Lorna Doone: A Romance of Exmoor

Richard D. BLACKMORE

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Item#: 127058 price:$2,500.00

Lorna Doone: A Romance of Exmoor
Lorna Doone: A Romance of Exmoor

"LORNA IS AN ENGLISH PERSEPHONE": FIRST EDITION OF LORNA DOONE, HANDSOMELY BOUND

BLACKMORE, Richard D. Lorna Doone: A Romance of Exmoor. London: Sampson Low, Son, & Marston, 1869. Three volumes. Small octavo, contemporary three-quarter red straight-grain morocco rebacked, raised bands, marbled boards, endpapers renewed. Housed together in a custom cloth slipcase. $2500.

First edition of Blackmore's classic romantic novel of legendary Devonshire, handsomely bound. "Combining romance, adventure, and idyll, Lorna Doone has been continuously in print since its publication" (ONDB).

A novelist and former conveyancer, "it was in 1869, with his third attempt in fiction, that Blackmore rose suddenly to the front rank of English novelists with the publication of Lorna Doone" (DNB). "Blackmore drew on legends and tales circulating in Devon and Somerset associated with the area of northeast Exmoor which he knew from his childhood visits to his Blackmore grandfather, and set his novel in the late 17th century, against the background of Monmouth's uprising. John Ridd, a yeoman farmer, recounts the story of his courtship of Lorna, kidnapped as a baby by the outlawed Doones, and brought up in their Exmoor fastness, half-captive, half-queen… Lorna is an English Persephone: intermittently visible, shedding her sweetness over the fertile landscape. Her marriage to John symbolizes the appropriation of aristocratic power by the hard-working middle class, while the picture of plenitude and rural festivity at Plovers Barrows offers a fantasy of English communal life in the shadow of war and corrupt government. The first edition of the book did not sell particularly well, but the one-volume cheap edition of 1870 became a best-seller… Combining romance, adventure, and idyll, Lorna Doone has been continuously in print since its publication" (ONDB). No half titles, as called for by Sadleir. Sadleir 227. Wolff 536. Early owner ink signature to title pages, dated 1872.

Only occasional faint foxing, slight rounding to corners. A handsomely rebacked copy in near-fine condition.

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