Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Lorna Doone

Badgworthy Water, Exmoor.

Our eldest daughter is home for a few days and last night we sat and watched Lorna Doone - it was a BBC drama on tv a few years back and this is the DVD of those two programmes. OH soon left us (!) and we sat down to thoroughly enjoy the story - yet again. I can remember buying the Ladybird book of Lorna Doone for her when she was 4 years old and she loved me to read it, especially the part where Jan Ridd tumbles down the waterfall. I have this as a story cassette too and even now will sometimes listen to it as I do the ironing.

R D Blackmore based the story on real life. In the Dartmoor village of Chagford, Mary Whiddon was married at the church of St Michael's on 11th October 1641. There is a memorial to her inside, stating that she "died a matron, yet a maid". Legend has it that she was shot (by a jealous lover?) as she left the church.

Is it anyone else's favourite?


  1. How interesting I didnt know that. I wonder if that was the version screened one Christmas, a good 13 years ago, starring Aiden Gillen as Carver Doone.
    In fact I've just added that to my Amazon wish-list thanks!

  2. Kath - yes that's the one. Still enjoying it in my memory this morning!

    Basketcase - you're in good company!

  3. Not necessarily my favourite (that is Anne ofGreen Gables if we are talking teenage years - but it is a good story and I did enjoy it.

  4. I think I will add that to my Lovefilm list

  5. I have a vague memory of watching Lorna Doone as a film quite a few years ago--and wasn't impressed. It likely wasn't the BBC version as they usually do such things well.
    What is the golden yellow bloom in your photo--gorse[?] or is that out of season?

  6. I have a special interest in R. D. Blackmore because he wrote another book called Mary Anerley which was a story set in my village of Flamborough, in East Yorkshire. Truthfully the book is way too long, but if you distill the main story down to the love story of Robin Lythe and Mary Anerley it is sweet, and funny, (sort of wry). I did take the book and rewrite and condense it in order to preserve much of the history of Flamborough that is in it. I had it published under the title "The Tale of Robin Lythe". If you like Blackmore you'll see that I have actually left a lot of his writing and humor in it. It was fun to do but took me several years. It's still available.

  7. MM - yes, it's Gorse, blooming on Dartmoor (rather than Exmoor, where Lorna Doone is set). There's an old saying, "When the gorse is out of bloom, kissing's out of fashion" - in other words, it's always blooming somewhere, even in the depths of winter.

    Chris J - Well done you on condensing Blackmore's story of Robin Lythe. I have to say I've not heard of his Mary Anerley and never knew he was at Flamborough.

    Cait - you won't regret it - a lovely tale and a star-studded cast too.

  8. I have an awful confessuion to make - I've never read Lorna Doone! Maybe I'll do something about that thsi winter:)

  9. I loved Lorna Doone, but nothing could beat Black Beauty as my favourite childhood book.

    The gorse is in flower again here in the New Forest, although this year we had a gloomy month without a trace of yellow or purple, after the heather had finished blooming.