Richard Doddridge Blackmore (June 7, 1825 - January 20, 1900), one of the most famous English novelists of the his generation, was born at Longworth, Berkshire, of which parish his father was vicar. Like John Ridd, the hero of "Lorna Doone," he was educated at Blundell's School, Tiverton. An early marriage with a beautiful Portuguese girl, and a long illness, forced him to live for some years in hard and narrow circumstances. Happily, in 1860, he came, unexpectedly, into a considerable fortune. Settling down at Teddington, he divided his life between the delights of gardening and the pleasures of literature; cultivating his vines, peaches, nectarines, pears, and strawberries, and writing, first, sensational stories, and then historical romances. In 1869, with his third attempt in fiction, "Lorna Doone: A Romance of Exmoor," he suddenly became famous as a novelist, and acted as the pioneer of the new romantic movement in fiction which R. L. Stevenson and other brilliant writers afterwards carried on. Lorna Doone is the most famous of his heroines, but in "Cradock Nowell," a fine tale of the New Forest, in "Alice Lorraine," a story of the South Downs, and in "The Maid of Sker," he has depicted womanly types equal in charm to Lorna. He died at Teddington on January 20, 1900.