Lorna Doone

Lorna Doone

A Romance of Exmoor

by R. D. Blackmore, Sally Shuttleworth (Editor)
Publisher: Oxford University
Trade Paperback
List Price: $13.95 Sale Price: $11.86

Like Charles Kingsley's muscular Christian, R. D. Blackmore's John Ridd fights for virtue, love and country. A Yorkshire farmer, Ridd is embroiled with the outlaw Doones of Scotland when he falls for Sir Ensor Doone's granddaughter, Lorna. Though aristocrats, the Doones are rebels, thieves and Catholics—the opposite of Ridd, a devout Protestant, a simple yeoman, an honest man.

Arousing adventure story, Lorna Doone looks at the nature of masculinity and fidelity, celebrates pastoral life, romantic love,and the Victorian ideals of domesticity, religion, and morality. Ridd narrates, offering a firsthand defense of the good life rather than relying on philosophic digressions to relay Blackmore's message.

Ridd struggles to resolve the tension between his love for Lorna and his love of country and family. Immensely strong of body yet plain-minded, in every situation he pursues the manliest course. While often obsessed with outward displays (at one point he carries sheep two-by-two through a snowstorm), his less visceral feats are the ones we admire most (like his wooing of Lorna).

Praised by writers as diverse as Thomas Hardy and Robert Louis Stevenson, Lorna Doone is an often overlooked classic, thoughtful and well-crafted. In an era when manliness is villified or reduced to machismo and violence, John Riddis a breath of fresh air. Blending scenes of agrarian bliss with exciting adventures, Blackmore's novel (intensely relevant in his own day) is just as powerful today.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.
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Exodus Rating:
FLAWS: Fighting/violence
Summary: A young Presbyterian must fight evil outlaws while maintaining the family farm to be with the beautiful woman he loves.

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