Ross puts Elisabeth a pedestal, that idealized love, . . .
I find that rather ironic, considering that I have always harbored this feeling that Graham and the saga's fans tend to put Demelza on a pedestal.
If you are reading the e-books, there are a lot of typos even on names. The good thing about the e-books is when you leave your finger on a word, the definition pops up.
Welcome to the forum, Bonlet.
I wonder which editions of the books you have? The Panmacmillan 2008 series are not that full of typos. Yes there are inconsistances - we have recently opened a thread about them. I think most of them may have occurred because WG seemed not to read his previous novel before he began a new one, hence relying perhaps a bit too much on his memory!
We hope you enjoy partaking in our ramblings, opinions and discussions.
I like the way you thought this out... I think Ross would have tried to conform and eventually been unhappy as he wasn't about society and its expectations.
I am new to the board and enthused by reading your comments!
I am new to Poldark having just watched the current series and then acquired all the books via Amazon and ebay uk to get the last six books. I am amazed at the typos in the books! Once it even says he fought in Pennsylvania instead of Virginia!
Other than that, I adore these books and have read and reread them many times already. My husband thinks I am obsessed and I am!
I look forward to reading and learning from others here.
Hi and a warm welcome to the forum
There is a special Portuguese forum just opened in "The New Poldark BBC Film Series" you can use if you wish, also for any other Portuguese fans, or you can use Google Translate which is explained at the top of the forum itself....
"Perfection is a full stop .... Ever the climbing but never the attaining Of the mountain top." W.G.
Mrs. Gimlett - WG writes exactly that concerning George's thoughts when he ponders all that he's accomplishing with his upcoming marriage.
I also agree with you about the characterization of his night with Elizabeth . . . .i.e. initial resistance (as she must) and then . . .well, let me just say . . . "non-resistance" .
I have to admit that in my enthusiasm to discuss the Poldark books and two series that I've been on other sites (yes, I've strayed . . .) and you would be surprised to know how many WOMEN view Ross's "visit" to Trenwith as rape.
It somewhat amazes me because these women LOVE the story, love the character of Ross, LOVE,LOVE,LOVE Aidan Turner (though that actor has not performed this scene yet) and didn't seem conflicted when I asked them how they could continue to watch the unfolding saga of "Ross Poldark - rapist" Given that I had a wife and two daughters I told them that if I believed that characterization of the visit, I wouldn't have read the remaining novels that I did nor would I have watched this new series. They didn't "get" me.
Isn't that odd?
Demelza knew Ross very well in all his differing moods. She knew how angry and upset he would be when he found out about Elizabeth's intention. Having just had a more than frustrating time with the mine, their near poverty and all the itinerant problems at that time in his life, she had a fair idea how he would react. To read that letter on top of everything was the last straw for him. Since Ross very often acted first and thought afterwards, mostly with bitter criticism, Demelza did all she could to prevent him from riding off straight away. Had he slept on it and gone to visit Elizabeth in the morning, probably nothing would have happened.
As it was of course, he stormed off and confronted her there and then. In all this, I don't think Elizabeth is entirely blameless. She also knew how Ross was likely to react. There were plenty of other ways the information could have been imparted, but to chose to provoke him, almost. I bet from the moment she sent the letter she was on tenterhooks, wondering when he would arrive.
Finally, although Ross was physically rough with her, I cannot think there was much resistance on her side because if she was really frightened/wanted him to desist she could have called out, screamed or raised one of the other occupants in the house. Of course we will never know if Ross actually 'raped' her because WG always left the reader to imagine intimate scenes. However, since Ross didn't arrive home until dawn and nothing was mentioned of him riding the cliffs or not coming straight home it leads one to think that Elizabeth's experience was not that unwelcome.
As for George, he would have been sleeping in his bed at the Great House in Truro, probably dreaming of money and/or power, and before that, feeling supremely smug that he was about to bring off his most ambitious project so far. To damage Ross always seemed to give him immense satisfaction, spiteful man.
I think if you go back and look, Demelza sensed that the tenor of Ross and Elizabeth's relationship had shifted, after Elizabeth's confession a year before. She had fears that Ross would go to Elizabeth soon after Francis died and yet Ross went to meet Elizabeth on a weekly basis but didn't leave her. She knew that he was very upset, she believed there would be a violent confrontation and she feared what might happen. I think it is only natural that she try to stop her husband from heading off, to quarrel with someone else. If you look later in the book, Demelza does the same thing at Christmas time, when Ross says he is going over to see George, she tries to stop him because she fears there will be a violent confrontation again.
Ladies - you're correct we can't be certain that we know that Demelza knew exactly what he was going to do, but let me pose this . . .why do you think she so desperately didn't want him to go? WG does seem to infer some thoughts in her. I've only just re-read this a few days ago.
As WG wrote: she knew she didn't want to be there when Ross found out.
Oh Wheal Greggy,
I'm sorry if I gave the wrong impression. I didn't mean that Demelza did anything to deserve what happened that night. The point I was trying to make was that, I don't think that we as readers should rely to heavily on the fact that Demelza knew what was going to happen, because Demelza had little confidence of her place in Ross' life. I don't remember any instance, prior to May 9th, that Ross gives Demelza cause to doubt his infidelity or that he loves her. What I love about Winston Graham's characters is that I can empathize with all of them, because each human emotion is so beautifully there for you to discover. I understand Demelza's unsupported fear, Ross' exhausted anger and Elizabeth's frustrated helplessness. I hope I have been a little clearer this time around.
-- Edited by MrsMartin on Tuesday 13th of October 2015 05:52:32 PM
Hi MrsMartin - maybe I project too much of my married 30 year self onto Ross. I know we're supposed to imagine that NO MAN has ever held this hot of a torch for AMY woman since Helen of Troy, and I'm sorry he had had such a bad day. But to wind up sexually forcing yourself upon another woman and destroying a woman you had professed to love, and who had borne you your children . . .sorry I can't excuse Ross. I know we don't second guess WG here and he wrote to produce a dramatic effect, but I think Demelza hadn't done anything to deserve this.
There's no doubt he was happier in the late summer of 1787, but life has it's ups and downs, and you just don't do this.
Hello Wheal Greggy,
I understand how you feel about Demelza but I think, while we can feel her heart crumbling into little pieces, we tend to forget that she too is a contributing factor to the impulsive act. Demelza knew what Ross had been doing all day long, she knew how deeply he felt the death of the two miners in his mine, she knew what Elizabeth's letter was about, she knew all these things and stood helplessly by. Even prior to the events of May 9th, Demelza had been setting herself up for this betrayal, anticipating it, almost willing it into existence and then when it happens she is crushed. The question I have is would the Ross, at the end of Ross Poldark, the one who is happy and content with his wife, would that Ross gone to Elizabeth in the same state of mind?
I got the e-books for my tablet and prior to buying the downloads, re-read my paperbacks (first 7 novels) from the early 70s. I was struck by how much was missing from those editions. Have looked into getting first editions but don't have that much cash! Now, you have me very interested. When my friends ask about my passion for Poldark, I always exclaim that is the biography of a man who never lived; it is the story of a place and time and the people who inhabit this little corner of England over 50 years but alas, the place never existed, the people never lived and the story happened in another world that I sometimes wish I could go back to
I agree with the thought that after his impulsive act that Ross begins to be capable of rational thought again. He may not have planned on sleeping with Elizabeth as he rode over but, having just re-read Warleggan, I was struck how Demelza seemed to know what was going to happen. You could almost hear her heartbreak as she stood in his way of getting on his horse. And WG's writing of her feelings in the aftermath is just so painful. So to split meanings of words, I'd agree, Ross's time with Elizabeth could be called lust/anger/passion filled sex and when he's in bed with Demelza it's making love. But whatever he did with Elizabeth . . . it crushed Demelza.
The common thread throughout the series is loyalty. For Ross, in the first 50 pages see that no one has been loyal to him. Joshua comes to think that maybe he should do something for Ross about Elizabeth before he dies and doesn't; Charles knowing Ross's attachment to Elizabeth, proceeds to arrange the engagement; Francis & Elizabeth knowingly hope that Ross is dead; Jud & Prudie not taking care of the property; Why does he take Demelza home - because she wouldn't leave her dog. If she could show that degree of loyalty to an animal, he could show that to her. The taking of Elizabeth is really the culmination of her dis-loyalty. She confesses that her marriage to Francis was mistake and that she was not happy. He spends his last 600 pounds to give her money to make a cushion to make rational decisions. She admits that George is giving her "favors" but doesn't admit the relationship. She does not and never had nor demonstrated any loyalty to Ross other than to use him as a weapon in her dealings with other men
Welcome to the forum.
There have been several versions of the novels released, some differ country to country, some edited for shorter books. The recently released versions I am yet to read, but I suspect they will not be from the original , or first edition edit. To the best of my knowledge, the first edition vesions are the only ones to contain the full text . They are available online, prices vary though.
Hello Mrs. Gimlett,
Thank you for your warm welcome. I have read all the books, although I will admit that I am better versed in the first seven books than I am in the later five. I have been a lover of these stories since the first adaptation was shown in North America. I quickly bought the books and devoured them, well before the first airing finished. My interest in these stories was renewed with the new adaptation. It has been a true pleasure to immerse myself in the Poldark world again. I would love to read the unedited versions of Ross Poldark, Demelza and Jeremy. If you can point me to the 'extra' it would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you again,
Please don't think that just because the posts have not come thick and fast on here, it is because we have gone off the subject. Here in Cornwall this is the time when all my friends come and visit - the children are back at school and we can have the beaches and countryside to ourselves! And the film crews who are just about everywhere at the moment.
Welcome MrsMartin and Missykly. Have you read all the books? You obviously know your Warleggan!
I have mentioned this below, but I am lucky enough to have first editions of the first four books. Ross Poldark particularly, was heavily edited after the first edition. I think it loses about 10,000 words. In those extra passages, there is much more detail about Elizabeth and a whole chapter which describes Nampara along with lots more about most of the characters. Books two and three also have more description and extra chapters but by the time Warleggan was published, the books were well-known and there is little difference in editions.
We had a long thread on all these 'extras'; some of us posted lengthy pieces missing from most editions. I will find the title and then you will get a further insight into the characters.
I understand what you are saying that when Ross has sex with Demelza, it is making love and it is not that with anyone else, but I think his reaction to Elizabeth has nothing to do with the sex. Elizabeth had always been this unattainable goddess to Ross and when he has sex with her that brought down to the realm of the ordinary, it is when he realizes that he doesn't want her as a woman. Although, I do believe that one of the aspects for having the fog in his eyes lifted, is Elizabeth lacks of warmth and earthiness that Demelza has. When Ross is trying to explain his feelings for Elizabeth to Demelza, he says that fundamentally he was looking for an equal of what he found in Demelza. So to me the question is what didnt he find in Elizabeth? Looking at it from Ross point of view, what Elizabeth was lacking, loyalty, strength not just physical but of character, steadfastness, and love for him. The fact that Elizabeth would sell herself into to marriage to a man that he abhors, to a man who has relentlessly trying to destroy him, to a man with no social conscience or empathy, to Ross this is the ultimate betrayal. For Ross, Demelza has all that Elizabeth is lacking, she has always shown her love for him, her steadfastness, her loyalty and her strength. Fundamentally, she is the woman who makes everything he does have meaning, his successes and his failures, mean nothing without her.
There was a reply to an earlier post that I did and reading that made me read through the topics again. There is another thought regarding Ross & Elizabeth and Demelza that struck me regarding Ross & Elizabeth making love. When Ross & Demelza go out for the pilchards and he realizes that he's fallen in love with her, one of the things that occurs to him is the difference between having sex and making love. He had sex with Margaret and she with him. Demelza makes love to him. His experience with Elizabeth and why he repeatedly uses it to try to explain his feelings is that it was sex. It is one of the things that sanctifies a relationship. Even though he is incapable of explaining it, once he did it, he was reminded of what it was that Demelza brings to the relationship. I am pretty sure that just like Ross, I am incapable of explaining it further but there it is.
Hello, I have just joined this board and have read all the posts on this thread or at least I think I have. There is one aspect of this encounter, the one between Ross and Elizabeth, that I don't think has been considered and that is the guilt that Ross feels. When Ross asks Francis to join him in starting a new mine, he is aware that Francis is investing his last 600 pounds and after Francis death, Ross feels the pressure of not just his family but of Francis'. A few days prior to receiving the letter from Elizabeth, two men had been killed in his mine and he feels incredibly responsible for that. The day he does get that letter, he had been in Truro all day disposing of mine equipment because Wheal Grace had been shut down and now all his miners no longer had jobs. He is now a poverty stricken farmer, because he no longer has any interest in any mine, earlier that year he had sold all his interest in Wheal Leisure to repay to Elizabeth, the money Francis had invested. He is feeling bitterly disappointed and like a complete failure. When Ross receives the letter from Elizabeth, he is feeling completely exhausted and down trodden. He then reads the news that, this women whom he had once loved and whom had confessed just one year before that she loved him, was going to marry his arch enemy. At this point Ross is on emotional overload, he can't think straight and everything he does after reading that letter is just uncontrolled emotions with no thought involved.
I don't believe that Ross goes to Elizabeth with any intent of having sex with her or betraying Demelza, in any way. I don't think that when Ross goes to Elizabeth, that he wants to start some kind of relationship with her or that he is trying to mark his territory. He is hurt and confused, that this woman whom he had set so high on a pedestal, could disregard his feelings so much, as to marry the one man that he hates more than anyone else in the world, all he wants to do is to stop this marriage from taking place. In fact during his meeting with Elizabeth, he tells her that with her looks she could marry anyone she likes and asks her to reconsider her choice of George.
Everyone, seems to look at what happens between Ross and Elizabeth, that night as some kind of statement of how he feels for Demelza, but I dont think that it is. Ross love for Demelza is reality and what he feels for Elizabeth is fantasy, as he soon discovers.
Sooo happy you're here to discuss things with me, missykly!
That's why I said within a year. I believe Ross would have tried as well. But Ross needed a Demelza to handle the realities of Nampara and all that life of a son of a second brother brought back then. Francis had the material trappings and the main house of Trenwith, but bad times brought out the true Elizabeth (granted some of the bad times were of Francis's own making). Elizabeth was a refined woman of landed gentry used to genteel servants waiting upon her. Not the likes of Jud and Prudie! The misfortunes suffered by Ross in those early years would have been the undoing of Elizabeth and her marriage regardless of who the husband was . . . . with our agreed upon exception of George. He had the means to NOT suffer the misfortunes most important to Elizabeth . . . .the ones that bring about financial hardship!
If Ross had married Elizabeth when he returned, my feeling is that he would have done whatever was necessary to make her happy. He would have molded himself to her ideal He was that in love with her and she would have done whatever is necessary to bring that ideal of "success" to them. Ross would not have questioned his life or life choices because the core of who he is as a person. Just as he defends Demelza from the moment he married her, he would have done the same for Elizabeth. The only time we really get a picture of the inner Elizabeth is from Francis speaking with Demelza before going to the mine. Francis having married her was able to figure out that she does not love. And, if Ross had married Elizabeth when he returned from the war, you and I would not be having this discussion So, as in real life, it takes a while to figure out that things happen for the best!
missykly - SOOOOO wonderful to read a new post by someone here!!!! I was admitted in late August and I think I may have had a little too much enthusiasm here because I made a good number of posts and did get a few initial replies, but then . . . . silence. What you don't want to be on these board is the person posting and receiving no replies. It looks, well . . .sad. So I checked pretty regularly once the silence set in but there were no new posts. I mean, I the LAST new introduction person here from August 25th! Well, maybe there's you now.
So to respond to your post, I couldn't agree more. The night of madness Ross has at Trenwith when he gets the letter from Elizabeth announcing her upcoming marriage to George is a tremendous collision of emotions for him. Ross, our administrator here, mentioned the George aspect to all of this. I believe that if Elizabeth was marrying ANYONE else, he wouldn't have rode over that night. He's had an idealized passion for Elizabeth since he left for America and he was never able to bring that idealization into the "light of day" (for lack of a better term) and test it for how it could hold up to real, everyday, life. Combine that type of fantasy passion with his hatred of George and, well, you have him riding over that night.
Someone on another board wrote that once he had had sex with her, his fantasy was dis-spelled, and in many ways it was, but I think on many levels he knew he wasn't in love with her even as he rode over. And it wasn't anything like "bad" sex that made him suddenly find his "Elizabeth spell" was broken, it was just the rage subsiding in him that allowed him to see things clearly. He had true love at Nampara with Demelza and knowledge of that should have kept him home that night. Instead he chooses to horrifically damage that love. A "good" comes out of his night with Elizabeth but at a tremendous cost. One that all of us readers (and viewers) wish he could have just seen, because it was as plain as the nose on his face.
And further, I agree with your last statement, given the Elizabeth we come to know a few novels in, her best husband is George. He just desires her as a possession. His thoughts being, "I'm the wealthiest, and therefore deserving of the best. And in this county, this women is the best!" And she desires the financial security George brings. Something, at this stage of the novels, Francis and Ross couldn't provide. I disagree with one part of your statement though, I believe Ross and Elizabeth would have been abjectly miserable with each other within a year of their marriage.
Before Ross & Elizabeth have their fateful encounter, WG takes the time to explain Elizabeth. Ross since he's never been able to have true intimacy with her other than before he went to America held her in virginal esteem - after that have dinner at the Trevuance's where he meets Caroline and he and Elizabeth talk and she admits that she's never really been happy with Francis, he opens up for him the idealized version of her that he held onto and explains to him Francis unhappiness. "We envy a man for what he has....when he doesn't have it all and we have" The reader is aware that Francis is speaking of a happy marriage. Ross is not.
I always thought that once Ross had Elizabeth, for him it was the destruction of the ideal and the cost to the real. He did not go back because he was unprepared for the ramifications of his actions. He now knew emotionally and logically that she was never the woman he idealized her as.
Although, I believe that Ross and Elizabeth might have been happy together, I think that George is in fact, her "soul mate"
Pint - I had forgotten. Yes . . .in the '70's series Angharad's Demelza DOES leave. Wasn't she getting ready to ship Jeremy off to Verity? I must watch that again as I now have the DVDs!
Gosh . . .maybe we should move over to the "Original Series" main thread as the new writers haven't dealt with this yet?
Maybe I'm attributing too much nobility to Ross's act as opposed to viewing it as something that brought Elizabeth down, or ruined her in his eyes. Many on other threads have described Ross's act as "cathartic". Catharsis shouldn't be so horrible, or destructive to others. You are correct however, I believe if you're saying that after this, he didn't view Elizabeth the same way he did 15 minutes before ( Oh Ross is manly . . .so let's say 30 minutes before!) Don't get me wrong. His act is still despicable given the love he should have known he developed with Demelza. The men I've known who've cheated on their wives hadn't experienced the love story Ross and Demelza had . . . . quite the opposite. Still, no excuses for ANY of them accepted here! Our Moderator -Ross- has brought me around to this George aspect of Ross's act. I think his hatred of George played a HUGE role in this.
Mrs. Gimlett. I echo your thoughts because I feel that's what I was writing in this thread just a few posts ago. Even the slightest rational thought, given the realities of his society at the time, would have made Ross leave Trenwith, perhaps not even entering as the ride over should have made him attempt one . . . .a rational thought that is.
I'm enjoying coming up alongside this story by infusing modern, personal experiences to them because I guess that's how I digest and enjoy fiction. That's why I wrote how foolish I believe it is for Ross, or any man for that matter, to believe a sexual act will bring a woman around to his way of thinking. So maybe that wasn't his goal at all. I think that's why Ross (our Moderator - not the subject of our post here) I believe, threw in the George aspect to the discussion. Could Ross just not live with the notion that his bitter enemy would lie with woman he had worshipped for so long while he never had?
When I think on that, I can't shake the image that I'm reducing the hero of the story to a simple animal that's "marking" his territory! So . . . yuck. I'd be interested in reading your thoughts on Moderator Ross's question.
Outside of the passion of the moment, which had to be satisfying at least on some base levels, explaining his actions, I agree with you that Ross also had to know that Elizabeth would secure her, and Geoffrey Charles's, financial future through marriage to someone. And the most secure financial future appeared to be, at least for that moment, with George. As you wrote, definitely not with him! Again, if he could have pieced together THAT logic stream on his way over, he would have turned around. However, that thought creates another question in me, spurred on by our Moderators question.
Would Ross have gone over that night if he found that Elizabeth was just simply re-marrying . . . to someone besides George?
One final point, and Im in pure opinion mode here, I dont place Demelza and Ross in similar status levels when it comes to hurting your spouse through infidelity . . . at this stage of their marriage. I guess it's because Demelza found that she could not go through with her poorly devised "revenge infidelity" when she came to the moment of truth. She is better than him, for now. To be frank, and it maybe my maleness talking here, through this stage of the novels, and even up to The Four Swans, Demelza is my hero in the novels and that's solidified with visuals provided by the BBC with Ms. Tomlinson and yes . . . Ms. Rees!
Yes, Demelza knows of Ross enchantment with Elizabeth since about the time she came to Nampara, but she has a right to believe that this enchantment "fire" should have died down by the time Francis dies, given the development of their love story that WG writes for us, hardships weathered and children borne! I'm a man, and I'm sorry, but your infidelity isn't forgiven because you tell me of this torch you carried for another, regardless of the length of time you carried it, or it's level of brightness! As I wrote earlier, I know my logic doesn't make for good drama!
I'll be much more in tune with you on leveling Ross and Demelza in this area after The Four Swans. In fact, after that, I'm actually putting Ross ahead on my "forgiveness/understanding" meter! I'm NOT looking forward to Ms. Tomlinson playing THAT out. It's going to absolutely destroy the "teenage" crush I have on her!
Hello Mrs. Gimlett! You and I are in agreement that WG's written words should be the final authority when we all get to wondering how things "should" be in this wonderful story. His novels ARE the reference points. And I want to say again here that I have read the first seven novels. I read them all the way through (one through seven, in order) beginning sometime in 1978 and finished them within a few months. Admittedly, that was a long time ago and my recollection of exact passages has grown "foggy". So, I am re-reading. I've gotten through the first two and will start the third here in a couple of days.
I do not venture into any areas on the board where I see there's a possibility that books 8-12 maybe discussed. I'm looking forward to reading them! Unfortunately, my ability to find time to read is somehow much more constrained as a fifty year old than it was as a 15 year old. Must be all this work, children and spousal obligations getting in my way! Oh well, I shall persevere.
I am a newbie on the board but I know what drove me here. I suspect you'll find that there are several more here who are like me. That is, our interest was re-invigorated by the airing of BBC Ones re-imaging of WG's novels and the '70's series. My interest was such that I wanted to discuss aspects of the productions AND what I could remember of the novel with others and I was so grateful to have found this board and to be allowed on AND to have learned folk respond to me!
I've read enough other posts to know that there are several different manners in which people have discovered this story and then felt compelled enough to try and find others to discuss it with. I love the fact that we'e all welcome here, no matter how we came to love the story.
I'm doing my best to post my thoughts within the correct main headings established here. So, if I'm pondering why the new series producers did things a certain way, I post within that main thread. Popping in a DVD into my machine late at night when the rest of my family has gone to sleep is very simple so that became my first 'order of business' with my interest in the story renewed. So, thoughts on the TV productions are freshest in my mind, and I've been posting about them. But, again, the board appears, at least to me, to be set up that way as to have a place for people to discuss the film series as well.
Simply put, I really believe the board is going to get many new members because of this new series. Requests for membership might ebb and flow with the dates of the airing of the productions, but they'll come. Frankly, Im one of them. With kind guidance from learned members of the forum, such as yourself, these members can be encouraged to explore deeper, with the first priority going to the encouragement of reading the novels as that really is how this all started and, as you said, will become their true reference points.
Someone like me, though, will actually encourage them to view the '70's series because thats how I first discovered the story, THEN I read the books. And now, about 40 years later, Im renewed with a new film production which, in turn, is bringing me BACK to the novels. I believe with a '70's series, a 2015 series (and more to come) and, of course, the novels, we'll all have so much to discuss! The diversity of how we all came here will make for diverse thoughts and opinions and I believe that will really make the board very enjoyable. It already is for me.
I wrote too much here to transition to the "meat" of your comments at the trail end here, but I will do that soonest. I learn so much from reading your posts so I want to reply to you on that. I try to get replies to all of you in the UK cognizant of our time differences. It's about 4:00 p.m. there and you'll all be thinking of supper soon, so I'll post this now.
Firstly, Greggy, on this website although we do discuss the TV series (both), our point of reference is always Winston's wonderful books. He researched meticulously and knew very well the period he wrote about. As you may have read on other threads, I discovered the books long before any TV series and have never watched the 70s offering right through. So that means I do not know how much of it was portrayed. All I can tell you is that I was very alarmed at Demelza's character and did not want to see any more after she was introduced.
Now to Ross and Demelza's marriage. Up to that EVENT, their partnership had endured many trials and privations, what with Julia's death and their poverty-stricken existence. It had cemented their relationship which was based, not initially on love (at least on Ross' part) but friendship, trust and loyalty which for Ross, grew into love. Demelza, who was so much more down to earth, loved him deeply from the start, but she was always aware of Elizabeth's hold over him. Ross had never got over his disappointment that Elizabeth had married Francis, but I believe for much of the time he managed to put it to the back of his mind until that day when they met over the dinner table and she admitted she had made a mistake with Francis. It seems to me that from that time, Ross thought more about his former love (it was probably more of an infatuation) and then with subsequent events they began to see more of each other, Ross helping Elizabeth as he would have any other widowed cousin. But the regular contact after years of only intermittently seeing her must have had a huge effect on his thoughts about her.
The only way that Ross and Elizabeth could have been together after THAT night would have been for him to leave Demelza and just live openly with Elizabeth. As WG has written in his memoirs, it was extremely expensive to divorce (about £10,000) and required an Act of Parliament to bring it about. That would explain why men (and women) were wont to philander rather than change partners as so often happens these days.
But Ross realised that he didn't want that. Eventually, after agonising over the situation he came to see that actually his real love was Demelza. She was the everyday reality; Elizabeth had been put on a pedestal and somehow was part ethereal, part worshipped, but certainly could never be his soulmate.
Throughout the following months, Nampara is in turmoil - Demelza thinking about leaving because Ross is so embroiled in his own situation that he cannot see a way through it. He doesn't want Demelza to leave but he cannot forgive himself for the harm he has caused her. As a man Ross is extremely self-critical and very much regrets that he has damaged his relationship with Demelza, but circumstances are such that he finds himself in a kind of limbo. George and Elizabeth have by then married, putting her even further from him than ever because of the antipathy between the two men. By this time Demelza is nursing her own grievance about Ross, but is also in purdah after her night at the Bodrugan party. At this point the reader can see that Ross and Demelza are quite similar in that they each despise their own actions and are suffering silently, not knowing how to resolve the situation.
For what it's worth, I think Ross regretted his actions as soon as he arrived back on Nampara land after his adventure at Trenwith. He knew Elizabeth would marry George, nothing could change that because essentially she was marrying him for financial security and Ross was in no position to offer her that. As we have discussed at great length on other threads, Elizabeth never really loved any man - she seemed capable only of expressing such feelings to her children.
I urge you to read the books, Greggy, there is so much more to them than in any TV series.
I think you're overlooking the deepening feud between Ross and George....
In the UK GMT being the forum time.
Pint - yes . . .very good question. As I posed in my earlier response, I guess there are some men who may believe a sexual conquest can bring women around to their way of thinking. As I said there. Those men need to get over themselves.
These novels and the two series have been my deepest inquiry into life in late 18th century England, so if I'm wrong in some of suppositions, I do hope folks here will correct me.
First off, I believe as Mrs. Gimlett told me, couples didn't divorce back then. In the new series, Francis asks Ross(who's come to tell him of his marriage to Demelza) "what gentleman doesn't sometime indulge in gaming and whoring?" That statement makes me believe, given that Francis WAS married when he uttered it, that married men of this class didn't worry too much about their wives leaving them if they were unfaithful. Maybe things were different the other way around ( and so we can then go off on whole horrible Hugh Armitage thing . . .but on another thread, perhaps).
You know, because I'm aware you're similar to me in that the '70's series drew you into all of this, that Demelza, at least in the TV version, was quite prepared to leave after Ross's insanity. All of this plays into what WG and at least this new series has woven for us between Ross and Demelza . . .that is, these two ARE different than the other married couples around them. They are TRULY in love and it's the kind of love that can withstand so much. In that scene from the new series I mentioned above, Ross replies "this one", referring to himself when Francis posed that question; seemingly indicating he intended to be true to his wedding vows (that whole "forsaking all others" part!).
So back to your original question, if Ross was capable of ANY rational thought as he approached Elizabeth in her bedroom, he would have backed away. He, unlike Francis, is not "whoring". We're viewing this as a mad act of a man who's worshipped this woman for along time . . . .dare we say "loved" her? So if this is somehow traceable to "love" then if he stopped the marriage, wouldn't the next step be that he divorces the mother of his children so he can then marry Elizabeth? Not knowing all the intricacies of that society at that time, it seems logical to me. Elizabeth was NOT going to be a "kept" woman on the side, especially to Demelza. So, to me, being capable of even the slightest bit of rational thought, would have made him back away.
I know rational thought doesn't make for good drama. And we're all here for the wonderful drama, so thank you for indulging me and discussing this stuff with all of you!
Can I just say, going back to Ross and Elizabeth's 'indiscretion', why on earth did he ever think that it would stop her from marrying George?
As Demelza says in the 70s TV version; 'She had to marry somebody after what you two did together!' And how right she was.
I suppose that he was taken over by some bizarre fit of passion and madness, he'd had a hard day after all...
Ross - While I'm not sure, I believe you reside in the UK and it's getting late over there, so I'll give you a quick response and hopefully we'll get some others.
I feel a strong theme in the books and series is a continuing "inferiority complex" George has with late 18th century society in your country. He and his family have become wealthy but they know they lack the lineage that seems to be the true "prime ingredient" of the society he desperately wants to be accepted into.
He uses money to create fear among the ancient names and landed gentry as if to try and make them see that there's a new "force of nature" to be reckoned with and that force (money) should (in his view) determine true nobility. But, in viewing his actions, you get the sense that he never really believes he's successful.
So I throw out to members for comment that I see TWO motivators at work with George and his marriage to Elizabeth. 1) Money determines who is BEST in society. Warleggans have it, so they're the best. When you're the best, you deserve the best and when it comes to wives . . . you really cannot to any better than Elizabeth. Or 2) he knows Ross desires Elizabeth. Yes, he's married now and seems to be happy with his former kitchen maid. But, truly . . . he loves Elizabeth and few things on earth could hurt him more than to see Elizabeth re-married . . . . to him!
I'd love to read what others think of your question, Ross. Thanks for asking!
So how do you see George in all this.... ?
Hi Grace. Thanks for sharing your insights. I've GOT to get these books re-read to be able to use as reference points for the film series. My "pesky" mortgage paying job and other activities keep cutting into my reading time! My guess is there has to be others, like me, whos interest in Poldark (one that was semi-dormant for four decades) was re-awakened by the new series. That interest brought me here and I'm glad we can talk about the film(s). What I knew, before this first series was over, was that I wasnt going to allow what happened in 1977 when the second series of the original finished its run in the U.S., and that was to NOT get the film into my home in some format. We had no such opportunity to order anything like that back then. I chuckle thinking of me as a 14 year old going to my father to ask for ANY amount of money to order Beta/VHS tapes (whatever would have existed back then!). I can actually hear him asking, "Now explain this show to me again, and why you HAVE to have it." PBS gave us the opportunity to get the original series (the one that pulled me in!) and I wasnt going to let that opportunity pass by either!
So I admit that much of my focus is comparing the two films series. My foggy memory of the novels is serving some purpose as I write in here (I read all of those that comprised the 70s series, in the late 70s - and have recently re-read Ross Poldark) but I can tell by reading the posts of some of the long time members of this board is that the written words of WG is THE authority and that's the way it should be. But I do appreciate those of you with "non-foggy" memories of the books keeping me from going too far astray.
You and Mrs. Gimlett wrote about the letter Elizabeth sent over which started the wheels of destruction in motion. The new writers will deal with this (probably) in the next series, and as weve written about, thats going to be QUITE an undertaking given what theyve shown us so far.
So with foggy memories of the written version, I will tell you in the '70's series Elizabeth is urged to write the letter to Ross explaining her decision to marry George. By Verity . . no less. I only reviewed it last week but I believe Elizabeth was pushing back against writing the letter. Something happens at Nampara that pushes the timing of Ross seeing the letter until it is well into the evening. In fact, the film almost has it as an afterthought. Demelza has not opened the letter (respectful of privacy!) and leaves it on the mantle for Ross (it is addressed to him, after all). The Robin Ellis Ross reads it and he announces he has to go "talk" to Elizabeth. Demelza is no fool and she begs him not to go. He keeps insisting that he has to go "talk" and leaves and the Angharad Rees Demelza is devastated, and my guess is more and more devastated as the hours go on. Mrs. Gimlett wrote that WG, with his writing style, was NOT explicit in his writing when it came to sex. He left much to the readers imagination, and that's for the best. But theres no mistaking what has occurred. The original series pans to Elizabeth's bedroom and shows her and Ross staring silently at the ceiling . . . . post "event".
From the novel, is this when any of you believe Ross realizes the gravity of his mistake? Is it when he realizes he has NOT stopped the wedding? Is it when he sees the actual devastation he has caused his wife?
Again, Mrs. Gimlett re-informed me that Ross didnt return home till 5-6 am and, at that point, for ALL concerned, most especially for Demelza, there can be no doubt as to what has happened. But I think that fact backs up the point made by you ladies that this was NOT a rape. There was some token resistance at the very beginning but what followed quickly was an act between two people who very much wanted this accomplished. Many times in situations like this theres a MORE guilty party and here, no doubt, it's Ross who's shared SO much of life with a woman who loves him beyond words. So he CHOOSES to wound her for what ultimately has to be a desire to satisfy a curiosity. At this point, reflecting upon what you ladies have written, why would Ross have to, even want to, feel that Elizabeth still loves him? I think its a fatal flaw among many of my co-males to think "Yes, well, once shes had ME . . . therell be nothing else for her in THIS world!" Please . . . lets get over ourselves!
On the other hand, thinking of Elizabeths part, and again to state why I agree with you both on the non-rape aspect is, there have always been, and will always be, women who want desperately to feel that they are SO desirable that they can drive men to desperate acts. And, in fact, the more desperate the act, the more desirable they feel. To Elizabeth, she had to feel like the most beautiful, most desirable woman on earth to feel she had driven Ross to choose to injure the woman who has truly shared his life with ALL of its risks and borne his children. So horrible and despicable . . .but makes for great reading, drama and television . . . I guess.
I had planning on answer your other post, but saw this one and decided to join this conversation. You ask some good questions, while I like the new version of Poldark I do agree that the writers have made a mistake in the Elizabeth and Ross relationship. We know that Elizabeth and Demelza were never friends and I found it hard to believe that Elizabeth would had come over to nurse Demelza, really I was a little surprised in how Elizabeth responded to Julia death in the books. It seems not at all, surprising since she is suppose to be a devoted mother herself. Maybe the writer wrote it this way, to show how easy it will be for Elizabeth to marry George, she won't feel any loyally to Ross. But we do know in the book and she did seem to flirt with Ross and play with his feeling. I have to agree with you guys, Elizabeth had to have know how her letter would have hurt him, it seem to me that it would have been kinder it she had told Ross after her marriage or asked him to see her and told him in the light of day. She may not have known what Ross would do, but she would have known that he would try to stop her any way that he can. Well I guess we will just have to wait for the next season for our questions will be answered.
On one note, I do not think that Ross raped Elizabeth, I think Ross comes in angry and upset, Elizabeth is admit that she will marry George and on impulse to prove to her that she loves him he kisses her passionately, maybe Elizabeth is shock at first and try to pull away, but Ross is trying to prove to her she loves him. Some how I think those two started a fire and it lead to them going having sex. I come to this conclusion when Elizabeth put off the wedding for a month, one of her thoughts are of Ross caressing her, that don't sound like a terrible memory of someone hurting you. I also must mention when Ross and Elizabeth meet in the graveyard, Ross reminds Elizabeth of how she treated him that night. I think it something we will never fully know, but rape I think not.
So, Mrs. Gimlett, I agree with you. The Aiden Turner Ross is very much in love with Demelza by the end of the first series almost to the exclusion of all other women on the planet, no matter what his previous history with any of them might have been!. So while we know this event has to happen due to this linkages to other story lines, it's going to be difficult for the writers/producers to bring it about. Almost like it's implausible now. Throw on top of that the Heida Reed Elizabeth's friendship with Demelza and it becomes downright next to impossible to do. But we know they're going to do it.
Do any of you think Ross thought at any point (well, not ANY point - it had to be during or afterward) thought his act would prevent Elizabeth from marrying George? She obviously went ahead and did it anyway. Do you think knowledge that he failed to prevent the marriage made him regret his action, or the thought that he had horribly injured the woman he really loved?
No problem I'd missed it too.... !
Sorry as well. I saw one other member post something about Eleanor Tomlinson's portrayal on the other thread and I went from there. Thanks for starting this thread.
Sorry for reiterating other comments below - thought I had read the entire thread, but obviously I hadn't. I have been catching up on several posts and missed most of what is on here!
New topic created as original was going off topic on Eleanor Tomlinson's sub-forum.
Aug 30th 2015
Posted by Mrs. Gimlett
SPOILER ALERT IF YOU HAVE NOT READ WARLEGGAN
I am afraid THAT scene at Trenwith will happen in the next series because the consequences drive the rest of the story right up to Bella Poldark.
In my opinion that whole episode began with the letter. Elizabeth could have waited and written after the event, or she could have told him during the day when he went on his weekly visit to her, when others would have been around, but she chose to write and absolutely knew that what she had written would bring Ross to Trenwith quicker than you can say knife.
Demelza also knew he wouldn't be content to leave the matter without seeing Elizabeth and again her intuition told her that he would attempt to prevent the marriage by some kind of coercion (and she guessed right). Ross's anger, which had been simmering for a good few years, together with all his recent disappointments, including the loss of Julia, reached boiling point, and of course, he rode off into the night.
I wonder if Elizabeth knew what was going to happen, even though it doesn't necessarily seem like that. She was probably expecting him and maybe he did arrive sooner than she thought but she I think realised that Ross would be extremely angry and had never forgiven her for her behaviour when he returned from America. In fact, he was angry beyond reason and determined she shouldn't marry George. I would never condone what happened, if it was rape, but WG is very sensitive when writing scenes of a sexual nature and, thank goodness, leaves much to the reader's imagination (much better way in my opinion), so we can never be sure. However, since Ross didn't arrive home until 5 or 6 in the morning, and it's never mentioned that he has been walking on the beach or occupying his time in any other way (as he often does when despising his actions), we can only assume that he remained at Trenwith for some time. Now, surely Elizabeth, if she was trying to escape him, could easily have roused someone else in the household or gone into Geoffrey Charles' room during that time, rather than remain in the same room as Ross. Or after the first 'event', did they remain chatting to each other? Maybe they slept. Not exactly what might happen if she had been violated against her will.
Although Ross should never have tried to resolve the situation in the way he did, I do think it's a case of 6 of 1 and half a dozen of the other, and it seems he regretted his actions immediately afterwards. In the end of course, it made not the slightest difference to the outcome he was trying to prevent, but as Ross says right at the end of Warleggan; Demelza was so undeserving of the behaviour of her husband and as a consequence they had a torrid few months.
What may be difficult to portray in series 2 is the hold that Elizabeth had (in the books) over Ross. Her character is much more warm and 'normal' than in the books and to be honest, unless I missed it, I really didn't see any attraction that Ross and Elizabeth had for each other except for the first episode. As you say, Greggy, the story has been developed much more as a love story between two people, rather than a love triangle that included Elizabeth.
I hope that gives another view of THE EVENT, and I'm only throwing a few ideas out as to what might have happened.
Aug 29 2015
Posted by Wheal Greggy
Hi Fijane. You have some great insights. Thanks for replying! In many ways it's amazing the importance our species puts on the "act". I've always believed a spouse should consider an emotional affair (your spouse has fallen in love with another - without sex!) MUCH more devastating than a sexual affair. While Demelza had to be overjoyed that she had become Ross's wife and the books (and the 2015 series - not so much the '70's series) show a deepening love that develops AFTER the "act"; she soon had to come to grips with being the wife of a man who also loves another. I see your point that Ross probably loves an idealized version of Elizabeth, but to Demelza, it just feels like he loves her. And that has to hurt.
So we do know that their marriage survives and their love evolves, after the "act", and the point you made that the act maybe responsible for Ross realizing that it truly is Demelza he wants, NO spouse wants THAT to be the manner in which their partner comes to that realization.
Here in the 21st century I'd say many spouses would end the marriage after such an event. Maybe Ross and Demelza had the assistance of the societal norms of the 18th century that they were going to stay married. And that norm allowed them time to begin the repair. The books are foggy to me (trying to get caught up re-reading) so I am somewhat relying on the DVDs. So for this part - I only have the '70's one. The writers on that did have Demelza tell Ross that she would leave after the infidelity . . .essentially ending the marriage. It was actually one of the clearest declarations of love where the Robin Ellis character asks her not to leave (even though he's done this terrible thing) because he sees now how much he loves her. The Angharad Rees character replies something like "Well, you have a fine way of showing it!"
You're not spoiling anything for me . . .because I DID read the book (years ago) but did WG have Demelza planning on leaving?
Posted by Fijane
I agree, I would far rather that Ross did not do it at all. I suppose I try to convince myself that it doesn't mean much in the whole scope of the book (although there is no way that I take that behaviour as acceptable). I have never believed that Ross was actually in love/loved Elizabeth, only that he was in love with an illusion that he had built in his mind before he went to the war. She was an ideal, and if he hadn't gone to the war he might have really got to know her and realised that she wasn't for him. In view of that I can convince myself that his actions that night were cathartic, and he finally realised that she was an illusion. Certainly in the books, WG implies (or maybe states outright) that Ross feels that Elizabeth is brought down to ordinary level, and thereafter suffers by comparison with Demelza. Of course, the results for Demelza are heart wrenching.
I have to also admit that part of me enjoys the fact that Elizabeth gets some comeuppance for her decisions that have caused three men such pain.
Aug 27 2015
Fijane and Ross thanks for that. I have to take a wider view of the main themes in the novel and remember that WG had reasons for them. I remember being devastated by the infidelities in the 70s series because it really was my first glimpse into the grown up world at the time. As a 14-15 year old, to me, men and women got married because they loved each other and they stayed happily married for life. Yes, I was aware of divorce, it had happened to some of my friends families, and I believe the rate was rampant by the 70s in the U.S., but my mother and father remained married, with no infidelities, until my father passed away.
So here I sit and write with a 30 year marriage of my own (well, this coming December) and I can report to you that the naivety of my youth has worn away. I know what married men and women can do to each other even after pledging a lifetime of love and fidelity to each other before God and man.
Ross, I believe Im reading that you agree with me that that given what these writers have done with the 2015 series and the Ross/Demelza love affair, that the upcoming events will have to DRAMATICALLY change the characters theyve treated us to thus far. So my infatuation with the Eleanor Tomlinson Demelza may change as well! I hope not.
Fijane - I agree with you about this 2015 series ending at what could be described as an early stage of their relationship/marriage but, gosh, theyve sure been through so much already. Speaking from experience, often times its the events of life, that can come at any time, that mature a relationship, not just the years. My wife was the first (only) love of my life, that is, there was no Elizabeth for me, so I cant put myself in Rosss shoes to fully understand the choice he makes. However, I want to venture a guess that if my wife and I enjoyed a development of our love in a similar fashion to what these BBC producers are showing us (funny how real life doesnt always measure up to fiction, huh?) between Ross and Demelza it would be next to impossible for either of us to be unfaithful. We havent been and, yet, Im certain the BBC wouldnt want to put our early years on screen!
I know the books are going to blaze through some years here coming up, and much can change in a year. Their relationship, like all, will change. It just seems like these producers have gone out of their way to show us what most would call an affair proof marriage!
No matter what these writers put in as the next series begins, Im going to be DEVASTATED when it happens. Good thing its only fiction and only television, though I might need to be drinking during that episode! Maybe someone could start a therapy thread at that time?
Posted by Ross Poldark
Yes good points.
I've always felt that the strongest and to me the most interesting underlying theme in all the books is Ross's recurring strong willed and volatile inability to ever satisfactorily come to terms with his inner unconscious feelings for an aloof and an ever unattainable Elizabeth, that subsequently creates outward long term often disastrous ripples above all on Demelza and on everything that happens to him afterwards. It's like a dark worm inside Ross that can never be quelled.
The first series with Robin Ellis did depict this inner confusion well, and why I'm beginning to think that sadly it's already too late to try and insert this volatility in anywhere now given Elizabeth's new and unexpected warmth. This in turn would make Eleanor's future interpretations of Demelza as being more of a jealous rival rather than focussing on her attempts, as I think WG tries to show in the books, to try to reach and help Ross from inside as Verity was always trying to do.
It is a bit hard, Wheal Greggy, to be looking ahead to 'that' incident - it makes me uneasy, too. I suppose my view of the way it happens in the book, is closely related to the development of Ross and Demelza's relationship. The point at which that the first series finished, is like the first flush of romance, the 'infatuation' stage if you like. The books make it clear that at this point Ross and Demelza have not achieved the highest point of their relationship. Like most relationships, after the infatuation stage, they start to find things in each other that they don't like and have to reconcile to. In fact, the relationship does not reach a settled nature until after the seventh book.
Their relationship has its rocky times, and Ross's indiscretion is not an isolated act. There are irritants at work in their relationship before that time, and Elizabeth's changed circumstances also influence the way Demelza feels. The pressure being constantly applied by George is also a very big factor in what happens. From what has happened already, we know that Ross found it very difficult to cope with Demelza's part of the demise of the Carnmore Copper Company. It is glossed over because of her illness, but it is there in the background. And the fact that Demelza went to Trenwith to nurse Francis etc, was also a result of the company's failure, and led to Julia's death.
I suppose what I am trying to say is that the Poldark books (and the relationships protrayed) are more complex than boy-meets-girl, falls in love, and lives happily ever after. It is one of the reasons I love them, because the wedding day is only the beginning of the story.
I really, really hope that they portray all those complexities when the time comes, and it doesn't just look like a modern "ashley madsion" moment! In view of the differing opinions as to how the incident plays out, it will be interesting to see which viewpoint is taken by the series.