own. However, abridging this novel would be like cutting the Mona Lisa out of her background - sure, the famous portrait of the woman is still...more
Ann Klefstad
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.
Moira Russell
I read this ages ago as a kid, and remember loving it, but not much else. Picked it back up recently and my jaw dropped at the dialect. I might still try it again, tho.
VeeDawn
"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."
John does go on a bit as he tells the tale; 750 pages worth of going on, but he is really funny in his telling of it, and sometimes wise (although he often tells the reader that he is slow and thick-headed.) An example:
"For it strikes me that of all human dealings, satire is the very lowest, and most mean and common. It is the equivalent in wor...more
Jennifer
I'm surprised to see so many good reviews of this book. I immediately looked up reviews on goodreads and at a few other sites to see if maybe I missed the point of this novel. I truly do not understand all the praise it gets for being such a great romance novel.

Many compare it with the Brontes' works with regards to wild, passionate love between the two main protagonists, John Ridd and Lorna Doone. I can see why many would think that, but ONLY in regards to how lovey-dovey the two are with each...more
Douglas
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...more
Klerine
May 12, 2010 Klerine rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anybody interested in either or both adventure in the moors and romance
I found the summary of this at the back of Wuthering Heights, and it immediately got me intrigued. I love an old romance, and besides Jane Austen, they don't seem to be many I truly like. (Jane Eyre I liked more for its plot than the romance, it didn't appeal too much to me, though I enjoyed it)

This is such a good story, its got quite a bit of adventure and surprising plotlines which unfold. The sense of adventure is just brilliant, (especially cosied up on a couch!) and then at the centre is th...more
Darla
(Genre:classic fiction/historical fiction/romance) Lorna Doone is a novel written back in the 1800's about a freeman farmer, John Ridd, and his adventures with the Doone clan. The Doones are outlaws, although descended from noble blood, and they are a great burden to their neighbors. John Ridd, although not of the upper class, is a decent, honest, hardworking young man who dares to fall in love with Lorna, one of the wild Doone clan.
I frequently found myself wishing for my high school English te...more
Marialyce
While I thought the beginning was a wonderful one, this book as I reached the middle tended to drag for me. I enjoyed the pictures the author painted of the countryside and the characters certainly were presented in a clear and wonderful manner. I liked the characters of John and Lorna and one could not fault their love and the romantic elements that carried throughout the novel. It had all the elements of a great novel incorporating the relevant historical pieces, but the sometimes authentic di...more
Patty
I wonder why people don't read this much. It's perfect for everyone. It's got hunting, fishing, farming, fighting, wrestling, witches, adventure, misadventure, villans, robbers, sucking mud pits, inpentetrable fog, mystery, chivalry, dasterdliness, history, eloquence, musicality, loyalty, fair maidens in distress, dashing heros, suspense, and romantic love. It doesn't challenge any conventions at all, but it certainly employees almost all of them. Even though the language gets sticky occassional...more
Robin
Jun 16, 2011 Robin added it
I loved this book, even the colloquilisms beginning of the book. I found it endearing to read, the whole enchanted place of Exmoor, sounds like a fascinating place to be. The author pictorially captured the essence of this land, and visually opened my eyes to the wonderful place, minus the Doone family of course. I found them a rude and obnoxious lot. The story line of Lorna and John Ridd I found very appealing. It is a must read book. I would not have read it if it wasn't mentioned as a book in...more
Ratna J
The first time I read this book was the shortened version. I'm not sure if I understand the story of the book at that time. When I found a copy of this book on a used book shop, I decided to take it. Turns out that this book is fun to read. You imagine a not very educated person (this is how the first person in this book described himself), big strong man, somewhat high-tempered, but full in his love to his lover wrote the story of his life in his old times.
You don't have to think hard to enjoy...more
Ria
Feb 20, 2008 Ria rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ria by: No one.
What can i say? I have read this book so many times and actually collect different copies of it. I have the movie adaptations too. One of my all time favourite classics that is fast paced all the way though though some readers might find it hard going as at times the style is very "olde English." I adore this book.
Jill W
If you are in the mood to devote A LOT of time to an ancient book, this is one for you. It has adventure and romance. It was just really long. I started skipping over the ovations of love because they got to be a bit sappy. But the principle characters are so lovable it's amazing this book isn't more well-known.
Sabrina Jeffries
I can truthfully say that Lorna Doone is probably one of several books that inspired my love of historical romance. It has it all--an honorable hero, family secrets, a lost and lonely maiden, highwaymen, Scots ... It swept me away time and again when I was a child, and I still have my torn and tattered original copy.
Becca Anne
I had heard glowing reports of this story from a good friend who had watched the movie and informed me that I really needed to watch it. :) While I haven’t yet seen the movie, my mother picked this book up at the library book sale recently, thinking that it looked interesting, and I was excited to finally read it.
The story was interesting and extremely sad, and the words drew me in, once I had gotten past the first chapter. I don’t know why exactly, but the first chapter bored me a bit, but i...more
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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...
Lorna Doone A Romance of Exmoor, Volume I Lorna Doone a Romance of Exmoor, Volume II [Easyread Comfort Edition] Clara Vaughan (1872) The Maid of Sker Alice Lorraine. A tale of the South Downs

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