Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 313
1. Monmouth's Rebellion forms part of the background in Lorna Doone. Who was James Scott, Duke of Monmouth? Why did he lead a rebellion against his uncle, James II? Why did he fail?
2. When the novel begins, John Ridd has been at Blundell's School for four years. The opening chapters give some indication of the nature of life at a school like Blundell's. Blundell's and schools like it still educate many of England's leading citizens. How are they prepared for their roles in society? How have schools such as Blundell's changed since the seventeenth century?
3. John Ridd, when he is knighted by James II, is at once proud and bewildered. He says, "Sir, I am very much obliged. But what be I to do with it?" He is very conscious of class distinctions, and never aspires to be anything other than a farmer. At times he seems to defend class distinctions as a part of his English inheritance. Blackmore himself shared these ideas. Explain the class system as it existed in Ridd's and in Blackmore's times.
4. Lorna Doone, like all of Blackmore's books, celebrates the virtues of rural life. George Eliot and Thomas Hardy also wrote novels featuring the country people of England. How do such books as Eliot's Adam Bede or Silas Marner, both set in rural Warwickshire, or Hardy's Under the Greenwood Tree or Far from the Madding Crowd, set in Dorsetshire, compare to Lorna Doone in their use of rustic backgrounds?
5. Tom Faggus was a legend in southwest England in the seventeenth century. Why has the highwayman so often been depicted as a romantic figure? Macheath in John Gay's The Beggar's Opera (1728) and in Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's The Threepenny Opera (1928) is also romantic despite the satiric tone of both musical dramas. What were highwaymen actually like? Is Blackmore's portrayal of Faggus a good representation of this type of outlaw?