decorated initial '\A' s distinct from Kingsley, he wrote but little of the great folk of his age. And he sought, not so much to catch the spirit of the English nation in such an age as that of Elizabeth, as to catch the spirit of the yeoman landholder in all agesÑthe spirit of devotion to the farm, love of his flocks, and a passion for simple and unobtrusive life. The Spensers and the Raleighs of Westward Ho! find no parallels in Blackmore's novels. Amyas Leigh is, however, in some things akin to John Ridd [of Blackmore's Lorna Doone], though not in many. He is huge, as John is; he is of a shrewd practical brain, as John is. But he is the son of a gentleman. He is moved as much by romance in new lands and upon the seas as he is by the love of woman; and he is more moved by these things than he is by any love of the land. John wants nothing of battles, or adventures. Each of these characters is the expression of a sturdy English spirit; the one, the lust of adventure; the other, the quiet contentment of staying at home, keeping peace in the county, and tilling broad fields.

It is significant that Kingsley, although he wrote feelingly of Devon scenery, did not approach the caressing delicacy, the almost passionate adoration of growing things characteristic of Blackmore's description. In Kingsley there is always the sea in the immediate background. [152]


Burris, Quincy Guy. Richard Doddridge Blackmore: His Life and Novels. Urbana: University of Illinois, 1930.

Last modified 8 June 2007