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Lorna Doone A Romance of Exmoor By: Richard D. Blackmore (1825-1900)
A Romance of Exmoor
by R. D. Blackmore
Copyright, 1889, by The Burrows Brothers Company
This work is called a "romance," because the incidents, characters, time, and scenery, are alike romantic. And in shaping this old tale, the Writer neither dares, nor desires, to claim for it the dignity or cumber it with the difficulty of an historic novel.
And yet he thinks that the outlines are filled in more carefully, and the situations (however simple) more warmly coloured and quickened, than a reader would expect to find in what is called a "legend."
And he knows that any son of Exmoor, chancing on this volume, cannot fail to bring to mind the nurse tales of his childhood the savage deeds of the outlaw Doones in the depth of Bagworthy Forest, the beauty of the hapless maid brought up in the midst of them, the plain John Ridd's Herculean power, and (memory's too congenial food) the exploits of Tom Faggus.
PREFACE TO THE SIXTH EDITION
Few things have surprised me more, and nothing has more pleased me, than the great success of this simple tale.
For truly it is a grand success to win the attention and kind regard, not of the general public only, but also of those who are at home with the scenery, people, life, and language, wherein a native cannot always satisfy the natives.
Therefore any son of Devon may imagine, and will not grudge, the Writer's delight at hearing from a recent visitor to the west that '"Lorna Doone,' to a Devonshire man, is as good as clotted cream, almost!"
Although not half so good as that, it has entered many a tranquil, happy, pure, and hospitable home, and the author, while deeply grateful for this genial reception, ascribes it partly to the fact that his story contains no word or thought disloyal to its birthright in the fairest county of England.
In putting this new and somewhat elaborate edition of "Lorna Doone" upon a market already supplied with various others, some of them excellent in quality, we ask the literary men and women of the country to give us their kind support for the reasons set forth herewith.
In the first place, it seems to us that of the countless thousands of books that have been written in all the various languages, and during the many ages since first man took to scribbling, no one has ever yet appeared which is the equal of this in its delicate and beautiful touches of both nature and human nature. We have had, in various ways, abundant proof that our feeling in this respect is not individual to ourselves, and we desire to thank heartily the many friends who have sent us their words and letters of encouragement, sympathy, and interest during the past year as they have by chance become aware of our plans.
While there were creditable editions already published, the fact that none existed just such as we ourselves wished for our own library was our primary incentive in undertaking this task. The labor upon which we entered was in short, one of love, and great as has been the expenditure of time, trouble, and money in the preparation of this book, we have faith to believe that there are a sufficient number of lovers of the peerless maiden, Lorna , to greet her appearance in this new dress with an enthusiasm that will in time repay us.
We earnestly hope that our judgment in the selection of artists, means, and materials has been, in the main, at least, wise, and that such, will be the verdict of book lovers. Also, we hope that our lack of experience as publishers will disarm the critic, and that he will examine the book regarding only the excellences which he may find, and passing over its defects.
One special feature we wish particularly to call to the attention of all, and that is the beautiful map of the country we have introduced... Continue reading book >>
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