Richard D. Blackmore

Easton Press Richard D. Blackmore books

Lorna Doone - Library of Famous Editions - 1971

Franklin Library Richard D. Blackmore books

Lorna Doone - World's Best Loved Books - 1985


Richard D. Blackmore biography

Richard Doddridge Blackmore, born on June 7, 1825, in Longworth, Berkshire, England, was a Victorian-era novelist and poet celebrated for his contributions to English literature. His life and literary career spanned a period marked by societal changes and the flourishing of the Victorian novel. Born into a clergyman's family, Blackmore's early education laid the groundwork for his later intellectual pursuits. He attended Blundell's School and Exeter College, Oxford, where he developed a keen interest in literature and the classics. His academic background and passion for poetry and storytelling would shape his future as a writer.

In 1854, Blackmore published his first collection of poetry, titled Poems by Melanter. However, he is best known for his prose works, particularly his historical novels. His breakthrough came with the publication of Lorna Doone: A Romance of Exmoor in 1869. Set in the turbulent historical period of the Monmouth Rebellion in the 17th century, Lorna Doone became a literary sensation, praised for its vivid descriptions, romantic narrative, and historical accuracy. Following the success of Lorna Doone, Blackmore continued to produce a series of novels, including Alice Lorraine (1875), Cradock Nowell (1876), and Erema (1877). While these works did not achieve the same level of acclaim as Lorna Doone, they demonstrated Blackmore's storytelling prowess and his ability to immerse readers in historical landscapes.

Despite facing financial difficulties and personal losses, including the death of his wife in 1888, Blackmore remained dedicated to his literary pursuits. In addition to novels, he continued to write poetry, essays, and works on nature and rural life. His commitment to the pastoral and his love for the English countryside were evident in both his prose and poetic compositions.

Richard Doddridge Blackmore passed away on January 20, 1900, in Teddington, Middlesex. While some of his later works may not have achieved the same enduring popularity as "Lorna Doone," his contributions to Victorian literature, his historical novels, and his exploration of rural themes have secured him a lasting place in the annals of English literature. Blackmore's ability to transport readers to different historical periods and his dedication to capturing the beauty of nature continue to be appreciated by those who delve into the pages of his novels and poems.


Lorna Doone

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 Doones, where he is discovered by the beautiful Lorna. In time their childish fantasies blossom into mature love a bond that will inspire John to rescue his beloved from the ravages of a stormy winter, rekindling a conflict with his archrival, Carver Doone, that climaxes in heartrending violence.

Beloved for its portrait of star-crossed lovers and its surpassing descriptions of the English countryside, Lorna Doone is R. D. Blackmore’s enduring masterpiece.

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