Places Discussed


*Exmoor. Moorland in southern England overlapping the counties of Somerset and Devon. The flat sweep of moorland south of Plover’s Barrows farm has bogs here and there with brushy areas around them. Deep ravines run inland from the sea. The fertile valleys are either wooded or farmed.

Exmoor has changed little since the time in which Lorna Doone is set. From his childhood home in nearby Newton, Glamorganshire, R. D. Blackmore could see the heights of Exmoor. The roads across the moors are often deep in mud and prone to being covered with dense fog. Dulverton, the home town of John Ridd’s great-uncle Reuben Huckaback lies at the southern edge of the moor.

Plover’s Barrows

Plover’s Barrows. Farm of the protagonist and narrator, John Ridd. Located in the East Lynn River valley, it is the largest of three farms in the valley and is the closest to the coast. The farmyard is surrounded by outbuildings—a barn, a corn-chamber, a cider press, a cow house, and stables—and orchards lie beyond. The farm’s rooms are underground so that both people and animals are warmer in winter and cooler in summer. The farmhouse has a kitchen and parlor downstairs and several rooms upstairs. John Ridd’s room, under the rafters, faces east and from the latticed window he can see the yard, the wood-rick, and the church in the village of Oare in the distance.

Doone Valley

Doone Valley. Home of the outlaw Doone clan; an oval-shaped green valley surrounded by eighty-to one-hundred-foot cliffs of sheer black rock. The valley is traversed by a winding stream, on the banks of which are fourteen one-story square houses built of stone and wood. Sir Ensor Doone’s house is closest to the Doone-gate. Carver Doone’s house is lowest in the valley.


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Exmoor is a large region of moorland, mountains, and forests shared by Devonshire and Somersetshire in southwestern England. The best-selling...

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Literary Qualities

Unlike novelists such as Gustave Flaubert or Henry James, who exercised complete control over the materials that went into their fiction,...

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Social Sensitivity

In John Ridd, Blackmore presents a man of unusual strength and strong conscience. A devout Christian who feels he is closely in touch with...

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Topics for Discussion

1. Would John Ridd: Yeoman of Exmoor have been a better name for this novel? Consider that Ridd, as narrator and hero, appears in many...

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Ideas for Reports and Papers

1. Monmouth's Rebellion forms part of the background in Lorna Doone. Who was James Scott, Duke of Monmouth? Why did he lead a...

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Related Titles / Adaptations

Of Blackmore's other novels, The Maid of Sker, Alice Lorraine, and Springhaven are possibly the best. Blackmore's plots and...

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For Further Reference

Baker, Ernest A. The History of the English Novel. Vol. 9, The Day Before Yesterday. 1936. Reprint. New York: Barnes and Noble,...

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(Great Characters in Literature)

Budd, Kenneth George. The Last Victorian: R. D. Blackmore and His Novels. London: Centaur Press, 1960. A good introduction, connecting the plot to legend and to children’s nursery tales. Analyzes Blackmore’s style and lyricism, rebutting accusations of wordiness and lack of realism. Favorably compares Blackmore to other Victorian rural novelists.

Burris, Quincy Guy. Richard Doddridge Blackmore: His Life and Novels. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1973. Discusses Blackmore’s attitudes about nature and civilization, analyzing plot, character, and theme. Compares Lorna Doone with other Blackmore novels, tracing symbol...

(The entire section is 256 words.)