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Post Info TOPIC: Elizabeth Chynoweth/ Poldark/ Warleggan


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Date: Aug 6 10:39 AM, 2017
Elizabeth Chynoweth/ Poldark/ Warleggan
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Stella Poldark wrote:
Dark Mare wrote:

So instead she doomed them to a life without their mother. If she had been thinking about her children rather than fearing George, she would have told Dwight during the delivery. (Dr. Anselm had warned her if things go wrong and she hasn't told the doctor, she might die.)  Dwight likely would have left a note for Dr. Behenna and discussed it with him when he returned at 9 p.m. Elizabeth could have truthfully told Dwight she had seen a doctor in London who told her a seven-month delivery was preferable to an eight-month one because the baby is in the right position, and she didn't want to risk another eight-month delivery if she could help it. That is why she took the doctor's concoction.


 I do not recall any mention of Dwight telling Dr Behenna about the contents of the bottle. He took the bottle away so that no one would find it and the truth would not be known to anyone else. There is nothing to suggest Dwight told Behenna about it and I think it is more likely that he kept it entirely to himself. He treated patient confidentiality as extremely important (perhaps more so than other doctors) and I cannot imagine him writing to Behenna or discussing it with him.  At some later stage when Ross was anxious about Demelza's labour and post natal poor health he asked Dwight about her and mentioned Elizabeth's death thinking the same might happen to Demelza. Dwight told him that was entirely different so Dwight knew the content of the bottle.



-- Edited by Stella Poldark on Thursday 3rd of August 2017 08:26:12 PM


Dwight didn't tell Behenna what was in the bottle because he didn't know the bottle even existed until he returned to treat Elizabeth at the end. (That was when he found the bottle.) If Dwight had been given the information by the patient at the time of the birth, he certainly would have shared it with Behenna, Elizabeth's actual doctor, as soon as he could. To fail to do so would have been malpractice because the information would have had an effect on Behenna's treatment decisions.

Yes, Dwight suspected the bottle had contained something that would induce labor. (There was no label on the bottle, and Elizabeth had disposed of Dr. Alselm's written instructions.) Whether he knew it was ergot or one of a number of the herbs that can cause premature labor, we can only guess because WG didn't say.



-- Edited by Dark Mare on Sunday 6th of August 2017 10:48:45 AM

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Thank you Mrs Gimlett, and thanks for the reminder that Elizabeth considered herself a devout Christian. She had a healthy belief in the afterlife and would not have jeopardized her soul by intentionally harming herself. I thought she handled herself--and her soul--very well when she swore that inspired oath to George on her bible. 



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You have written an excellent expose of Elizabeth's final hours, Hollyhock. 

Divorce would not have been an option for her; it required an Act of Parliament in those days. Leaving George would have been unthinkable too.  Where would she go?  Her parents were still at Trenwith; she had no other relations who would take her in and as you have stated, George did own her and all her possessions.  Only a very rich heiress could have contemplated leaving a husband, unless there was a lover to flee to.  The best she could have hoped for was to live at Trenwith in a separate part of the house, which I think they almost did anyway.  It seems, unlike the couple at Nampara, George and Elizabeth had separate bedrooms.

However, that little bottle which she procured would give her the means to produce her child prematurely.  She was convinced that George would accept a peculiarity in her, which caused her not to go to full term.  They didn't love each other, but George was immensely smug about possessing her, much the same a trophy wife nowadays.  Therefore, he would easily accept this explanation and then, she hoped, life would become more tranquil. Suicide was considered to be one of the worst crimes/sins in those God fearing days.  Elizabeth would never have taken her own life on purpose, not even for the sake of her sons.

 



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Dark Mare wrote:

So instead she doomed them to a life without their mother. If she had been thinking about her children rather than fearing George, she would have told Dwight during the delivery. (Dr. Anselm had warned her if things go wrong and she hasn't told the doctor, she might die.)  Dwight likely would have left a note for Dr. Behenna and discussed it with him when he returned at 9 p.m. Elizabeth could have truthfully told Dwight she had seen a doctor in London who told her a seven-month delivery was preferable to an eight-month one because the baby is in the right position, and she didn't want to risk another eight-month delivery if she could help it. That is why she took the doctor's concoction.


 I do not recall any mention of Dwight telling Dr Behenna about the contents of the bottle. He took the bottle away so that no one would find it and the truth would not be known to anyone else. There is nothing to suggest Dwight told Behenna about it and I think it is more likely that he kept it entirely to himself. He treated patient confidentiality as extremely important (perhaps more so than other doctors) and I cannot imagine him writing to Behenna or discussing it with him.  At some later stage when Ross was anxious about Demelza's labour and post natal poor health he asked Dwight about her and mentioned Elizabeth's death thinking the same might happen to Demelza. Dwight told him that was entirely different so Dwight knew the content of the bottle.



-- Edited by Stella Poldark on Thursday 3rd of August 2017 08:26:12 PM

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Dark Mare wrote: 

Her children lost their mother because she put a bad marriage to a difficult man ahead of them in her effort to protect them from that difficult man. Better a nasty divorce and a live mother.

First there is no justification for what Elizabeth did. It was stupid and smelter George was not worth it. But more than anything else, her state of mind has to be considered. She is pregnant and highly emotional. She has just had a horrendous battle of wills with George and, even though she won, it has taxed her physically and spiritually--so much so that she faints. George is temporarily assuaged but she knows that his suspicions will soon re-surface and dominate their lives. Uppermost in her mind is GC and Valentine's security. Should she have tossed George out of Trenwith at that point? Yes, but how? I'm not versed in marital law of the time but I think that he owned her lock, stock and body. (I know that Trenwith would pass to CG when he came of age unless George figured out a way to steal it.) However, if Elizabeth left George, would he have been compelled to support her and the children in the manner to which they were accustomed? Comfort was important to Elizabeth. (We know Selina's sorry circumstances after she left Valentine.) Would she have been pitied by friends; would they see her as upperclass Chynoweth dumped by an upstart Warleggan? In her state of mind she decided to do what she thought would be the easiest solution --didn't she always?--and take the potion.  

I think WG explains Elizabeth's reasons for taking the medicine, and it had absolutely nothing to do with a death wish. After her fight with George, we hear Elizabeth's thoughts as she weighs the pros and cons of inducing labor. Earlier, she had decided that she would not take the liquid. But George's suspicions convinced her that to ensure CG and Valentine's future, she must do so. Once the deed was done, should she have told the doctors what she had taken? Of course. But let's face it; we're talking about Elizabeth. She would never have told Dwight, let alone Behenna. She had her image to protect and besides she never imagined that she would die. That thought just never occurred to her. What she did think was, "Dr. Anselm had not disguised the fact that there was some risk, though he had not specified what the risk precisely was." (TAT, 476). So she saw no life threat. After Ursula's delivery, everything seemed fine. By the time she realized it wasn't, it was already too late. What could she do? It was too late to save herself so she chose to save her sons by keeping silent. Her reasoning was unsound but was based on a mother's need to protect her children. She died fighting for them. And it did work for a while. George assuaged his guilt by over-indulging Valentine and he supported GC, even after he went to the army.  In the final analysis, we have to accept WG's fate for Elizabeth.  He wanted her out of the story, but not out of Ross' heart. So he had Valentine as a close reminder. 

 



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Hollyhock wrote:

 

... Although Elizabeth was beyond stupid to attempt to mollify George's suspicions of Valentine's parentage by consuming the contents of that little medicine bottle, she did it out of misguided love for her children. She wanted a secure future for GC and she wanted George to stop his vile abuse of Valentine. By the time she realized that things had gone horribly wrong it was too late. To admit to what she had done would have been to condemn her children to the unhappiness she was attempting to obliterate. Our final image of her, through Ross' devastated eyes, is as sad and uneasy as her life.    


-- Edited by Hollyhock on Wednesday 2nd of August 2017 04:42:41 AM


So instead she doomed them to a life without their mother. If she had been thinking about her children rather than fearing George, she would have told Dwight during the delivery. (Dr. Anselm had warned her if things go wrong and she hasn't told the doctor, she might die.)  Dwight likely would have left a note for Dr. Behenna and discussed it with him when he returned at 9 p.m. Elizabeth could have truthfully told Dwight she had seen a doctor in London who told her a seven-month delivery was preferable to an eight-month one because the baby is in the right position, and she didn't want to risk another eight-month delivery if she could help it. That is why she took the doctor's concoction.

Her children lost their mother because she put a bad marriage to a difficult man ahead of them in her effort to protect them from that difficult man. Better a nasty divorce and a live mother.

By law, Valentine was George's son because he was married to the child's mother at the time of the birth. (Without blood typing, which did not yet exist, there was no way to establish paternity.) So George would be on the hook to support the two younger children regardless. Ross and Demelza could afford to pay for Geoffrey Charles' remaining schooling if it came down to it. All that would be at risk was Trenwith, and if the marriage agreement was at all favorable to Elizabeth, the Trenwith mortgage had been forgiven.



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Hollyhock, it is pleasing to know the comments have been useful.

I am not sure I agree with something you have written.  Below, you say Elizabeth's marriage to Francis was arranged.  I do not think this is correct.  Elizabeth and Francis met and he fell for her, despite (or possibly because of) knowing Ross was in love with her.  Elizabeth thought she loved Francis too.  That their marriage was hastened, I agree.  Charles was anxious to have everything settled as soon as may be, especially after Ross' return.  Mrs Chynoweth was just as eager to get them wed, for more or less the same reason.  In that respect I suppose it was 'arranged', but not in the usual meaning of the word. I cannot remember any specific mention of them having been introduced by either parent.



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Hollyhock asked:

Dear Experts--the following has me puzzled so I'd really appreciate your perspectives. In The Angry Tide, after Morwenna finds her way back to Drake, Elizabeth learns of their wedding plans.  She goes to Drake's shop where Morwenna is staying and tries to persuade her to stay at Trenwith instead until after the wedding.

'No, no, Morwenna, you must stay at Trenwith! It is only proper. You could have your old room.' 

Morwenna replies, 'Oh, no, thank you!' 

Elizabeth frowned, a little offended. "You were married from Trenwith last time. Why not this?' (451-52.

Do you think Elizabeth was sincere? Would she have really supported her cousin marrying Drake, whom she still considered inferior? Aside from facing George's outrage, would she have suffered this additional connection to the Poldarks? She had to know that Demelza would not take a back seat in any arrangements. Or did she, as Morwenna suspected, have an ulterior motive? Once at Trenwith would Elizabeth persuade her that the match was impossible?  

Or was this a new Elizabeth? One whose understanding and compassion had matured because of her contentious relationships with Francis and George?

 

Thanks to all who responded to my request for feedback.

I believe that by the end of the Angry Tide Elizabeth is still very much self-involved but not as self-centered (if that makes sense). Several factors contributed to this--the normal aging-maturation process, the problems she faced over the years--but motherhood had the greatest affect. Geoffrey Charles first opened her heart to real love and later baby Valentine stole his way in. She is one of WG's more interestingly constructed characters--very much a woman trying to manuever the male controlled society, but not stereotypical. She is not like the Teague ladies or even very much like her mother, Mrs. Chynoweth. She would have managed very well in London society, as Ross suggested.

This is not to say that she is no longer aloof and calculating; she is. But she also has a conscience. Elizabeth refuses to let George kick Aunt Agatha out of Trenwith. When her face is rubbed in it, she admits to George's nastiness--his alienation of the villagers, his persecution of Drake, his grasping greed. She didn't have Harriet's talent for managing George, but she chose her battles well and usually won. 

One of the gravest mistakes she made was in allowing George to barter Mowenna off to odious Ossie. But she could not have imagined that Ossie, a minister, was so depraved and so deranged. Her own first marriage was arranged and she, as most women did, complied with her parents' wishes. However, she flatly refused to consider George's suggestion of marrying Morwenna off to Sir John Trevaunance or Sir Hugh Bodrugan, even if either had been interested. She honestly thought the match with Ossie would be good. It would be too much to expect of Elizabeth that she could sympathize with the fact that Morwenna needed love for a happy marriage; she herself had never loved either of her husbands. Even so, she was steadfastly loyal to both Francis and George.   

Although Elizabeth was beyond stupid to attempt to mollify George's suspicions of Valentine's parentage by consuming the contents of that little medicine bottle, she did it out of misguided love for her children. She wanted a secure future for GC and she wanted George to stop his vile abuse of Valentine. By the time she realized that things had gone horribly wrong it was too late. To admit to what she had done would have been to condemn her children to the unhappiness she was attempting to obliterate. Our final image of her, through Ross' devastated eyes, is as sad and uneasy as her life.    



-- Edited by Hollyhock on Wednesday 2nd of August 2017 04:42:41 AM

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The childhood years of Ross has now gone to another thread, as this is off-topic.  Please post replies to Ross' Early Years.  It could also be extended to the early years of Demelza, Francis and Verity.

Thank you

Mrs Gimlett



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Fijane wrote:
Dark Mare wrote:

 I agree with you, and I think that is probably even truer of Demelza. The version of her father she saw was the negligent, raging brute and drunkard, but there had to another Tom Carne, the one able to hold onto a mining job at a time when the number of available miners far outnumbered the mining positions. He must have been a fairly high-functioning alcoholic. Otherwise, how was he able to show up every day, to work his pitch profitably enough to keep it, to avoid serious injuries in a very dangerous occupation and to control his temper sufficiently to get along with his co-workers and superiors?

Is it possible that two people who as children each lost the parent who had been the family's linchpin and saw the remaining parent fall apart would have subsequently toughened themselves up so much to survive without love that they didn't know how to live with it over the long haul? 


Do you mean that both Ross and Demelza were scarred enough that they couldn't maintain a strong relationship over time?

I think that the entire 12 books show that they could, but it certainly wasn't easy. Assuming that they both lived with parents in loving relationship for the early years of their lives, they may have had some subconscious feel of how a good relationship should look.

If you consider the norms of the time regarding marriage (convenience rather than love, women as chattels, expected adultery by the man etc), they both had very high ideals of marriage which contributed to the devastation when they both failed. Somewhere they both learned how to extend forgiveness, how to avoid pettiness, how to rebuild intimacy.

However, underneath, I suspect we may be trying to build too much backstory here. The truth, I suspect, is that WG just wanted Ross and Demelza to have these qualities and traits, and he wasn't too concerned about how they got that way. They just were the way they were.


In a way, yes. The marriage was strong only when both of them were fully invested in the relationship. Whenever one of them got distracted by an outside person or thing that needed saving or attending to, the other started to lose faith, and the fragility of the underpinnings became exposed. And yet, in later years, Ross' reliable presence in Westminster and his foreign missions provided a buttress to the marriage (absence making the heart grow fonder, I guess). As did the houseful of children, financial security and a circle of family and friends who saw the marriage as stronger than maybe it really was. I don't think their marriage had a skeleton as much as a shell holding it and them together. 

I would agree with your last paragraph if WG hadn't also written "Marnie," a psychological thriller about a young woman crippled by the emotional scars of a traumatic childhood, during his lengthy "Poldark" hiatus between "Warleggan" and "The Black Moon." I haven't read his other thrillers so I don't know whether he returned to that well often. What I would say is it would be helpful had there been more backstory, especially for the Carnes. 



-- Edited by Dark Mare on Thursday 3rd of August 2017 06:10:17 AM

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Dark Mare wrote:

 I agree with you, and I think that is probably even truer of Demelza. The version of her father she saw was the negligent, raging brute and drunkard, but there had to another Tom Carne, the one able to hold onto a mining job at a time when the number of available miners far outnumbered the mining positions. He must have been a fairly high-functioning alcoholic. Otherwise, how was he able to show up every day, to work his pitch profitably enough to keep it, to avoid serious injuries in a very dangerous occupation and to control his temper sufficiently to get along with his co-workers and superiors?

Is it possible that two people who as children each lost the parent who had been the family's linchpin and saw the remaining parent fall apart would have subsequently toughened themselves up so much to survive without love that they didn't know how to live with it over the long haul? 


Do you mean that both Ross and Demelza were scarred enough that they couldn't maintain a strong relationship over time?

I think that the entire 12 books show that they could, but it certainly wasn't easy. Assuming that they both lived with parents in loving relationship for the early years of their lives, they may have had some subconscious feel of how a good relationship should look.

If you consider the norms of the time regarding marriage (convenience rather than love, women as chattels, expected adultery by the man etc), they both had very high ideals of marriage which contributed to the devastation when they both failed. Somewhere they both learned how to extend forgiveness, how to avoid pettiness, how to rebuild intimacy.

However, underneath, I suspect we may be trying to build too much backstory here. The truth, I suspect, is that WG just wanted Ross and Demelza to have these qualities and traits, and he wasn't too concerned about how they got that way. They just were the way they were.



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Fijane wrote:
Dark Mare wrote:
Maybe he was stuck in the anger stage of grief. It is interesting that both Demelza and Ross were raised by negligent fathers who emotionally washed their hands of their children but never permanently packed them off to relatives or, in the Carnes' case, the workhouse or an orphanage. (Actually, I may want to amend that in Ross' case. When you read the prologue to "Ross Poldark," you get the idea that Joshua cared a great deal about his son, but when you read the rest of "Ross," you get the feeling Ross never felt that.) 

Possibly the loss of Claude Anthony had something to do with the way Ross and Joshua's relationship developed. And also Grace's death. Grief can drive wedges between people who really do love each other, and children especially lack the ability to make allowances for a grieving parent. They just feel the neglect without understanding the reason for it.


 I agree with you, and I think that is probably even truer of Demelza. The version of her father she saw was the negligent, raging brute and drunkard, but there had to another Tom Carne, the one able to hold onto a mining job at a time when the number of available miners far outnumbered the mining positions. He must have been a fairly high-functioning alcoholic. Otherwise, how was he able to show up every day, to work his pitch profitably enough to keep it, to avoid serious injuries in a very dangerous occupation and to control his temper sufficiently to get along with his co-workers and superiors?

Is it possible that two people who as children each lost the parent who had been the family's linchpin and saw the remaining parent fall apart would have subsequently toughened themselves up so much to survive without love that they didn't know how to live with it over the long haul? 



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Dark Mare wrote:
Maybe he was stuck in the anger stage of grief. It is interesting that both Demelza and Ross were raised by negligent fathers who emotionally washed their hands of their children but never permanently packed them off to relatives or, in the Carnes' case, the workhouse or an orphanage. (Actually, I may want to amend that in Ross' case. When you read the prologue to "Ross Poldark," you get the idea that Joshua cared a great deal about his son, but when you read the rest of "Ross," you get the feeling Ross never felt that.) 

Possibly the loss of Claude Anthony had something to do with the way Ross and Joshua's relationship developed. And also Grace's death. Grief can drive wedges between people who really do love each other, and children especially lack the ability to make allowances for a grieving parent. They just feel the neglect without understanding the reason for it.



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Fijane wrote:

I think Elizabeth did envy Morwenna Drake's devotion. She had been loved by three men, and not one of them treated her anywhere close to as kindly as Drake treated Morwenna. 

(Writing the above sentence, it struck me that all three Carnes were capable of a depth of love and devotion that even Dwight Enys could not approach. What is strange about that is they grew up in a home that was devoid of love after their mother died and maybe before that as well. [WG kept changing his mind about the first Demelza so it is difficult to know.])


 Very interesting about the quality of children that Tom Carne managed to produce. I think I would have to deduce that the first Demelza must have been a loving, quality person, and possess the earthy essence of philosophy that both Drake and Demelza show. Either that or there was an influencial grandparent that we are given no clue about. Sam is a very decent person in essence (aside from his spiritual belief) and brief mentions of the other boys imply that they make good marriages and seem relatively happy.


I think the senior Demelza was probably like the old woman in the shoe by the end of her life ("had so many children she didn't know what to do), but the older children must have had a loving mother given the junior Demelza's recollections of her. I don't think the first Demelza "whipped them all soundly and sent them to bed" -- her husband did that after she died. I do wonder how much of Tom Carne's meanness toward his children was caused by anger at his wife for dying, leaving him with seven young children to raise. Maybe he was stuck in the anger stage of grief. It is interesting that both Demelza and Ross were raised by negligent fathers who emotionally washed their hands of their children but never permanently packed them off to relatives or, in the Carnes' case, the workhouse or an orphanage. (Actually, I may want to amend that in Ross' case. When you read the prologue to "Ross Poldark," you get the idea that Joshua cared a great deal about his son, but when you read the rest of "Ross," you get the feeling Ross never felt that.) 



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I think Elizabeth did envy Morwenna Drake's devotion. She had been loved by three men, and not one of them treated her anywhere close to as kindly as Drake treated Morwenna. 

(Writing the above sentence, it struck me that all three Carnes were capable of a depth of love and devotion that even Dwight Enys could not approach. What is strange about that is they grew up in a home that was devoid of love after their mother died and maybe before that as well. [WG kept changing his mind about the first Demelza so it is difficult to know.])


 Very interesting about the quality of children that Tom Carne managed to produce. I think I would have to deduce that the first Demelza must have been a loving, quality person, and possess the earthy essence of philosophy that both Drake and Demelza show. Either that or there was an influencial grandparent that we are given no clue about. Sam is a very decent person in essence (aside from his spiritual belief) and brief mentions of the other boys imply that they make good marriages and seem relatively happy.



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Dark Mare wrote:
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... I agree, Elizabeth did have a bit of a guilty conscience about letting smelter George barter Morwenna off to odious Ossie. I may be reading too much into their conversation, but I think the overwrought E might also have been a tab bit jealous of Morwenna for having someone who loved her unconditionally and wanted nothing from her but her happiness.  At Pally's Shop she said to M:

'And now,' Elizabeth said, 'you are to marry Drake after all. And you are to live here?' She looked around. "Are the Poldarks pleased?' (TAT, 451)


-- Edited by Hollyhock on Saturday 22nd of July 2017 05:23:48 PM


I think Elizabeth did envy Morwenna Drake's devotion. She had been loved by three men, and not one of them treated her anywhere close to as kindly as Drake treated Morwenna. 

(Writing the above sentence, it struck me that all three Carnes were capable of a depth of love and devotion that even Dwight Enys could not approach. What is strange about that is they grew up in a home that was devoid of love after their mother died and maybe before that as well. [WG kept changing his mind about the first Demelza so it is difficult to know.])


I don't think Ross or Francis ever really loved Elizabeth. Rather, they both idealized her, and I believe they both came to understand this.  Surprisingly, I think George did come to love her more for herself than the other two.  Elizabeth wasn't capable of love except for GC.



-- Edited by JanetMaison on Monday 24th of July 2017 11:41:55 PM

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Hollyhock wrote:

 

... I agree, Elizabeth did have a bit of a guilty conscience about letting smelter George barter Morwenna off to odious Ossie. I may be reading too much into their conversation, but I think the overwrought E might also have been a tab bit jealous of Morwenna for having someone who loved her unconditionally and wanted nothing from her but her happiness.  At Pally's Shop she said to M:

'And now,' Elizabeth said, 'you are to marry Drake after all. And you are to live here?' She looked around. "Are the Poldarks pleased?' (TAT, 451)


-- Edited by Hollyhock on Saturday 22nd of July 2017 05:23:48 PM


I think Elizabeth did envy Morwenna Drake's devotion. She had been loved by three men, and not one of them treated her anywhere close to as kindly as Drake treated Morwenna. 

(Writing the above sentence, it struck me that all three Carnes were capable of a depth of love and devotion that even Dwight Enys could not approach. What is strange about that is they grew up in a home that was devoid of love after their mother died and maybe before that as well. [WG kept changing his mind about the first Demelza so it is difficult to know.])



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I always felt kindly towards E in regards to this event. I agree that I think she was trying to make amends for destroying Morwenna's happiness. In the books she comes across as much more reluctant to coerce M into marriage than is being portrayed in the show.

I don't think that she was really thinking anything through that day, just acting on impulse. She seemed to think that M would be best at Trenwith, and thereby completely missed the fact that Morwenna was terribly damaged. E seemed to have no idea that all her actions looked like trying to entrap M back into her old life.

E's deep unhappiness at that point made her want to bring M back into her orbit (remembering that they had socialised a lot in Truro) and as usual she was only acting to improve things for herself.



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Dark Mare--Caroline and Verity were the co-presidents of the Demelza Poldark Appreciation Society. smile

I agree, Elizabeth did have a bit of a guilty conscience about letting smelter George barter Morwenna off to odious Ossie. I may be reading too much into their conversation, but I think the overwrought E might also have been a tab bit jealous of Morwenna for having someone who loved her unconditionally and wanted nothing from her but her happiness.  At Pally's Shop she said to M:

'And now,' Elizabeth said, 'you are to marry Drake after all. And you are to live here?' She looked around. "Are the Poldarks pleased?' (TAT, 451)

I too think that Mrs Gimlett noted an interesting aspect of E's life in observing that she had, well, no BFFs. In TFS, when George left for his brief parliament stint, she was happy that he was gone, and that she would be able to spend time with friends. 

"She was now mistress of the house, she could make arrangements to play whist with her friends every afternoon, chat with them and take tea and go shopping..."  (149)

However, I think these were really more acquaintances than friends, because she later ruminates that she has no one that she can confide in.

Her mother-in-law was a simple soul whose counsel would be impossible to seek on anything deeper than how to embroider a waistcoat, or when to take a rhubarb powder. Her own mother was on the coast at Trenwith, and with one blind eye, one lame leg, and, an impediment to her speech, had lapsed into an invalidism little better than her father, who now never dressed at all. (148)

She especially had no one to counsel her about the dangers of taking strange potions from strange doctors. Elizabeth did not make the effort to cultivate friends, only admirers.  She really was alone and lonely.  

WG excels at taking scenes like the Pally's Shop visit--which seems straightfoward on the surface--and making them so richly nuanced. 



-- Edited by Hollyhock on Saturday 22nd of July 2017 05:23:48 PM

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I think Elizabeth had a guilty conscience for letting George marry Morwenna off to a man who made her own skin crawl. She demonstrated it previously when she pushed hard to get a second opinion for her cousin from Dwight Enys. I'd like to believe Elizabeth thought she owed Morwenna and Drake a happily ever after regardless of what society thought, but that's the Pollyana in me.

I also think Mrs. G is right about her being lonely. (Judging by what happened not all that many hours later, she might not have been thinking that clearly either.) I do wonder whether she also saw another opportunity to use Morwenna -- to hire her as a companion of sorts for her parents once she and Valentine went back to Truro for the birth. Drake's shop and small farm are pretty close to Trenwith, and Elizabeth likely didn't know Drake was doing well for himself so she could tell herself -- and George -- it was an act of charity on her part.

What Elizabeth didn't realize was the damage was done before the wedding to Ossie, and Morwenna would never trust her again. She would see malice even in coincidences. 

It is possible Elizabeth did still feel some family obligation and thought Morwenna's mother would expect her to try to stop the wedding, but that was not the case. Blessings of a sort were obtained by Drake and Demelza.

 

As for Elizabeth's dearth of friends, thank you, Mrs. G, I thought I was imagining that. But all I could think of was Caroline and Verity, the co-presidents of the Demelza Poldark Appreciation Society. How could Elizabeth feel comfortable saying snarky things about Demelza to those two? Then again, who would want Ruth Treneglos as a BFF?



-- Edited by Dark Mare on Saturday 22nd of July 2017 02:09:24 AM

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Only my opinion, Hollyhock.  There are probably as many different views on it as there are readers!

 

Mrs G



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Good advice Mrs Gimlett. Elizabeth's emotions were in turmoil. Her approach (if any) would not have been the same had she known George was en route and there was a chance of reconciliation. And of course she could use Morwenna to ease her loneliness. And to care for her parents. Contrary to what I was hoping, she was not thinking of Morwenna's happiness but of herself.  



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I think we have to put ourselves in Elizabeth's shoes to see the meaning here.

Elizabeth is lonely, unhappy and pregnant; her mind was in turmoil.  She'd had an almighty row with George in London and retreated to Trenwith asap after their arrival in Cornwall.  Her parents, who are also there, are a burden and frankly, no company for her. Valentine is with her, but she has always had ambivalent feelings towards him. Geoffrey Charles is away at Harrow. There is no-one who can offer her help, advice or friendly company.

Elizabeth heard the Banns read in church and finds out where Morwenna is.  On her visit to the forge, she realises that Morwenna is in a fragile state of mind and I think she is trying to be kind (for her own ends).  It was crass to mention the Osborne marriage, but basically I feel she was trying to lure Morwenna to Trenwith by any means possible. Better house, more comfort etc.  Mentioning her parents was only an excuse - as Morwenna saw immediately she entered the house - but I think Elizabeth thought to 'use' her cousin as a companion.  As was not unusual, she was being selfish.  When you think about it, Elizabeth didn't seem to have any real friends, male or female, just acquaintances.  Even Verity was not a close friend, more a convenience whilst at Trenwith, then hardly mentioned thereafter.

It was Morwenna who out of the kindness of her own heart offered to help Elizabeth get back to Trenwith in the stormy weather.  Probably, Elizabeth had accepted Morwenna's marriage to Drake as a fait accompli.  She may not have thought as far as who else would be involved with the wedding itself.  Personally, I don't think she was trying to prevent it and she was not to know George would put in an appearance later that day.

 My thoughts are that she acted on the spur of the moment because of all the circumstances which caused her loneliness, but she didn't consider any possible consequences.



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Dear Experts--the following has me puzzled so I'd really appreciate your perspectives.

In The Angry Tide, after Morwenna finds her way back to Drake, Elizabeth learns of their wedding plans.  She goes to Drake's shop where Morwenna is staying and tries to persuade her to stay at Trenwith instead until after the wedding. 

'No, no, Morwenna, you must stay at Trenwith! It is only proper. You could have your old room.'

Morwenna replies, 'Oh, no, thank you!'

Elizabeth frowned, a little offended. "You were married from Trenwith last time. Why not this?' (451-52)

Do you think Elizabeth was sincere? Would she have really supported her cousin marrying Drake, whom she still considered inferior? Aside from facing George's outrage, would she have suffered this additional connection to the Poldarks? She had to know that Demelza would not take a back seat in any arrangements. Or did she, as Morwenna suspected, have an ulterior motive? Once at Trenwith would Elizabeth persuade her that the match was impossible?

Or was this a new Elizabeth? One whose understanding and compassion had matured because of her contentious relationships with Francis and George? 



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Elizabeth Chynoweth/ Poldark/ Warleggan.



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