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Richard Blackmore (1825-1900) was a minor historical novelist whose works have been somewhat overlooked by the reading masses, but whose talent for characterization and setting rank his words among the finest of nineteenth-century English literature. "Lorna Doone," Blackmore's acknowledged masterpiece, attained belated popularity a little more than a year after its publication. Rumors began that the novel was about the recent marriage of the marquis of Lorna into the family of Queen Victoria, leading to a sudden influx of sales and praise from both critics and the reading public. Although the rumors were unfounded, the novel became a classic of Victorian fiction. The romantic story, complete with courageous heroes, secret agents, highwaymen, and dangerous villains, is set in the wild and forbidding countryside of Exmoor. Readers will take pleasure in the lush descriptions of Exmoor's natural beauty, the gripping battles of strength and will, and the wonderfully romantic love story that Blackmore has created.

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