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Post Info TOPIC: Were the Poldarks sentimentalists ?


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Date: Nov 15 8:56 PM, 2012
RE: Were the Poldarks sentimentalists ?
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Can't say I'm emotionally challenged - quite the opposite!

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Ross Poldark wrote:

Just discovered that Cuby is a civil parish near St. Austell, from the Cornish word Sen Kubi. Anyone know if WG ever used any Cornish words or phrases in the books as I can't remember any ?  Wouldn't mind learning a few Cornish words and phrases sometime....smile


 I'm sure there are loads - especially in the names - for example the prefix 'Pol' in a Cornish name means 'pool' - so Poldark would be his invention of a name meaning 'dark pool' I guess? Such a wonderful name, Poldark, but purely a WG invention as far as I know.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornish_surnames

http://www.omniglot.com/language/phrases/cornish.php - this one has sound files when you click on the words Ross.



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"Makes me realise that it's only the very exceptionally few of us who escape being emotionally challenged in life, I think the key to it is simply what we decide to do about it."

Well said Namps!



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Mrs Gimlett wrote:

Yes, Ross, I think Elizabeth was emotionally challenged.  It seems to me that her upbringing had been, safe, secure and assuring her that she had a 'place' in society.  However, after she had made her choice of Francis, her emotions were all over the place and she didn't even like to admit to herself, let alone anyone else, that she had made a mistake. Not until Geoffrey Charles was born did she have a degree of confidence in herself again.  She knew the effect she still had on Ross, and wanted everything, position, adoration and love, but ended up with nothing and could not express her true feelings to anyone.  Even after Francis died when she must have been lonely and felt keenly his absence, she suppressed her emotions just hoping that something would happen to improve her situation. As Ross told her, she could have married any of several well-connected men in the county if she had set her mind to it. When she married George, she had in a sense, gone from the frying pan into the fire, as she didn't love him either, but at least she was financially secure so long as she kept her emotions under control.

One sentence that has always puzzled me is when Elizabeth is pondering her future (forget which book, but probably Warleggan).  WG writes that Elizabeth expected admiration as she knew it was her due.

Why?  Alright, she was beautiful, but was she really that vain?  Those few words seem to sum up Elizabeth as shallow, vain and selfish.  Perhaps she was all those things to a greater or lesser extent, but there was more to her than that, although she was really only capable of mother love.  I have always thought that what she felt for Ross was the comfort of the knowledge that he loved her, with none of the fiery passion of Demelza. 

 


 Great post Mrs G, absolutely agree with your last sentence above, Elizabeth loved to feel worshipped and adored, maybe because she was an only child perhaps?  I also think that she loved being able to manipulate the emotions of those around her, Ross, Francis, Verity and even Demelza to a point, but sadly for her, this ability deserted her when faced with the wily Warleggan.  Makes me realise that it's only the very exceptionally few of us who escape being emotionally challenged in life, I think the key to it is simply what we decide to do about it.



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Date: Nov 13 8:13 AM, 2012
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Hello everyone - sorry I've been so quiet - I'm so busy with three (yes three) part time jobs and a little course I'm doing (can't help myself!)

I'm currently re-reading The Four Swans and as it happens I came across this passage last night - Ross is talking to Dwight as they are riding home from the Bassets (the girls are chatting behind them):

They jogged on in silence. Ross was pursuing thoughts of his own. He said: Demelza tells me I sentimentalize about the poor. It is a dangerous habit in one who has always had a full belly.

......so yes, he considers sentimentality to be 'dangerous'....as some of you have suspected.

That passage that Namps posted is just lovely - looking forward to reading the later books again - I've only ever read them all once!



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Yes, Ross, I think Elizabeth was emotionally challenged.  It seems to me that her upbringing had been, safe, secure and assuring her that she had a 'place' in society.  However, after she had made her choice of Francis, her emotions were all over the place and she didn't even like to admit to herself, let alone anyone else, that she had made a mistake. Not until Geoffrey Charles was born did she have a degree of confidence in herself again.  She knew the effect she still had on Ross, and wanted everything, position, adoration and love, but ended up with nothing and could not express her true feelings to anyone.  Even after Francis died when she must have been lonely and felt keenly his absence, she suppressed her emotions just hoping that something would happen to improve her situation. As Ross told her, she could have married any of several well-connected men in the county if she had set her mind to it. When she married George, she had in a sense, gone from the frying pan into the fire, as she didn't love him either, but at least she was financially secure so long as she kept her emotions under control.

One sentence that has always puzzled me is when Elizabeth is pondering her future (forget which book, but probably Warleggan).  WG writes that Elizabeth expected admiration as she knew it was her due.

Why?  Alright, she was beautiful, but was she really that vain?  Those few words seem to sum up Elizabeth as shallow, vain and selfish.  Perhaps she was all those things to a greater or lesser extent, but there was more to her than that, although she was really only capable of mother love.  I have always thought that what she felt for Ross was the comfort of the knowledge that he loved her, with none of the fiery passion of Demelza. 

Sorry, seem to have strayed off the point.

As for Lady Whitworth, was she not emotionally sterile, the exact opposite of Caroline?



-- Edited by Mrs Gimlett on Saturday 24th of November 2012 08:31:22 PM

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Date: Nov 10 8:43 AM, 2012
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Namparagirl wrote:

Emotionally challenged ... the inability to express feelings and emotions, exposing the vulnerable and human side or the emotional fight between the moral and immoral?  Not so sure about being wiped clean, although maybe there are, and have been, many who could and should have benefited from having their emotional side given a spring clean as there have definitely been far too many down the ages who have acted with apparent absence of emotion. How else can we explain the all too numerous to mention acts of pure evil and wickedness that some individuals are capable of?  I guess I'm thinking that emotionally challenged individuals are just desperately unable to display their feelings or emotions, either physically or verbally because of their insecurities, pride or shyness.  Then there are those who have lost their moral compass rendering them able to appear cold blooded, devoid of emotion, selfish and unfeeling, although some of these probably get an emotional high out of immorality, unkindness, evil and cruelty itself! 

In the morally emotional challenged corner we have Ross and Jeremy, who find their more physical, passionate and headstrong emotions tricky to subdue, but don't find it difficult to show their feelings or vulnerability and in the immorally emotionally challenged corner I think we have George Warleggan, a highly emotionally challenged character whose jealousy and many insecurites lead to Valentine becoming one of the most tormented, devious, damaged and emotionally challenged characters of them all.  Oh, and of course, not forgetting Paul Kellow the most evil, perverted emotionally challenged individual of all.  confuse


Very good description thanks and if one had to list WG's best writing abilities I think his portrayal of the whole emotional spectrum has to be the tops.

I still find it amazing too how in conversations especially between Ross and Demelza he can hold and make a discussion, an argument anything so real that it's as if he's both people at once. Can't think of the right word dispassionate perhaps ?  I've tried several times to write the same but can't get one or the other's point of view out of my head so I always finish up arguing against myself !

Was Elizabeth or any of the ladies emotionally challenged as well ? Perhaps her mother, Patience Teague or Lady Whitworth....?



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Date: Nov 9 10:09 PM, 2012
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Some things never change, or should I say men instead of things wink How did the turps flavoured jam in the middle cake taste? Hope he used a teatowel instead of his shirt cuff for that little mop up job!! biggrin



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Date: Nov 9 9:54 PM, 2012
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Lovely indeed. 

(and of course it was a good thing Demelza had her hankie as Ross did not always have his own handkerchief and would use his lace cuff - like when Demelza was peppering the chickens to rid them of lice!)



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Date: Nov 9 9:24 PM, 2012
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Ahhhhhhh Namps what a sentimental posting you lovely sentimental lady you Sweet Joy :)))) Bella xxxx

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But getting back to the original question .. were the Poldarks sentimentalists?  I guess we could all post so many bits that prove they were, this is only one of them.  WG definitely knew a thing or two about women and I suspect he was a bit of a sentimental old softy himself!

from 'The Twisted Sword' where Ross, still protesting, had had the Baronetcy bestowed upon him and he had returned to tell Demelza:

'As he came back from the window he touched Demelza's arm.

"What I have said was not meant in irritation"

"What if it were?" she said. "No matter.  You have reason to be irritated, Ross."

"Not with you."

She pushed a curl out of her eye.  "Why not with me? Yes, you should be irritated with me, for I see small harm in you having this little title.  And sir is only a little title, isn't it?  Do we need to use it when we go back to Cornwall?"

"I think you may have to," he said.  "Lady Poldark."

She put her hands up to her face.  "Judas God! Yes!"

"Those are the first words I ever heard you utter.  It must be thirty years ago, isn't it?"

"What words?"

"Judas God.  You were complaining that those drunken louts had cut a piece off Garrick's tail!"

"My dear life, and they had!  Ross ......" she stopped.

"Yes, my dear?"

"I have come a long way."

"We both have come a long way.  When I met you I was an inebriate, half bankrupt squireen.  You didn't know what a catch you were making!"

"I didn't know I was making any catch," said Demelza.

Ross rubbed his nose.  "I didn't know what sort of a catch  was making either.  Dear Heaven, that was the luckiest day of my life."

There was utter silence again while he watched the cabbage girl.  When he turned from the window there were tears running down her cheeks.

"Demelza, what is it?"

"You don't often pay me compliments, Ross."

"Good God, of course I do!  I do all the time, but you forget!"

"I don't forget!  Perhaps it's not that sort?"

With a sudden tenderness overlaying his frustration and vexation he put his arms around her, fished a handkerchief from her sleeve and wiped the tears away.



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Emotionally challenged ... the inability to express feelings and emotions, exposing the vulnerable and human side or the emotional fight between the moral and immoral?  Not so sure about being wiped clean, although maybe there are, and have been, many who could and should have benefited from having their emotional side given a spring clean as there have definitely been far too many down the ages who have acted with apparent absence of emotion. How else can we explain the all too numerous to mention acts of pure evil and wickedness that some individuals are capable of?  I guess I'm thinking that emotionally challenged individuals are just desperately unable to display their feelings or emotions, either physically or verbally because of their insecurities, pride or shyness.  Then there are those who have lost their moral compass rendering them able to appear cold blooded, devoid of emotion, selfish and unfeeling, although some of these probably get an emotional high out of immorality, unkindness, evil and cruelty itself! 

In the morally emotional challenged corner we have Ross and Jeremy, who find their more physical, passionate and headstrong emotions tricky to subdue, but don't find it difficult to show their feelings or vulnerability and in the immorally emotionally challenged corner I think we have George Warleggan, a highly emotionally challenged character whose jealousy and many insecurites lead to Valentine becoming one of the most tormented, devious, damaged and emotionally challenged characters of them all.  Oh, and of course, not forgetting Paul Kellow the most evil, perverted emotionally challenged individual of all.  confuse



-- Edited by Namparagirl on Friday 9th of November 2012 03:26:18 PM

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Namparagirl wrote:
There are so many sentimentally nostalgic and emotional charged moments in the books and that's why I love them.  Life's too full of hard minded, selfish, cruel and emotionally challenged individuals these days and we all need a little bit of nostalgic sentimentality in our lives to soften us around the edges, well that's what I think anyway! wink   

I agree, also that life's too full of hard minded, selfish, cruel and emotionally challenged individuals these days. I've never read emotionally challenged before it's as if they've been wiped clean....



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Yes I agree plenty of scope, sub-branches of emotionalism perhaps ? Taking the scope for debate idea forwards I'm sure there must be many more similar meaningful words and short passages in the books that could make great topics as well.

And having just had a very interesting and revealing scan about sentimental through Roget's Thesaurus I'm now leaning towards emotional idealists....biggrin !



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Gosh Ross, what an interesting post re the definition of 'Sentimentality' It would give plenty of scope for debate depending on which definition one went by!



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Mrs Gimlett wrote:

 

As for Cornish words in Poldark, I cannot recall any, apart from someone explaining that the word Wheal for a mine comes from the Cornish, huel, meaning hole. 


 Just looking up some Cornish words on www.kernewegva.com for fun and found that the Cornish word for 'miner' was:

miner, n, den bal (m), tus bal (pl).

So what about a bal maiden, seem to remember them mentioned, wasn't Jinny one once?

Also found that my real-life nick-name is the Cornish word for love, made me smile!  smile

On the subject of 'sentimental' again, it's definitely a theme that runs throughout all the books in respect of human relationships or business related matters. Ross always had the headstrong nature to let his heart rule his head; his thoughts revealed the sentimental romantic he really was, but he had difficulty in putting his feelings and emotions into words and this is what got him into so much trouble throughout his life.   As far as the business matters go, our lovely Poldark family were incurably sentimental about their mines, houses and land and keeping the memories that went with them alive.  Apart from Elizabeth, it strikes me that this is one of the major reasons why Ross and George hated each other so and Ross had to fight hard to control his emotions.  And of course, just look at Demelza, sentiment saved her and Ross so many times, for instance the time the beer making incident brought them back together again, and as far as Jeremy's concerned, well don't get me started! He was such a sentimental softy and hopeless romantic over Cuby, a right chip off the old Poldark block!  

There are so many sentimentally nostalgic and emotional charged moments in the books and that's why I love them.  Life's too full of hard minded, selfish, cruel and emotionally challenged individuals these days and we all need a little bit of nostalgic sentimentality in our lives to soften us around the edges, well that's what I think anyway! wink   



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I think the Poldarks were sentimentalists for the most part, although I do feel that Ross sometimes despised himself for being so.  Of course they did live during a period when showing emotions was quite usual - men getting weepy and so on - which for decades after the Georgians was definitely not encouraged.  The way WG portrayed Ross's thoughts of his mother always strike me as being quite poignant.

As for Cornish words in Poldark, I cannot recall any, apart from someone explaining that the word Wheal for a mine comes from the Cornish, huel, meaning hole. 



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Not forgetting Clowance, Bella and Jeremy who I think were true Poldarks too, as well as Cuby once she'd found herself.

Just discovered that Cuby is a civil parish near St. Austell, from the Cornish word Sen Kubi. Anyone know if WG ever used any Cornish words or phrases in the books as I can't remember any ?  Wouldn't mind learning a few Cornish words and phrases sometime....smile



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Ah now I think I follow.... wink The greater the depth of feelings the greater the chance of one being irrationally swayed by them ?

In which case I think I'd prefer the word emotional which seems to cover it all a lot better. No question then many of the Poldarks could be highly emotional often to their own disadvantage. Ross taking on the bench at his trial, Demelza scheming to bring Verity and Andrew together, Verity when thinking about Blamey, Francis in the Inn when confronted by Dwight, the latter being a very powerful scene in the books and film I don't think we've ever discussed on here ? Almost certainly Joshua too, on the other hand much less so Charles, cousin Alfred even Geoffrey Charles....?

Above all WG himself, able to subtly weave all possible emotional highs and lows into every storyline rendering the books wonderfully fresh and vivid every time they're read.



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I agree with Namps :)

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Difficult one, not sure what meaning applies nowadays.... confuse

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sentimentality



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Those wonderful Poldarks, sentimentalists through and through one and all.  How could they be anything else when they're all created by the imagination of one of the world's most sentimental men ever to take up pen to paper?  smile



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I think they were yes. Very much so. Although Ross would  likely think of it as a weakness...



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Interesting as I always felt that once they came to the crossroads after the Fair Ross was more concerned that Demelza might get another beating from her father. And that in the days that followed he soon became fond of her mainly because of her appealing gamine ways so that by the time she started to mature he found surprisingly they had a lot of things in common which finally developed into love....



-- Edited by Ross Poldark on Saturday 3rd of November 2012 11:29:29 AM



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Ross certainly was, that was really how he came to employ Demelza, it certainly wasnt based on logic! 



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An interesting gem I'd not picked up before about Grace and all the Poldarks on my third much slower re-read of all the books in Demelza, Book 2, Chapter 6 when Verity visited Ross just after he'd returned from telling Jinny the sad news of Jim's death.

".... Verity pulled at her gloves and thought what a strange man Ross was, at once a cynic and a sentimentalist, a strange blend of his father and his mother and a personal x equation belonging to neither. Abstemious enough by the standards of the day, he was now drinking himself into an ugly stupor over the death of this boy, who had not even been employed by him for a year or more before his imprisonment. An ordinary man in his station would have passed over the loss with a grunt of regret and not have ventured within two miles of a gaol to prevent it. And this gesture of the frock... No wonder Demelza wept.

They were all sentimentalists at heart, the Poldarks, Verity thought, and she realized suddenly for the first time that it was a dangerous trait, far more dangerous than any cynicism. She herself at this moment, happy among all the distress and discontent, life was full for her again, and she had no right to let it be on the strength of a mesaillance which might any time end in disaster, which was a deliberate closing of the eyes to one side of life, a forgetting of the past and a planning for an unrealizable future. Sometimes in the night she woke up cold at the thought. But in the day she went on and was happy.

Francis too. Half his ailments came from the same source. He expected too much of life, of himself, of Elizabeth. Especially of Elizabeth. When they failed him he resorted to gambling and to drink. He wouldn't come to terms. None of them would come to terms."

I think this can often be the case for many people but I hadn't thought it applied all that much to any of the Poldarks. 

Like a vintage good wine the books when re-reading just have to be read and savoured slowly. Perhaps when writing longhand with just a fountain pen inspiration comes more easily ? How much easier or harder then with a quill I wonder ?

Just some thoughts....



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