Richard Doddridge Blackmore (1825-1900)

R.D. Blackmore is best known as the author of the novel Lorna Doone. His father was a minister in the Church of England. His mother died of typhus fever when he was only a few months old and his father then moved to the parish of Culmstock, near Barnstaple in Devon, which was to become Blackmore's favourite county and which provided the setting for Lorna Doone.

He was educated at Blundell's School, Tiverton , where he became head boy, and Exeter College, Oxford. In 1852 he was called to the bar but had to give up his work as a barrister because of epilepsy. He turned to teaching, at Wellesley House School, Twickenham Common, but a substantial legacy from his uncle gave him freedom from any futher worries about money. He bought 12 acres of land at Teddington, built a house and established a market garden. His grapes, nectarines, peaches and pears, as well as flowers, were sold at Covent Garden market.

Blackmore's first novel, Clara Vaughan, was published in 1864. Lorna Doone was his third novel and came out in 1869.

The memorial tablet to R.D. Blackmore in Exeter Cathedral

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