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Post Info TOPIC: Debbie Horsfield Scriptwriter - Heida Reed & Elizabeth


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Date: Jan 31 2:36 AM, 2017
RE: Debbie Horsfield Scriptwriter - Heida Reed & Elizabeth
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I guess I just don't love Demelza. I like her. That's it.

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Date: Dec 18 12:59 AM, 2015
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LJones41 wrote:

I don't regard Elizabeth as generally weak. She is too complex for me to regard her in that manner. She has her weaknesses. But she also had her character strengths. Perhaps it is the ambiguity that readers cannot deal with . . . or that she had rejected Ross for Francis, financial security and family obligations. That can be regarded as weakness by some and/or quite the norm for pre-20th century society for others. Or perhaps being an introverted woman myself, who has been mistaken for being unsocial or cold, I find it hard to castigate her. I can criticize some of her actions, but I cannot dislike her. I don't dislike Demelza either. She is a very likeable person. But . . . I find it difficult to embrace her as a character, because she comes off as a bit too ideal for me - especially in the first four novels. I'm not into idealized characters. And I've noticed this demand for idealized fictional women that I find somewhat disturbing.


I am not sure where the idea that Elizabeth married Francis for financial security or family obligations came from. I never got the impression that those were Elizabeth's reasons for marrying Francis. Elizabeth says a number of times that she married Francis because she loved him, even Mrs. Chynoweth says during the ball in Demelza,  'That Elizabeth should have thrown herself away on one of the Poldarks. We were too hasty. What a supremely good match she would have made with George.  I don't know what character strengths you speak of but I have already stated how I feel about Elizabeth as a character.

I don't think of Demelza as an ideal character either, although I do think she was a much loved character for Winston Graham. Demelza has her faults, she is sneaky, manipulative and she lies when she feels she needs to. Her insecurities and her inability to express her fears, caused a great deal of problems. She can be very impulsive without thinking of the consequences and emotional. I do think she is a breath of fresh air to the Poldark family, she thinks and acts with her heart and that she why she is so loved.

 



-- Edited by MrsMartin on Friday 3rd of February 2017 08:32:57 PM

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I don't regard Elizabeth as generally weak. She is too complex for me to regard her in that manner. She has her weaknesses. But she also had her character strengths. Perhaps it is the ambiguity that readers cannot deal with . . . or that she had rejected Ross for Francis, financial security and family obligations. That can be regarded as weakness by some and/or quite the norm for pre-20th century society for others. Or perhaps being an introverted woman myself, who has been mistaken for being unsocial or cold, I find it hard to castigate her. I can criticize some of her actions, but I cannot dislike her. I don't dislike Demelza either. She is a very likeable person. But . . . I find it difficult to embrace her as a character, because she comes off as a bit too ideal for me - especially in the first four novels. I'm not into idealized characters. And I've noticed this demand for idealized fictional women that I find somewhat disturbing.

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LJones41 wrote:


I never understood this need for some fans to paint Elizabeth in a consistently negative light.  Do they dislike her for failing to adhere to what they believe should be an ideal woman?  I don't know.  I hope not.  I don't demand that Elizabeth be ideal or near perfect.  I'm certainly incapable of being that way.  I only demand that she be interesting and complex.  And on that score, I believe that Winston Graham had succeeded.


 The problem with the adaptations and interpretations of the Poldark saga or at least the first four books, is the consistently put forward notion that the central theme of this story is that of a love triangle, I have never looked at it this way. If the central theme is that of a love triangle, then it follows that there has to be a partner that is preferred by the reader and that partner is the loyal steadfast wife. Therefore, it only follows that Elizabeth would be cast in a negative light.

Was Elizabeth capable of great warmth? I don't know, I know she loved Geoffrey Charles but I don't know how much warmth there was in that relationship or if it was an indulgent kind of love. I know that she was a concerned daughter but again, I don't know how much warmth there was in her relationship with her parents or just a dutiful one. Was Elizabeth capable of being cold? I don't know, with Francis was she cold or just indifferent. She seem to be a woman that aspires to retain the admiration of others but neither cared if she is considered warm or cold.

For me personally, I have never liked Elizabeth or seen her attraction to Ross and that is simply because, I see her as a very weak character. I agree with you that she is an interesting and very complex character, but only because one is constantly trying to figure her out. To me in Elizabeth is very much like a ghost character, that we are all trying to glean as much information about as we can, because there is so little divulged about her inner thoughts. We are all wondering, why Ross would be obsessed with her for so long and so we search for the answers. To me she is very much a surface character with little depth.

 



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Date: Dec 14 4:45 AM, 2015
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LJones41 wrote:

Was Elizabeth capable of great warmth?  Yes.  Was she capable of being cold?  Yes?  To me, Elizabeth is not one person or another.  Neither she or the other characters are the types that can be described in one way.  They are too complex and ambiguous for that kind of characterization.  Did she make a mistake in marrying Francis?  Probably.  But I think she was willing to live with it, until problems between them manifested from his insecurities.  One other thing . . . I've come to the conclusion that Elizabeth is a very pragmatic woman.  This is not only one of her greatest strengths, but also a great weakness.

 

I never understood this need for some fans to paint Elizabeth in a consistently negative light.  Do they dislike her for failing to adhere to what they believe should be an ideal woman?  I don't know.  I hope not.  I don't demand that Elizabeth be ideal or near perfect.  I'm certainly incapable of being that way.  I only demand that she be interesting and complex.  And on that score, I believe that Winston Graham had succeeded.


 



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Was Elizabeth capable of great warmth?  Yes.  Was she capable of being cold?  Yes?  To me, Elizabeth is not one person or another.  Neither she or the other characters are the types that can be described in one way.  They are too complex and ambiguous for that kind of characterization.  Did she make a mistake in marrying Francis?  Probably.  But I think she was willing to live with it, until problems between them manifested from his insecurities.

 

I never understood this need for some fans to paint Elizabeth in a consistently negative light.  Do they dislike her for failing to adhere to what they believe should be an ideal woman?  I don't know.  I hope not.  I don't demand that Elizabeth be ideal or near perfect.  I'm certainly incapable of being that way.  I only demand that she be interesting and complex.  And on that score, I believe that Winston Graham had succeeded.



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Date: Feb 28 1:12 PM, 2015
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As a brief postscript to whether Elizabeth was faithful to Ross or not I'm beginning to think that on balance she probably was, because knowing that Ross was never going to inherit very much whatever happened, she then had every opportunity to marry Francis, who was obviously going to inherit a great deal the moment Ross left for America.

Yet she didn't so yes I think she was a warm and loving person who had remained faithful to Ross, if only because she showed little warmth by contrast to Francis once they had married. Which in turn would suggest that almost certainly she had been acting out of moral duty, having been dishonourably forced into doing so as soon as possible by Charles and then Mrs Chynoweth who already knew that Ross was still alive and on his way home. 

Which from the sound of it could then mean that Ross might have only been about two or three weeks late and could well explain a lot of Elizabeth's subsequent indecisive behaviour towards Ross. Understandably she had to stand by her decision out of moral responsibility but I somehow can't see that happening today !

Having not yet seen the film, perhaps this is why Heida Reed is shown crying on her own very soon after seeing Ross seated at the dinner table alive and well ?



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Date: Feb 21 10:41 AM, 2015
RE: Debbie Horsfield - Scriptwriter
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Interesting and I agree, and why I think it's worth highlighting at this point the original conversation that Charles had with Joshua about Ross and Elizabeth, and hope that the Prologue might be shown after all as it's so relevant to the whole story that unfolds....

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In the Prologue on about the third page, when Joshua is talking to Charles about Ross, saying that he will come back as he'd heard from him since the fighting ceased.

Then on the following page.....

"He's in New York now," said Joshua. "Part of the garrison. He's quite recovered from his wound. It was lucky he escaped the Yorktown siege. A captain now, you know. Still in the 62nd Foot. I've mislaid his letter, else I'd show it you."

Then in the paragraph after this Joshua asks Charles if he sees or hears anything of Elizabeth Chynoweth these days, to which Charles suspicious of any hidden motives clumsily said "who is that ?".

Joshua then goes on to explain who she is and that Ross is counting on her being here when he comes back, which he thinks a suitable arrangement as "an early marriage will steady him down, and she couldn't find a decenter man, though I say it as shouldn't being his sire. Two good old families. If I'd been on my feet I should've gone over to see Jonathan at Christmas to fix it up. We did talk of it before, but he said wait till Ross comes back."

"Time I was going" said Charles creaking to his feet. "I hope the boy will settle down when he returns, whether he marries or no. He was keeping bad company that he should never have got into."

"D'you see the Chynoweths now ?" Joshua refused to be sidetracked by references to his own shortcomings.

___________

I think it's pretty obvious as you say that Charles' interest was immediately quickened, "Time I was going" says it all really. Obvious too that he then kept it all to himself except perhaps telling Mrs. Chynoweth who certainly never told Elizabeth....



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Date: Feb 20 8:23 PM, 2015
Debbie Horsfield Scriptwriter - Heida Reed & Elizabeth
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Namps and Ross, you have each picked up on some very interesting points.  I think Elizabeth was always a ditherer, unable to make up her own mind and was guided by her parents, as most daughters would have been then, to marry Francis because he was respectable and the most eligible for the reasons you have stated. 

I have never really believed that it was widely thought Ross was dead.  It is not mentioned much, apart from in Nampara, where it suited Jud and Prudie to think that, sitting in their drunken stupor and throwing another table leg on the fire.  In fact, I seem to remember that Elizabeth actually says to Ross she hadn't believed the rumour.  Joshua knew that Ross was going to return, so why didn't Charles say anything on his return from Nampara after they had discussed it in the Prologue?  Maybe because mention of the Chynoweth girl quickened his interest and he then formed plans to marry off Francis to her, rather than the Chynoweth parents pushing from their side. Then of course, once the idea had been planted in Jonathan and Joan's minds, they could see many benefits.  Charles, like Francis with Ross, was jealous of his brother and not as clever.

Was Elizabeth capable of great warmth?  I'm not sure.  She certainly had great love for Geoffrey Charles and because of it rejected Francis' attentions.  Her parents seemed ineffectual; perhaps she had never really received love and warmth as a child. Perhaps her parents, despite spoiling her, were emotionally distant.  She never really loved Francis for the right reasons which is such a pity for he could have become a successful man with the right woman behind him. Moreover, she didn't try that hard to make their partnership work.  I wonder if she day-dreamed of Ross coming to pluck her away and them living happily ever after?   Sorry, I'm straying off the point. Perhaps Ross was the only adult able to penetrate to her well hidden warmth.

Elizabeth's life seems not so much concerned with morals but with securing a partner, who would be able to provide her material comforts. Looking at it from a parent's point of view marriage to Ross would have seemed a foolish move compared with Francis and what he could offer. 

As Namps says, thank goodness Ross did go into the army otherwise they would have married - what a disaster that would have been! But then, of course, we wouldn't have a story...



-- Edited by Mrs Gimlett on Saturday 21st of February 2015 05:57:09 PM

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RE: Debbie Horsfield - Scriptwriter
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Yes interesting points as I think it raises the question that due to the increasing pressure of time slowly being wasted, of how Elizabeth during her long wait might have understood the word moral. Either moral in the sense of how much longer to remain faithful to Ross or feeling morally obliged in the sense of owing a growing duty to her parents. Which is why I'm not sure I would go as far as saying she was selfish rather that she slowly came to realise she couldn't wait forever, so finally had to bow to the inevitable pressures that were building up and do her duty, which is what I think Heida might also be inferring to, on top of the accepted customs of the time when she says "doing the right thing"....? Whatever else it must have certainly been a great shock to her especially at such a young age when Ross does appear, inevitably I think causing her a great deal of inner conflict which must have remained for quite a long time afterwards, perhaps the reason for all her later indecisiveness ?

Interestingly I can't remember whether the topic of Elizabeth always being slightly jealous of Demelza later on has ever been discussed as a direct result of this sudden inner conflict ?

Good to get back to discussing the books again....!! aww



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Date: Feb 20 1:31 PM, 2015
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Mrs Gimlett wrote:

 

There is also a short interview with Heida Reed, who plays Elizabeth.

 She says the following:

Elizabeth is fundamentally a nice genuinely warm person.....very much a person of her time, trapped in her own world.  She could follow her heart but she feels morally she must do the right thing even if she suffers for it.

Do you agree with this analysis?



-- Edited by Mrs Gimlett on Thursday 19th of February 2015 04:45:07 PM


At her core, I think Elizabeth could be a warm person, otherwise I can't see why Ross would have fallen so deeply in love with her, although as a young man he would also have been smitten by her beauty and feminine charms, but I also think she was a spoiled and pampered girl who had been raised to believe that being rich was the only way to live.  This is the key point, her parents were proud of their aristocratic lineage but were becoming steadily more and more impoverished and needed her to marry into money to save the family name.  Between the two sets of parents, this marriage posed the ideal solution to their individual problems.  The Chynoweths benefited by the prospect of financial security and Charles Poldark was proud for his son to marry into an aristocratic family which would increase his family's social standing and provide heirs with a respected lineage.  That Francis had always been slightly jealous of his cousin's relationship with Elizabeth made it easy for him to accept the match when it was proposed because he had always admired and coveted Elizabeth.  For Elizabeth, it wasn't so bad; she found Francis attractive and was content to continue a life style which she had been raised to expect.  That she had given her promise to his cousin, Ross, wasn't a big concern for her because she believed Ross to be dead.  

When Ross suddenly returns to the scene, she is shocked.  She knows she still has dim and distant feelings for Ross, but she did follow her heart, because she put her parent's need for money, her own selfish vanity and need for the status this marriage would offer for herself and her family before any lingering feeling of love she might harbor for Ross.  It's also important to remember that at this point, she believes herself to be in love with Francis and is quite happy with the arrangement.  

I do agree, that she was a daughter of these times, when women were given little choice as to who they would marry and had to obey their parent's wishes.  Very few of them were able to follow their own hearts and dreams for a life of their choosing, but were often just pawns to be used to gain power, social standing and increase family wealth.  I think Elizabeth probably felt that she had come off quite well in this situation, all things considered.  Francis was young, handsome and rich, with a large family estate.  The alternative choice for her would result in a scandal; to choose Ross, a renegade hero, near penniless, owner of a decrepit and crumbling inauspicious manor house with a run down estate and non-profitable mine would be an unthinkable option and I believe Elizabeth was too fine and spoiled a young woman to ever go against her family's wishes and run off with her old love.  I don't believe morals came into it at this point, as all she was intent on was living a gentile, comfortable and fine life.  Oh no, she was far too selfish to run back into the arms of poor Ross.  Thank goodness!



-- Edited by Namparagirl on Friday 20th of February 2015 01:32:43 PM



-- Edited by Namparagirl on Friday 20th of February 2015 01:34:35 PM

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Date: Feb 20 10:52 AM, 2015
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Mrs Gimlett wrote:

There is also a short interview with Heida Reed, who plays Elizabeth.

 She says the following:

Elizabeth is fundamentally a nice genuinely warm person.....very much a person of her time, trapped in her own world.  She could follow her heart but she feels morally she must do the right thing even if she suffers for it.

Do you agree with this analysis?


Not really no for two reasons. Firstly because I can't see where morals enter into it as she'd already let Ross down badly, and secondly she was still too young and immature to make such important moral decisions for herself without referring to someone much older and wiser than she was. On the other hand who could she turn to and what choices did she have just prior to deciding to marry Francis ?

Her parents mainly her mother who knew that Ross would be almost penniless even if he did come home, so Francis would be much better as he would stand with Verity to inherit quite a large estate meaning, and as it turned out, they would be able to live in comfort for the rest of their lives. Then there would have been Verity which has always interested me as WG says nothing about her yet who better to turn to for moral support ? However this would have put Verity in an equally difficult situation too being torn between Ross and Francis, so my guess and perhaps typical of Verity would have been to say to Elizabeth to wait a year or two whatever happened until she had matured a little more. After all apart from her mother's pushing Elizabeth would have been in no hurry at all.

So my feeling is that whilst Ross was away Mrs. Chynoweth out of sheer self interest more or less forced Elizabeth into agreeing to marry Francis, perhaps with the quiet connivance of Charles as well who was very anxious to have heirs as quickly as possible, which then means that Elizabeth was morally in the wrong to continue to reject Ross after he'd returned. Meaning in turn that she was too young/ weak to make up her own mind despite Verity, in the face of such overwhelming peer pressure.

Incidentally I can't remember reading how old Elizabeth was when Ross returned and whether her parents were well off or not and where they came from originally ? So I think fundamentally the whole situation of the love triangle is centred almost solely on Mrs. Chynoweth alone and her more or less obvious selfishness. Unfortunately WG doesn't as far as I can remember go into her motivations and background very much other than at one time before her eye problems she was very attractive. Then again Mr. Chynoweth was very weak as well which must have been very unfortunate indeed for Elizabeth as a child. Can't remember what his occupation was though, but if you think about it you gradually begin to realise that perhaps he's the key player in the love triangle head and shoulders above everyone else.

So who else could Elizabeth have turned to for moral support....?



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Date: Feb 19 4:42 PM, 2015
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I have just caught up with the latest bits and interviews. Interesting piece from Debbie Horsfield, particularly hearing that Andrew Graham has been so closely associated with it.  

 

There is also a short interview with Heida Reed, who plays Elizabeth.

 She says the following:

Elizabeth is fundamentally a nice genuinely warm person.....very much a person of her time, trapped in her own world.  She could follow her heart but she feels morally she must do the right thing even if she suffers for it.

Do you agree with this analysis?



-- Edited by Mrs Gimlett on Thursday 19th of February 2015 04:45:07 PM

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Date: Feb 19 11:57 AM, 2015
Debbie Horsfield Scriptwriter - Heida Reed & Elizabeth
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Here is link to an interview with Debbie Horsfield, as featured in 'Cornwall Today' magazine:-

 

http://www.cornwalltoday.co.uk/interview-with-debbie-horsfield-writer-of-the-new-bbc-tv-series-screenplay/



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