Terence's Reviews > Lorna Doone

Lorna Doone by R.D. Blackmore
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's review
Jun 17, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: historical-fiction
Recommended for: Sabatini fans
Read from July 14 to 24, 2010 — I own a copy , read count: 1

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. From its first pages, where a young John Ridd unknowingly meets the young girl who would become Lorna Doone, to John's final fight with the savage Carver Doone, murderer of his father and attempted ravisher of Lorna, Lorna Doone is a fast-moving, improbable but delightful adventure. John Ridd, our narrator, is a stolid, peace-loving yeoman farmer who desires above all to live quietly on his farm with the woman (and the family) he loves. But circumstances conspire to place "obstacles" in his path. The coincidences that bring John and Lorna together, split them, and then join them once again are outlandish but you don't care since, first, you really like both characters and are rooting for them the entire time, and, second, Blackmore's writes sprightly and assuredly; its a pleasure to read. And peppered with acerbic comments about women, law, religion, village life, and other aspects of English society (some examples of which can be found in my update feeds).

Recommended for those who like the novels of Rafael Sabatini and others like him.
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Reading Progress

07/14/2010 page 6
1.0% "But whatever lives or dies, business must be attended to; and the principal business of good Christians is, beyond all controversy, to fight with one another."
07/14/2010 page 20
3.0% "Right glad they were to see us again - not for the pleasure of carrying, but because a horse (like a woman) lacks, and is better without, self-reliance."
07/19/2010 page 254
42.0% "The three learned professions live by roguery on the three parts of a man. The doctor mauls our bodies; the parson starves our souls; but the lawyer must be the adroitest knave, for he has to ensnare our minds."
07/22/2010 page 369
61.0% "Nevertheless, if a man is to tell only what he thought and did, and not what came around him, he must not mention his own clothes.... And more than my own clothes to me...are the works of nature round about, whereof a man is the smallest."
07/22/2010 page 369
61.0% "How truly we discern clear justice, and how well we deal it! If any poor man steals a sheep, having 10 children starving...to the gallows with him. If a man of rank beats down a door, smites the owner upon the head, and honours the wife with attention, it is a thing to be grateful for, and to slouch smitten head the lower."
03/08/2016 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-3)

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Terence Despite some dialog that's too much Devonshire English and an otherwise baroque writing style, I'm quite enjoying this so far:

"Zailor, ees fai! ay, and zarve un raight. Her can't kape out o' the watter here, whur a' must goo vor to vaind un, zame as gurt to-ad squalloping, and mux up, till I be wore out, I be, wi' the very saight of 's braiches."

message 2: by Brad (new)

Brad Sounds like the kind of diversion I would enjoy.

Terence Brad wrote: "Sounds like the kind of diversion I would enjoy."

I did think of you while reading the book, having seen your review of Ivanhoe. I do think you'd enjoy it.

I'm still on the fence about reading Ivanhoe, though. And frankly your review didn't help :-)

I've seen the 1952 version w/ Elizabeth Taylor and a 1997 version w/ Ciaran Hinds as Bois-Guilbert and they were both good but I don't know if I want to invest the time in the reading experience.

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