RD Blackmore Papers

Scope and Content

The collection amounts to four boxes of literary fragments, exercise books, completed drafts and corrected proofs. These include poems in progess and finished, whole manuscripts (e.g. Craddock Nowell) and part manuscript novels, plus typescript novels (e.g. Alice Lorraine) and a number of short stories in proof. There are a few letters loose among the pages of the poetry volumes, and separately sorted into a large envelope.

Administrative / Biographical History

Blackmore was educated at Blundell's School, Tiverton, and Exeter College Oxford. He began his career as a lawyer, but occasional epileptic fits impeded his progress and instead he worked firstly as a schoolmaster and later as a fruit-grower at Teddington, where he lived for the rest of his life. Besides Lorna Doone, which was published in 1869, he published thirteen other novels, plus a number of short stories, poems and translations from the classics. He married Lucy Maguire, but had no children.


By published or working title.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for consultation

Acquisition Information

Doddridge's literary papers, with the exception of the MSS of Lorna Doone and Cripps the Carrier, were acquired by Mrs A Pinto Leite, who bequeathed them in 1938 to the British Museum. Some were at this time given to Exeter City Library, and these are now in Devon Record Office. The remainder was given to the University Library by the Museum in May 1958. Three manuscripts were retained by the British Library.

Other Finding Aids

A handlist is available.

Alternative Form Available

Apart from published versions, no copies known

Conditions Governing Use

Usual University of Exeter arrangements apply

Custodial History

The papers have at some point in the past been partly roughly sorted into packets titled with the finished works to which they relate.

Related Material

Waldo H Dunn, RD Blackmore, the author of 'Lorna Doone' (1956); Kenneth G Budd, The Last Victorian. R.D. Blackmore and his novels (1960)


Several of the works have been published, in journal and book form.