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Post Info TOPIC: The Aftermath of May 9th.


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Date: Dec 31 12:13 PM, 2016
RE: The Aftermath of May 9th.
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Fijane wrote:

Thank you for the comprehensive reply. It certainly seems from that passage that the fall may have been unrelated. However, it is possible that she staged the fall in the attempt to provoke labour, which at first was unsuccessful.

I was wondering why I had a strong impression that the fall was faked, and I seem to have a memory of a line later (maybe spoken by George?) that cast doubt. Something like "of course, with Valentine, she had fallen, or so she said...". I will look out for that when I get to the next few books.


Hi Fijane,

Oh, you're welcome.

I have never been able to figure out why anyone -- especially George -- would think Elizabeth would do anything to hasten the birth. She wanted the baby to be George's for the child's sake, for George's sake and, most of all, for her own. (Who would want a child to be conceived in the minutes or hours after an incident as ugly as the May 9th confrontation? Even if Elizabeth was fully onboard by the end of the night, which I doubt, she wouldn't want such a "souvenir" of that night, the one in which she discovered her so-called best friend was anything but.) The longer that child stayed in the womb, the less likely it became that he was Ross' -- and the more likely that he was George's legitimate child. Using the 38-week gestation figure commonly accepted here in the States -- also expressed as 40 weeks after the last period -- Valentine was two or three weeks overdue if he was Ross' child or three or four weeks early if he was George's child. The fall could have been irrelevant or it could have hastened the birth because it happened in Grahamworld, not the real world. Is it a key plot point or a red herring? 

If Elizabeth had fallen down the main staircase and lost the baby at two months, yes, her story would have raised my eyebrow, but not down the five-step flight and not this late in the pregnancy. 

I have two thoughts about George's feelings about Valentine:

1.) Maybe he didn't really want a baby to come so early in the marriage and resented Valentine for that too. (Yes, his parents were eager for grandchildren, and, yes, he wanted an heir so he wouldn't have to make good on the promise to leave it all to Geoffrey Charles, but I think he was looking forward to shipping Geoffrey Charles off to boarding school and having Elizabeth to himself for a year or two before their first baby came. We can't forget that Elizabeth was a very involved mother from the start of Geoffrey Charles' life, and George had to remember just how left out Francis had felt. Perhaps he expected her to be every bit as involved in Valentine's life from the start and didn't want history to repeat itself.) 

2.) He didn't like the way Valentine turned out, and maybe he found it more comfortable to blame Poldark DNA than to accept responsibility for his own negligent parenting. (Can you imagine what would have happened at Nampara if Jeremy had been suspended from Eton for getting a maid pregnant? Demelza would have only one question: So how soon and where will the wedding be held, here or at her family's church?)



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Date: Dec 28 6:54 PM, 2016
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Thank you for the comprehensive reply. It certainly seems from that passage that the fall may have been unrelated. However, it is possible that she staged the fall in the attempt to provoke labour, which at first was unsuccessful.

I was wondering why I had a strong impression that the fall was faked, and I seem to have a memory of a line later (maybe spoken by George?) that cast doubt. Something like "of course, with Valentine, she had fallen, or so she said...". I will look out for that when I get to the next few books.



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Date: Dec 27 12:33 PM, 2016
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Fijane wrote:
SusanneMcCarthy wrote:

George and Elizabeth married on June 20th - so it's exactly six weeks. Valentine was born on 14th February - but even if conceived on May 9th he would have been due on 30th January. Which begs the question - was Elizabeth messing around with someone else we don't know about? Hugh Bedruggan? Unwin Trevaunance? Jud?


So if Valentine was George's (despite all we can conclude from the later books)and conceived on the wedding night, he would have been due March 13 and was therefore exactly one month early (about 36 weeks gestation). However if he was conceived on May 9th and the due date was January 30, then he was just over two weeks late. There's usually a big difference in the appearance at those points - it would be a wonder that Elizabeth could pass him off as being premmie.

Of course, it has never been clear whether Elizabeth fell down the stairs by accident or not. Knowing what we know now, I suppose it is logical that she might have waited until she knew she was in labour, and staged the fall to explain the prematurity. But what if labour had started closer to the (Jan 30) due date? It might be possible to pass off a 36wk baby as full-term, much more difficult to do so with a 34wk - assuming that it could survive at that gestation.

___________________________________________________________________

Susanne, 

Tsk, tsk, you troublemaker, even Demelza says Elizabeth isn't a light woman, but you have her shacking up with either another married man (Jud) or Demelza's most reliable beau (Sir Hugh). Forget  Unwin, Parliament's most eligible would-be kept man; Elizabeth couldn't afford him. Although, there's always Captain McNeil. 

Fijane,

The following account of Valentine's birth to me makes it seem unlikely that Elizabeth either staged her fall or did so once she knew she was in labor. Valentine wasn't born until about 24 hours after the fall, and she was examined by Dr. Choake shortly after the fall and he did not think labor had begun. (Yes, Choake was not the best of doctors, but I think he was able to ask Elizabeth relevant questions about the location of any pain she was feeling and to understand her answers.) Elizabeth woke later with a bad pain, according to a servant who interrupted George and Dr. Choake at dinner. When Dr. Behenna arrived at midnight, he said Elizabeth was having wandering birth pangs, whatever that means. But seventeen hours later, he was telling the family at tea that he was thinking about using forceps to stimulate the labor pains and provoke a natural birth. Valentine got the message that his eviction notice was forthcoming and agreed to relocate. 

Throughout it had been understood and agreed between Elizabeth and her new husband that the confinement should take place at their town house, where the best medical attention was available; but Truro had been pestilential for months. ...  There had seemed no hurry. Dr Behenna, who rode out weekly to see his patient, assured them that there was no hurry. 

 
... On the evening of (February) the thirteenth, which was a Thursday, Elizabeth slipped and fell while going to her room. ...  Elizabeth caught her foot in the rough edge of the top stair (of the five leading to her room) and fell to the bottom. No one saw her, though two of the servants heard her cry out and the noise of her fall; and one of them ... came upon her mistress lying like a broken flower across the bottom step. 
 
Immediately the house was in panic. George ... picked up his fainting wife and carried her to bed.  ... The only medical man within easy reach was old Thomas Choake, so he was summoned ..., while another servant was sent galloping to fetch Dr Behenna. Except for a bruised elbow and a turned ankle, Elizabeth at first seemed no worse, and after a generous bleeding, she was given a warm cordial and settled off to sleep. 
 
George ... gave the old man supper and suggested he should stay the night. Choake ... agreed. 
 
... For a time in (George's) mind the anxiety had passed. Elizabeth had shaken herself, nothing more. ... Cast in a pool ... came a servant to say that the mistress was awake again and had a bad pain. Dr Behenna arrived at midnight....  Choake did not offer to leave, and George let him stay....
 
...  After a short examination of the patient, (Dr. Behenna) came out and told George that Mrs Warleggans pains were certainly birth pangs. He described these as "wandering" but otherwise normal. Quite clearly the child was now going to be premature, but it was still alive. Mrs Warleggan was standing the pains well, and although there would clearly be a greater risk now, he had every reason to be confident of the outcome. 
 
At noon on the following day ... his parents turned up.... George was barely polite ... and sent them off with a servant.... 
 
Elizabeth continued to have severe spasmodic pains, but at lengthy intervals, and the presentation, said Dr Behenna, although normal, was far too slow. He took tea with the family at five....  The third stage of pregnancy had, he said, now begun, but if there was no issue shortly, he had decided to use forceps since, he said, the mere irritation of these, when applied to the child, would be likely to stimulate the labour pains and provoke a natural birth. 
 
But providence was on the mothers side and at six the pains became more frequent without stimulation. At a quarter after eight, she was delivered of a baby boy, alive and well


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Fijane wrote:
 

Of course, it has never been clear whether Elizabeth fell down the stairs by accident or not. Knowing what we know now, I suppose it is logical that she might have waited until she knew she was in labour, and staged the fall to explain the prematurity. But what if labour had started closer to the (Jan 30) due date? It might be possible to pass off a 36wk baby as full-term, much more difficult to do so with a 34wk - assuming that it could survive at that gestation.


 I have often wondered if Elizabeth fell at all. No one saw her, only heard her cry out. She has always been a scheming person. We shall never know. WG often leaves us not knowing.

Stella



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Date: Dec 27 1:22 AM, 2016
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SusanneMcCarthy wrote:

George and Elizabeth married on June 20th - so it's exactly six weeks. Valentine was born on 14th February - but even if conceived on May 9th he would have been due on 30th January. Which begs the question - was Elizabeth messing around with someone else we don't know about? Hugh Bedruggan? Unwin Trevaunance? Jud?


So if Valentine was George's (despite all we can conclude from the later books)and conceived on the wedding night, he would have been due March 13 and was therefore exactly one month early (about 36 weeks gestation). However if he was conceived on May 9th and the due date was January 30, then he was just over two weeks late. There's usually a big difference in the appearance at those points - it would be a wonder that Elizabeth could pass him off as being premmie.

Of course, it has never been clear whether Elizabeth fell down the stairs by accident or not. Knowing what we know now, I suppose it is logical that she might have waited until she knew she was in labour, and staged the fall to explain the prematurity. But what if labour had started closer to the (Jan 30) due date? It might be possible to pass off a 36wk baby as full-term, much more difficult to do so with a 34wk - assuming that it could survive at that gestation.



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Date: Dec 23 11:48 PM, 2016
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George and Elizabeth married on June 20th - so it's exactly six weeks. Valentine was born on 14th February - but even if conceived on May 9th he would have been due on 30th January. Which begs the question - was Elizabeth messing around with someone else we don't know about? Hugh Bedruggan? Unwin Trevaunance? Jud?



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I have only read the first two books on this saga. I have watched the two seasons of the 2015-16 films. So I am going to reference the film for now. There was a scene with Francis and Demelza just before Francis took his fatal plunge into the mine. After Francis expresses his betrayal of Ross, a foreshadow of Ross's betrayal of Demelza , Demelza says this " one bad thing does not outweigh the the many good , tis the balance that counts". That was my feeling also. It is hard to make excuses for adultery or to forgive it but if you are in the deep Christian tradition forgiveness has great healing powers.  Later Demelza will be challenged by this  after Ross's betrayal. I have more thoughts on this at another time in these blogs. 



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I'd say yes to all of those reasons, but I'd add one more: She felt she could never tell Verity what had happened so she wouldn't take Jeremy and Garrick and go stay with the one person who could and would help her. I think that was a mistake because Verity was the one person who knew and understood all three people involved, and she could be trusted with the truth. Would it have made her think less of Ross? Yes, but she wouldn't have stopped loving him. She might even have been able to broker a better peace than the one inertia created.



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 There had been no proper reconciliation between' Ross and Demelza. Sometimes she wished she had left. Sometimes she thought of it even now. Yet she couldn't be sure of what he was feeling. Elizabeth was married to George. The thing had gone through in spite of his intervention. Therefore unless he was prepared to take Elizabeth from Cardew by force he had nothing to hope for from her. Therefore he would stay at Nampara married to Demelza. If she was prepared to be content with second best, then she could be of service to him.

But was she content with second best? Sometimes she, thought yes, often emphatically no. Still the goad of her refusal of Malcolm McNeil worked in her. She, Demelza Poldark, had proved' herself to be chaste and virtuous - that was what almost killed, her. She had given up praying to die, but only just. 

 

Why did Demelza stay? Was it for Jeremy's  sake? Was it because this was the only home she had known? Was it because she had nowhere else to go? or Was it because though she was angry and hurt by what Ross had done, she couldn't stop loving him?



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Dark Mare,

I am not an expert on law, but from what I have read entailment was not 'the norm'.  It was a device to ensure inheritance by a male which was sometimes adopted by the higher echelons of society.  Since Cornish society was not so divided by class as other areas of England (although it did exist), it is possible entailment was not so much used. Francis Bassett's daughter was in line to inherit his property, as was Caroline Penvenen, from her uncles.

There are also plenty of real life examples where daughters inherited.  Indeed in my own family, which I have traced to 12th Century, there are instances of daughters, either singly or jointly becoming heiresses.

As this question has no relevance whatsoever to the Poldark story, I do not intend to add any more.

Mrs G



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Because I think I started this debate by observing that Trenwith was not entailed, I suppose I should step back in to mention a relevant point that might establish WG's thoughts on the matter. In the prologue, Joshua Poldark wills Nampara to his only surviving child, Ross, but he designates a substitute heir in case Ross, then fighting in a war in America, should predecease him. That heir is his niece Verity. So the existing primogeniture inheritance laws must have had some flexibility in them if Joshua could leave the property to Verity, a female relative, in her own name, rather than having it revert to her father, Joshua's elder brother, Charles, who is his nearest male relative after Ross. (At the time the will was written, Charles was still alive.) Although Joshua built Nampara, he inherited the land it stands on from his father at the same time his brother inherited Trenwith. 

Faith101, is it possible you have confused the family situations of the Crawleys of "Downton Abbey" and the Poldarks? Downton Abbey, the Crawley family's home, was definitely entailed. Indeed, that fact was a driving force in the Crawleys' story.



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Mrs Gimlett wrote:

Faith101

I am not basing anything on Entailment Law.  The point is, this is a novel written by an inventive author.  We can only refer to what WG actually wrote.  If the property had ever been entailed and was pertinent to the story, WG would quite obviously have included the fact at some point.  Since it is not mentioned by WG at all I think it is quite safe to assume there was no entailment.    It's no good guessing about things which in any case have no relevance to the story.

Can you please tell me where WG wrote about a Trust fund for Geoffrey Charles?  I have searched through the first edition of Warleggan and can find no mention of a Trust for him at all.  In fact, later books mention that Geoffrey Charles will have no money coming to him when he comes of age, apart from George's allowance, which was increased at that point. 

Ross most certainly didn't expect Elizabeth to put the £600 away for GC.  His idea in sacrificing such a sum to her was for her immediate help and use. Originally, the money came into Francis' hands from George Warleggan, as a repayment (and sly way of gaining his intimacy) for Matthew Sanson's cheating at cards; it wasn't put aside for GC at that point either, but was being kept for a 'suitable' investment, probably in mining.

I was by no means comparing WGs and Jane Austen's writing;  merely pointing out that if an entailment pertained in Poldark, there would have been mention of it, just as there was  of Mr Collins' inheriting Longbourn after Mr Bennet's decease in P&P.

Mrs G



-- Edited by Mrs Gimlett on Wednesday 19th of October 2016 06:22:18 PM


 But to me, that is still an assumption of what you think that the author would have intended. He did not mention entailment, but that does not change the fact that if Francis never had a son or debt in the hand of the Warelegans, the property would went to Ross. If the point of the story was to be centered around entailment, it would have been mentioned, but it wasn't because that is not the heart of WG's character given stories. It is like saying that since the sea was not mentioned in a book about Cornwall then the sea does not exist...That does not compute. The trust of the money that was put in the trust of Geoffrey was the 600 pounds which became Warleggan's excuse for accusing Ross out of cheating Geoffrey. It's in there and I have the complete set of the 1st editions and the New editions as well.

 

 



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Faith101

I am not basing anything on Entailment Law.  The point is, this is a novel written by an inventive author.  We can only refer to what WG actually wrote.  If the property had ever been entailed and was pertinent to the story, WG would quite obviously have included the fact at some point.  Since it is not mentioned by WG at all I think it is quite safe to assume there was no entailment.    It's no good guessing about things which in any case have no relevance to the story.

Can you please tell me where WG wrote about a Trust fund for Geoffrey Charles?  I have searched through the first edition of Warleggan and can find no mention of a Trust for him at all.  In fact, later books mention that Geoffrey Charles will have no money coming to him when he comes of age, apart from George's allowance, which was increased at that point. 

Ross most certainly didn't expect Elizabeth to put the £600 away for GC.  His idea in sacrificing such a sum to her was for her immediate help and use. Originally, the money came into Francis' hands from George Warleggan, as a repayment (and sly way of gaining his intimacy) for Matthew Sanson's cheating at cards; it wasn't put aside for GC at that point either, but was being kept for a 'suitable' investment, probably in mining.

I was by no means comparing WGs and Jane Austen's writing;  merely pointing out that if an entailment pertained in Poldark, there would have been mention of it, just as there was  of Mr Collins' inheriting Longbourn after Mr Bennet's decease in P&P.

Mrs G



-- Edited by Mrs Gimlett on Wednesday 19th of October 2016 06:22:18 PM

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Dark Mare wrote:
faith101 wrote:
 The Trenwith property was indeed entailed and had Francis not had a son, the property would have went to Ross.



-- Edited by faith101 on Sunday 16th of October 2016 03:50:54 AM

Faith 101,

 I also thought Trenwith was entailed until I came upon the following conversation between Ross and George in "The Four Swans": 

 
    Page 161, "The Four Swans"
     ... "We shall not be neighbours on the coast this year, then?"
     "Oh, for August and September, no doubt." 
     "I presume you do not intend to sell Trenwith?" 
     "I do not."
     "If ever you thought of selling it, I might be interested." 
     "It will not come on the market - ever - to you."
 
The property at that point was being held in trust for the still-underage Geoffrey Charles. The terms of the trust designated two co-trustees, Ross and Elizabeth, but after she married George, Elizabeth signed a power of attorney allowing him to act on her behalf in matters involving the trust. (The books never explain why Ross seemed to cease to be involved in the management of the trust once George replaced Elizabeth and the first subsequent meeting ended in a brawl.) If Trenwith were entailed, how would George have the power to sell it? It carries a mortgage held by the Warleggan Bank so perhaps it could be lost to foreclosure if George stopped making the mortgage payments and then sold by the bank to recoup its lost funds, but that doesn't seem to be what Ross and George mean.
 
Further, in "The Stranger From the Sea," Geoffrey Charles is an adult, but he is in the army and has yet to have taken formal possession of Trenwith. When George pays a visit to the property on the anniversary of his marriage to Geoffrey Charles' mother, the now-deceased Elizabeth, he notes that the property now belongs to Geoffrey Charles, his stepson, but if anything should happen to him, the property would come to George: 
 
    Page 38, "The Stranger From the Sea"
    ... He (George Warleggan) rode over with a single groom on the morning of June 20, 1810. ... (T)he Harry brothers ... were waiting for him at the house .... For an hour he went around with them, ... walking with his memories, recollecting the old scenes. ... The whole house stank of decay. 
     So what did it matter? It was not his, but belonged to the thin, arrogant, inimical Geoffrey Charles Poldark now fighting with that blundering unsuccessful sepoy general somewhere in Portugal. If, of course, Geoffrey Charles stopped a bullet before the British decided to cut their losses and effect another panic evacuation like Sir John Moores, then of course the house would come to him; but even so did it matter what condition it was in? He had no further interest in living here. All he was sure was that he would never sell it to the other Poldarks.
 
If the property is entailed, how is this possible? George is not the next Poldark in line -- or a Poldark at all. Geoffrey Charles, who has no son, is the last male descendant of Charles William Poldark, so if he dies in battle, an entailed Trenwith must go to Ross, the eldest male descendant of Charles William's younger brother, Joshua. How it happens that George is Geoffrey Charles' heir is never explained. Could it be that the mortgage on Trenwith still has not been paid off? Otherwise, why would Geoffrey Charles leave the property to George, whom he hates, rather than his beloved Uncle Ross?
 
In "The Miller's Dance," Geoffrey Charles has a new Warleggan claiming to be his heir for Trenwith, his half-brother, Valentine: 
 
     Page 277, "The Miller's Dance"
     ... At the door he (Valentine Warleggan) said: "I like this area. Gods kidneys, it is more robust than the south downright. After all, I was born here. I like the pounding of the surf on the beaches, the barrenness, the brilliant skies. I would much like to inherit Trenwith. That, alas, could only ensue from the decease of my half-brother, which I should be the last to wish. Long live Geoffrey Charles ...."
 
Whether this is wishful thinking on Valentine's part or a cruel prank engineered by George, we only can guess. One thing is certain, the property cannot be entailed if Valentine is the heir. He and Geoffrey Charles do share one parent, but it is their mother, Elizabeth Chynoweth Poldark Warleggan, who was a Poldark only by her marriage to Francis, Geoffrey Charles' father. Yes, George believes Valentine is actually a Poldark and Ross' illegitimate son, but legally, Valentine is a Warleggan because Elizabeth was married to George at the time of his birth. Further, Ross has never formally acknowledged Valentine as his son so how can he be considered a Poldark for inheritance purposes? If Ross had acknowledged Valentine, he still couldn't be next in line for Trenwith if there is an entailment because Ross and his elder son, Jeremy, would precede him.
 
 

 George had the deed because Francis left the estate in debt that George own via the bank, therefore George owned it. That can break of any entailment and in his case it did. Elizabeth married George, but George owned Trenwith. If you will go back into your on post, it answered the question. It would go back to George because George owned the debt and the deed. Any arrangements after that is all based on who George wanted to have it. Geoffrey Charles go the house because George will it to him. Entailment no longer applied at the point. If Francis had never left his estate in debt to the Warelegans and if ELizabeth did not have a son, all that property would have been lost.  The trust that was created for Li's son was not the house; it was the 600 pounds that Francis put in his name.  



-- Edited by faith101 on Wednesday 19th of October 2016 03:25:32 PM

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Mrs Gimlett wrote:

There is never any mention of an entailment of Trenwith.  The word is not mentioned once in any of the books. 

What happened after Francis died was this.

Elizabeth and Ross were joint executors of Francis' Will.  The property would naturally go to Geoffrey Charles as his father's heir.  The reason Ross visited Elizabeth on a weekly basis was initially to discharge his duties in respect of Francis and to report to Elizabeth on the prospects or otherwise of Wheal Grace, half the shares of which were held in GCs name (so that George could not touch them).

When Elizabeth married George, she signed a paper for George to act on her behalf, so she wouldn't need contact with Ross, since there were obviously ongoing items still to be sorted.

It is never mentioned, but tacitly implied, that on her marriage to George, he either cancelled all her debts, or discharged them from his own resources. That was his idea of 'taking care of everything'. Mortgages in 18th Century were not the same as today - they were more of an overdraft arrangement, with the property as security, and lump sums were paid off as and when it could be afforded. There was no monthly repayment scheme (luckily for Ross). 

Trenwith would have become George's had GC died (after Elizabeth's death).  Geoffrey Charles wouldn't have needed to leave it to George, it would automatically become his as the sole survivor of the incumbent family .  

I think Valentine's remark was just wishful thinking.  No doubt, he was in line for Cardew and the Town House at one time, but that would have been left for George to decide.

Had there ever been an entailment, you may be certain a great deal would have been written about it and all the intricate implications arising from it.  Think Pride and Prejudice.


 Your post is based from conjecture and suggestions of "if".  I am basing my over English entailment law. Then you are comparing Jane Austen's writing that actual dealt with entailment because of her subject matter vs. WG at 20th century writer.  That is not a great or even good comparison at all.  If you are basing your post on 18th century law then it has failed on many points.  Entailed properties can be confiscated when the heir has too many debts or etc.  That is called losing your inheritance. I am not wrong about entailment, but the suggestion that since WG did not speak of entailment therefore the estate could not be entailed is baffling to say the least.



-- Edited by faith101 on Wednesday 19th of October 2016 03:15:44 PM

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Thank you, Mrs. Gimlett. Glad to know I was right about there being no entailment.

Your explanation of all this has strengthened my belief that for Elizabeth, there was no better option than George.

 



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There is never any mention of an entailment of Trenwith.  The word is not mentioned once in any of the books. 

What happened after Francis died was this.

Elizabeth and Ross were joint executors of Francis' Will.  The property would naturally go to Geoffrey Charles as his father's heir.  The reason Ross visited Elizabeth on a weekly basis was initially to discharge his duties in respect of Francis and to report to Elizabeth on the prospects or otherwise of Wheal Grace, half the shares of which were held in GCs name (so that George could not touch them).

When Elizabeth married George, she signed a paper for George to act on her behalf, so she wouldn't need contact with Ross, since there were obviously ongoing items still to be sorted.

It is never mentioned, but tacitly implied, that on her marriage to George, he either cancelled all her debts, or discharged them from his own resources. That was his idea of 'taking care of everything'. Mortgages in 18th Century were not the same as today - they were more of an overdraft arrangement, with the property as security, and lump sums were paid off as and when it could be afforded. There was no monthly repayment scheme (luckily for Ross). 

Trenwith would have become George's had GC died (after Elizabeth's death).  Geoffrey Charles wouldn't have needed to leave it to George, it would automatically become his as the sole survivor of the incumbent family .  

I think Valentine's remark was just wishful thinking.  No doubt, he was in line for Cardew and the Town House at one time, but that would have been left for George to decide.

Had there ever been an entailment, you may be certain a great deal would have been written about it and all the intricate implications arising from it.  Think Pride and Prejudice.



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faith101 wrote:
 The Trenwith property was indeed entailed and had Francis not had a son, the property would have went to Ross.



-- Edited by faith101 on Sunday 16th of October 2016 03:50:54 AM

Faith 101,

 I also thought Trenwith was entailed until I came upon the following conversation between Ross and George in "The Four Swans": 

 
    Page 161, "The Four Swans"
     ... "We shall not be neighbours on the coast this year, then?"
     "Oh, for August and September, no doubt." 
     "I presume you do not intend to sell Trenwith?" 
     "I do not."
     "If ever you thought of selling it, I might be interested." 
     "It will not come on the market - ever - to you."
 
The property at that point was being held in trust for the still-underage Geoffrey Charles. The terms of the trust designated two co-trustees, Ross and Elizabeth, but after she married George, Elizabeth signed a power of attorney allowing him to act on her behalf in matters involving the trust. (The books never explain why Ross seemed to cease to be involved in the management of the trust once George replaced Elizabeth and the first subsequent meeting ended in a brawl.) If Trenwith were entailed, how would George have the power to sell it? It carries a mortgage held by the Warleggan Bank so perhaps it could be lost to foreclosure if George stopped making the mortgage payments and then sold by the bank to recoup its lost funds, but that doesn't seem to be what Ross and George mean.
 
Further, in "The Stranger From the Sea," Geoffrey Charles is an adult, but he is in the army and has yet to have taken formal possession of Trenwith. When George pays a visit to the property on the anniversary of his marriage to Geoffrey Charles' mother, the now-deceased Elizabeth, he notes that the property now belongs to Geoffrey Charles, his stepson, but if anything should happen to him, the property would come to George: 
 
    Page 38, "The Stranger From the Sea"
    ... He (George Warleggan) rode over with a single groom on the morning of June 20, 1810. ... (T)he Harry brothers ... were waiting for him at the house .... For an hour he went around with them, ... walking with his memories, recollecting the old scenes. ... The whole house stank of decay. 
     So what did it matter? It was not his, but belonged to the thin, arrogant, inimical Geoffrey Charles Poldark now fighting with that blundering unsuccessful sepoy general somewhere in Portugal. If, of course, Geoffrey Charles stopped a bullet before the British decided to cut their losses and effect another panic evacuation like Sir John Moores, then of course the house would come to him; but even so did it matter what condition it was in? He had no further interest in living here. All he was sure was that he would never sell it to the other Poldarks.
 
If the property is entailed, how is this possible? George is not the next Poldark in line -- or a Poldark at all. Geoffrey Charles, who has no son, is the last male descendant of Charles William Poldark, so if he dies in battle, an entailed Trenwith must go to Ross, the eldest male descendant of Charles William's younger brother, Joshua. How it happens that George is Geoffrey Charles' heir is never explained. Could it be that the mortgage on Trenwith still has not been paid off? Otherwise, why would Geoffrey Charles leave the property to George, whom he hates, rather than his beloved Uncle Ross?
 
In "The Miller's Dance," Geoffrey Charles has a new Warleggan claiming to be his heir for Trenwith, his half-brother, Valentine: 
 
     Page 277, "The Miller's Dance"
     ... At the door he (Valentine Warleggan) said: "I like this area. Gods kidneys, it is more robust than the south downright. After all, I was born here. I like the pounding of the surf on the beaches, the barrenness, the brilliant skies. I would much like to inherit Trenwith. That, alas, could only ensue from the decease of my half-brother, which I should be the last to wish. Long live Geoffrey Charles ...."
 
Whether this is wishful thinking on Valentine's part or a cruel prank engineered by George, we only can guess. One thing is certain, the property cannot be entailed if Valentine is the heir. He and Geoffrey Charles do share one parent, but it is their mother, Elizabeth Chynoweth Poldark Warleggan, who was a Poldark only by her marriage to Francis, Geoffrey Charles' father. Yes, George believes Valentine is actually a Poldark and Ross' illegitimate son, but legally, Valentine is a Warleggan because Elizabeth was married to George at the time of his birth. Further, Ross has never formally acknowledged Valentine as his son so how can he be considered a Poldark for inheritance purposes? If Ross had acknowledged Valentine, he still couldn't be next in line for Trenwith if there is an entailment because Ross and his elder son, Jeremy, would precede him.
 
 


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MrsMartin, thank you for that detailed summary of various quotes from the book. I believe these excerpts make it quite clear that Elizabeth was quite aware that she was playing with fire.

And thanks to WG, for creating a character whose behaviour is still contentious after all these years.



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MrsMartin wrote:

Dark Mare

I think that although, we live in the 21st century, the characters of this story do not and to judge them through modern eyes, is not what was intended. This story is based in the 18th century, with its social restraints and code of behaviour, the characters therefore are restricted to behaving within that society. 

Elizabeth wasn't worried about being poor anymore but she was in dire straits? So dire, that she couldn't wait to find a new husband to relieve her of her burdens? 

'You ask me if I'd condemn you to thirty-years of widowhood. The answer's no. But with your looks you could have the pick of six men. I do not like this betrothal to George Warleggan. I ask you to wait awhile and try again.' 

Did Elizabeth instantly regret her confession to Ross? I think not, she says that she stood by what she had said.

`No,' she said. `What I told you that night - I'll not go back on it - though I should never have spoken if I'd thought anything was going to happen to Francis. Please, Ross, understand. I felt that some day I had to tell you, to let you know that if you were unhappy in those early days, it was not long before I was too. I thought it would please you to know - that the mistake had been mine and not yours! It was too late, years too late to put things right; but I wanted you to know. As soon as I'd spoken I realised it was wrong to have spoken. And when Francis died . . . then more than ever,'   

But, why does she regret her confession, not because Ross was married to Demelza and that it served no purpose to bring up the past? No she regrets it only because Francis has since died and she is now suddenly free. What difference did it make if Francis was alive or dead?  Ross was a married man! We know that she never considered Demelza as an obstacle to getting what she wanted, or if she did it was only later.

'Demelza lived and would live. They had no money to run away. Ross had not proposed it. He had not even been near her since. That was the crowning insult.'

It is not just Elizabeth confession when she toyed with Ross' feelings, she had been doing it for years and even during their weekly meetings after Francis had died.

Ross nodded, his face showing neither approval nor dis approval. `Had he any fresh proposals?'

`Yes. He offered to waive interest on the debts for a period of years. Of course I could not accept that,' `Why not?'

`Well. . . . There have been enough favours. I don't feel justified in accepting more,' Ross studied the colour moving under the delicate flush of her skin. `It depends why, does it not? If you refuse his favours out of loyalty to me, it's a mistaken loyalty. My quarrel with George is not your quarrel. Nor even need Francis's be, now. George has always - admired you -tried to win your approval. If he still wants to do so, I should let him. You may well retain your private opinion of him just the same. 

She did not speak,

`If on the other hand,' said Ross, `you feel that acceptance of his favours means you must offer him favours in return - such as

`Such as?'

He frowned at the papers. `You can imagine them better than I. At the least you might feel that becoming a friend of his would alienate people you like better. `That you must decide for yourself--I can't advise you.'

`I already have,' said Elizabeth quietly, folding the papers unread. Ross accepted, them back, and they talked for a time desultorily about day-to-day things. But although what they said was unimportant, the saying of it was not. They had never before met like this, each week, confidentially, as friends. Each week tied the invisible strings.

When he left, she walked slowly back to the winter parlour and from the window watched his dwindling figure as he rode down the drive. If she had been given to self-questioning, she would have admitted that she had not been entirely honest with him over the help she was receiving from George - but would have pleaded excuse on the grounds that it was a necessary outcome of her bereavement. She not only wanted to be thought well of, by both men, she needed to be.

Elizabeth always played the helpless victim and Ross suddenly saw that on the night of May 9th. 

`You never have been able to help anything, have you? It has all been beyond your control. All your life you've drifted helplessly down a stream of good intentions. You can't help this either.'

She had played that card one too many times and now she was not to be believed anymore.


  I completely disagree with our assessments of Elizabeth's perceptions on both posts. I take the novel as it is written and not as I want it to be. Respectfully, it appears that your post did not adhere to its own advice of not taking a 21st century view.



-- Edited by faith101 on Monday 17th of October 2016 06:25:05 AM

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Dark Mare wrote:

God I am glad I was born American in the 20th century!

Trenwith was not an entailed property so Ross, as head of the Poldark family, should have had no say in whom Elizabeth married -- unless he could demand custody of Geoffrey Charles, which seems unlikely. What else did Rlizabeth have that belonged to the Poldarks rather than to her son or herself? Morwenna said her family, which is also Elizabeth's, had no right to a say in whom she married the second time so that suggests that is the Chynoweth family's way. If it wasn't, Elizabeth's father was still alive and supported the marriage to George. 

Elizabeth wasn't worried about being poor anymore, but the 600 pounds would not last forever, and it didn't address her real  worry: Was she competent to run Trenwith on her own? She was afraid to fail because Trenwith was Geoffrey Charles' only remaining asset.

I have been meaning to go back through the pages between the second Trenwith Christmas and May 9th to determine how much of this tormenting Elizabeth was actually doing and how much of it was all in Ross' head and in her head. All indications I can remember suggest that Ross and Elizabeth behaved themselves during their weekly meetings so everything hangs on Trenwith Christmas II and Caroline's disengagement party, and I think there has to be a statute of limitations on a remark that was instantly regretted. We have a saying here in America, "Consent is not a lady's smile."

The one thing I wonder about is whether Elizabeth was asking Ross to leave Demelza and move in with her when she said:

"What would you suggest for me, Ross? Thirty years of widowhood and loneliness? I might well live thirty years. Is that what you ask for the mistakes I've already made? Can you offer me anything else to hope for?"

Why wasn't she more straightforward? Did she feel it would be unladylike to ask? Did she know she really wanted George and not Ross because she thought (wrongly) she could control George? Was she afraid Ross would say no? Or was she afraid he would say yes? Was she afraid of the scandal that would cause?

(Divine justice: When Ross and Elizabeth run off together, George decides he must marry Demelza to make Ross crazy. Demelza is wooed extravagantly and won. "Living well is the best revenge," he whispers to her before she tosses her bouquet at their wedding. Once married, Demelza sets out to make George a better man and he is an eager pupil. 

With Demelza on his arm, George suddenly is invited everywhere he ever wanted to go. He is elected to Parliament, gets knighted and then becomes a baronet.

Years later, Demelza and George are returning from London in their carriage when one of the horses throws a shoe right in front of a farrier's shop! and who should be banging away at the anvil but Ross Poldark. The horse is unhitched, and Sir George and Lady Warleggan are invited to take tea under a tree while Ross shoes the horse. A shabbily dressed Elizabeth, looking tired and angry, comes out from the house carrying the tea tray. Two dirty children with runny noses trail behind her. George and Demelza try to hid their shock.

Tea is taken, the reshod horse is returned to the team, and the Warleggans are about to get on their way. George can't resist saying something to Demelza: "Aren't you glad things turned out as they did? Look where you would be if Ross hadn't left you for Elizabeth."

Demelza looks at Ross back at the anvil and then looks at George and smiles brilliantly: "Oh, I'd be right where I am, and Ross would be sitting where you are. And you? You'd be at the anvil, of course. Aren't you always telling people you're just a blacksmith's grandson?"

"Just a blacksmith's grandson who had the good sense to marry a miner's daughter on the rebound when he had the chance," he says with a laugh as he squeezes her hand. As the carriage drives away, Ross watches wistfully. Elizabeth looks angrily at him. He feels her eyes and gets back to work.


 The Trenwith property was indeed entailed and had Francis not had a son, the property would have went to Ross.



-- Edited by faith101 on Sunday 16th of October 2016 03:50:54 AM

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Dark Mare

I think that although, we live in the 21st century, the characters of this story do not and to judge them through modern eyes, is not what was intended. This story is based in the 18th century, with its social restraints and code of behaviour, the characters therefore are restricted to behaving within that society. 

Elizabeth wasn't worried about being poor anymore but she was in dire straits? So dire, that she couldn't wait to find a new husband to relieve her of her burdens? 

'You ask me if I'd condemn you to thirty-years of widowhood. The answer's no. But with your looks you could have the pick of six men. I do not like this betrothal to George Warleggan. I ask you to wait awhile and try again.' 

Did Elizabeth instantly regret her confession to Ross? I think not, she says that she stood by what she had said.

`No,' she said. `What I told you that night - I'll not go back on it - though I should never have spoken if I'd thought anything was going to happen to Francis. Please, Ross, understand. I felt that some day I had to tell you, to let you know that if you were unhappy in those early days, it was not long before I was too. I thought it would please you to know - that the mistake had been mine and not yours! It was too late, years too late to put things right; but I wanted you to know. As soon as I'd spoken I realised it was wrong to have spoken. And when Francis died . . . then more than ever,'   

But, why does she regret her confession, not because Ross was married to Demelza and that it served no purpose to bring up the past? No she regrets it only because Francis has since died and she is now suddenly free. What difference did it make if Francis was alive or dead?  Ross was a married man! We know that she never considered Demelza as an obstacle to getting what she wanted, or if she did it was only later.

'Demelza lived and would live. They had no money to run away. Ross had not proposed it. He had not even been near her since. That was the crowning insult.'

It is not just Elizabeth confession when she toyed with Ross' feelings, she had been doing it for years and even during their weekly meetings after Francis had died.

Ross nodded, his face showing neither approval nor dis approval. `Had he any fresh proposals?'

`Yes. He offered to waive interest on the debts for a period of years. Of course I could not accept that,' `Why not?'

`Well. . . . There have been enough favours. I don't feel justified in accepting more,' Ross studied the colour moving under the delicate flush of her skin. `It depends why, does it not? If you refuse his favours out of loyalty to me, it's a mistaken loyalty. My quarrel with George is not your quarrel. Nor even need Francis's be, now. George has always - admired you -tried to win your approval. If he still wants to do so, I should let him. You may well retain your private opinion of him just the same. 

She did not speak,

`If on the other hand,' said Ross, `you feel that acceptance of his favours means you must offer him favours in return - such as

`Such as?'

He frowned at the papers. `You can imagine them better than I. At the least you might feel that becoming a friend of his would alienate people you like better. `That you must decide for yourself--I can't advise you.'

`I already have,' said Elizabeth quietly, folding the papers unread. Ross accepted, them back, and they talked for a time desultorily about day-to-day things. But although what they said was unimportant, the saying of it was not. They had never before met like this, each week, confidentially, as friends. Each week tied the invisible strings.

When he left, she walked slowly back to the winter parlour and from the window watched his dwindling figure as he rode down the drive. If she had been given to self-questioning, she would have admitted that she had not been entirely honest with him over the help she was receiving from George - but would have pleaded excuse on the grounds that it was a necessary outcome of her bereavement. She not only wanted to be thought well of, by both men, she needed to be.

Elizabeth always played the helpless victim and Ross suddenly saw that on the night of May 9th. 

`You never have been able to help anything, have you? It has all been beyond your control. All your life you've drifted helplessly down a stream of good intentions. You can't help this either.'

She had played that card one too many times and now she was not to be believed anymore.



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God I am glad I was born American in the 20th century!

Trenwith was not an entailed property so Ross, as head of the Poldark family, should have had no say in whom Elizabeth married -- unless he could demand custody of Geoffrey Charles, which seems unlikely. What else did Rlizabeth have that belonged to the Poldarks rather than to her son or herself? Morwenna said her family, which is also Elizabeth's, had no right to a say in whom she married the second time so that suggests that is the Chynoweth family's way. If it wasn't, Elizabeth's father was still alive and supported the marriage to George. 

Elizabeth wasn't worried about being poor anymore, but the 600 pounds would not last forever, and it didn't address her real  worry: Was she competent to run Trenwith on her own? She was afraid to fail because Trenwith was Geoffrey Charles' only remaining asset.

I have been meaning to go back through the pages between the second Trenwith Christmas and May 9th to determine how much of this tormenting Elizabeth was actually doing and how much of it was all in Ross' head and in her head. All indications I can remember suggest that Ross and Elizabeth behaved themselves during their weekly meetings so everything hangs on Trenwith Christmas II and Caroline's disengagement party, and I think there has to be a statute of limitations on a remark that was instantly regretted. We have a saying here in America, "Consent is not a lady's smile."

The one thing I wonder about is whether Elizabeth was asking Ross to leave Demelza and move in with her when she said:

"What would you suggest for me, Ross? Thirty years of widowhood and loneliness? I might well live thirty years. Is that what you ask for the mistakes I've already made? Can you offer me anything else to hope for?"

Why wasn't she more straightforward? Did she feel it would be unladylike to ask? Did she know she really wanted George and not Ross because she thought (wrongly) she could control George? Was she afraid Ross would say no? Or was she afraid he would say yes? Was she afraid of the scandal that would cause?

(Divine justice: When Ross and Elizabeth run off together, George decides he must marry Demelza to make Ross crazy. Demelza is wooed extravagantly and won. "Living well is the best revenge," he whispers to her before she tosses her bouquet at their wedding. Once married, Demelza sets out to make George a better man and he is an eager pupil. 

With Demelza on his arm, George suddenly is invited everywhere he ever wanted to go. He is elected to Parliament, gets knighted and then becomes a baronet.

Years later, Demelza and George are returning from London in their carriage when one of the horses throws a shoe right in front of a farrier's shop! and who should be banging away at the anvil but Ross Poldark. The horse is unhitched, and Sir George and Lady Warleggan are invited to take tea under a tree while Ross shoes the horse. A shabbily dressed Elizabeth, looking tired and angry, comes out from the house carrying the tea tray. Two dirty children with runny noses trail behind her. George and Demelza try to hid their shock.

Tea is taken, the reshod horse is returned to the team, and the Warleggans are about to get on their way. George can't resist saying something to Demelza: "Aren't you glad things turned out as they did? Look where you would be if Ross hadn't left you for Elizabeth."

Demelza looks at Ross back at the anvil and then looks at George and smiles brilliantly: "Oh, I'd be right where I am, and Ross would be sitting where you are. And you? You'd be at the anvil, of course. Aren't you always telling people you're just a blacksmith's grandson?"

"Just a blacksmith's grandson who had the good sense to marry a miner's daughter on the rebound when he had the chance," he says with a laugh as he squeezes her hand. As the carriage drives away, Ross watches wistfully. Elizabeth looks angrily at him. He feels her eyes and gets back to work.



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MrsMartin wrote:

Dark Mare

 I cannot look at the events of May 9th in isolation (I will note, that when she had sent a letter to George asking for a postponement, he too came to see her at night,  it seems that her letters evoked that kind of a response). Elizabeth at the same token had no right to constantly disturb Ross' peace of mind and the happiness of his marriage, by continually drawing his attention and by confessing her mistake in marry Francis. Elizabeth had toyed with Ross' emotions for years and for no other purpose than to gratify her own ego.

 


 You make an interesting point here Mrs Martin. In particular sending letters to Ross and George that evoke an immediate visit to her at night and I think she pulls men in by feigning the helpless lady. As you have also said she had toyed with Ross's and George's emotions for her own self gratification. In my view, she is a thoroughly nasty and selfish individual who ruined two men's lives. Her only positive trait is that she is a good mother.

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Dark Mare

Although, I appreciate your assertion that Ross should not have broken into Elizabeth's home late at night and that he had no right (even though he was now the head of the Poldark family) to tell Elizabeth who she should or shouldn't marry,  I cannot look at the events of May 9th in isolation (I will note, that when she had sent a letter to George asking for a postponement, he too came to see her at night,  it seems that her letters evoked that kind of a response). Elizabeth at the same token had no right to constantly disturb Ross' peace of mind and the happiness of his marriage, by continually drawing his attention and by confessing her mistake in marry Francis. Elizabeth had toyed with Ross' emotions for years and for no other purpose than to gratify her own ego.

Ross was well aware that George had always coveted Elizabeth but he didn't believe that George would ever be able to get her. He was not surprised that George asked Elizabeth to marry him, he was surprised, hurt, betrayed that she had said yes. She knew exactly how he would react to the news of her pending marriage to George, she knew she was the one injuring him through her disloyalty, she was his first love, the widow of his cousin, his greatest friend  and she was marry his enemy.  

As for Elizabeth's dire need to marry George, it should be mentioned that Ross had sold the last of his shares in Wheal Leisure for six hundred pounds and had given that to Elizabeth less five months prior to May 9th, even Elizabeth questioned whether she wanted or needed to wed George or anybody.

 



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Mrs Martin,

But that was before those four consecutive days of trouble in March and George's arrival as the knight in shining armor. I do not think Elizabeth is the sharpest knife in the drawer, but everyone from her mother to George seems to infantilizes her and that has to undermine her confidence in her ability to make decisions and cause her to dread them. After listening to her account of the four difficult days, George could have helped her by analyzing the decisions she had made and explained what she did right and what she did wrong, but instead, he used her lack of confidence in her own ability to run Trenwith to tee up a marriage proposal. Then again, can George be blamed for choosing this moment of vulnerability to propose? She is the love of his life, but he doesn't believe she considers him worthy of her. By being there whenever she needs him, he makes her feel safe -- and important to him. 

Elizabeth had to marry George and only George to get the security and especially the tranquillity she was seeking. She had baggage: a spoiled son and two difficult parents, who also would be living with her once she remarried. Combined, the three of them were enough to chase any suitor away. Ross certainly was never going to leave Demelza for Elizabeth as long as doing so meant he would face ten or more years of sharing a home with Joan and Jonathan Chynoweth. The only person Elizabeth's son and parents all got along with was George. It wasn't money, position, fine clothes and fancy carriages that Elizabeth really wanted. It was a man her mother won't fight with and/or complain about. And if George had stuck with being Geoffrey Charles indulgent godfather instead of trying to be his father -- and if he had bought cotton to plug his ears with when the toads' croaking got too loud rather than evicting the critters without seeking Geoffrey Charles' permission first -- he and GC would have remained pals. Yes, it did turn out that George had been faking his fondness for the three, but there was no way Elizabeth could have known that until she married him. 

I have no sympathy for Elizabeth except where May 9th and events springing from it are concerned. Yes, she never should have announced her wedding plans in a letter. She should have paid a call at Nampara, or invited Ross and Demelza to dinner at Trenwith, to announce the news. (By including Demelza, she would have changed the dynamics and given herself a potential ally with more experience arguing with Ross and winning.) 

Elizabeth had good reasons to marry George that had nothing to do with improving her standard of living. She had to choose someone who would please/appease the difficult relatives who lived with her; find ways to reverse the ravages of time on Trenwith, a neglected estate that belonged to her son, not herself; and ways to pay off lots of debts, including a hefty mortgage held by the Warleggan Bank. If Elizabeth married anyone but George, could she be sure Uncle Cary wouldn't foreclose on the Trenwith mortgage? 

But she did write the letter and had to know Ross would come to see her about it. But she didn't know Ross was in Truro until evening that day and didn't see the letter until maybe six hours after it arrived. She had expected him that afternoon, not after the whole household had retired for the night. He wasn't asked to come to see her as soon as he got the letter. He should have waited until morning. 

Ross was completely out of line from the moment he reached for a branch of that sycamore tree he climbed to reach the window. He broke into her house, after dark yet, and he didn't announce himself by calling her name or loudly whispering it if he didn't want to wake Geoffrey Charles. Instead, he let Elizabeth be startled, even frightened. He had no right to be in her house uninvited. Neither etiquette nor the law makes allowances for boorish behavior prompted by hurt feelings.   

And why was this marriage a surprise to him? He knew that she had maintained a friendship with George even after he and Francis had fallen out and that George was in love with her and had been for years. Why didn't Ross expect this to happen? George was single. Elizabeth was a widow. Why shouldn't they marry if they wished? Because Ross wanted to marry her himself? But he didn't -- or at least he didn't intend to do so. Otherwise, he and Elizabeth would have ironed out an escape plan during their weekly meetings, which, despite what Demelza feared, they never did.

And why did he think he should have a say in whom Elizabeth marries? She is not his daughter. 

Elizabeth provoked Ross? He provoked her first. He invaded her home, said terrible things to her, pushed her around and then said he would leave if she answered one question, but he didn't. Instead, he forced himself on her. He hadn't say answer the question truthfully, meaning what he wanted to believe was the truth, just answer it. Unfortunately, Elizabeth lacked either the quick wits or the nerve to tell him to answer a question for her first: "Were you in love with Demelza the day you asked her to marry you?" If he said yes, she could remind him she had been at Nampara shortly before the banns were read for their wedding, and it was obvious that only one of them was in love, and it wasn't him. If he said no, she could tell him she wasn't in love with George, but in his proposal he told he knew she wasn't in love with him and he didn't care. He had hope she would grow to love him. Given that it had happened for Ross, she had hope it would happen for her too. I wonder how Ross would have handled an answer like that.

 

 



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Dark Mare wrote:
And it stayed with him for all of about 12 hours. Then he received Elizabeth's letter telling him she was choosing George Warleggan over a life of loneliness, misery and poverty.

It doesn't seem that Elizabeth was that desperate in this quote.

But from the moment of Francis's death all her emotions had needed new names. A pattern set and grown in years had dissolved overnight., She wished the circumstances would have permitted her, to correct the mistakes' of past years. At present she was only groping towards an understanding of them.   When horse and rider, had disappeared round a bend in the drive, she rang for Mrs. Tabb to fetch Geoffrey Charles from his great-great-aunt's bedroom, where he was playing. Aunt Agatha was in bed today with rheumatism, and her strength, Elizabeth thought; was failing. When the little boy came, his mother kissed him fondly and began to give him his history lesson. These hours she spent with her son were the best of her day; she found mother love uncomplex and wholly satisfying; in such a relationship there was no mental reservations, no attitudes to be sustained, and no conflict.   She had not so far found her widowhood objectionable in the conventional ways; she felt little loneliness as such, she had more time to devote to herself and more for Geoffrey Charles. But she grievously missed a' man to take the responsibility of day-to-day living. The making of, decisions was always something she had disliked, and in an estate of this character there was no avoiding them. Some in fact could only be dealt with satisfactorily by a man.

And yet again, let's paint Elizabeth as the hapless helpless poor woman, that has to marry George Warleggan, the man that has done everything in his power to destroy Ross, the man that she confessed just the year before to have always loved. She bares no responsibility for anything, she chooses to sell herself to a man she doesn't love because she wishes to stave off loneliness, misery and poverty.  She knows how Ross would react to this news but does she calm their confrontation down? No, she provokes Ross' anguish and his pain, she knows exactly how to do this because she done it before. She lies, yet again.



-- Edited by MrsMartin on Sunday 9th of October 2016 04:41:55 AM

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     All this talk about the aftermath of May 9th led me to reread the chapter about May 9th itself ("Warleggan," Book 3, Chapter 5), and I found something I'd forgotten about, the decision Ross had reached that morning.
 
     ...Half his life, it seemed to him, he was active in starting business ventures which he spent the other half winding up. Well, this was the end of them. From now on he farmed his land and, if he was allowed, lived in debt-ridden poverty for the rest of his days. Now he had no mine, and no interest in a mine, and that was the way it would stay.
     He was taking this failure very hard but not saying much about it. Looking back, he thought sometimes he had overdramatized his disappointments as a younger man. As one grew older, one saw that no good came from kicking at the table like a hurt child. You took the bad luck and swallowed it and shook off the injury and pretended to yourself as well as to other people that it didn't matter.
     That was a lesson hard to learn. It was particularly hard for Ross.  
     
        And it stayed with him for all of about 12 hours. Then he received Elizabeth's letter telling him she was choosing George Warleggan over a life of loneliness, misery and poverty. And off the hurt child rode to Trenwith for a night of table kicking that would have long-lasting consequences for the figurative kicked table, Elizabeth.
        But was it too much to expect Ross to show his new resolve when faced with the prospect of Elizabeth marrying George? Could he take the bad luck and swallow it and shake off the injury and pretend to himself as well as to other people that it didn't matter if Elizabeth was involved? Or did that sound too much like what he did when he returned from America to find her engaged to Francis? 
         Was it May 9th as much as the 250 pounds that Mr. Blewett repaid him in its aftermath that led Ross to abandon this new resolve so quickly? Did it teach him he wasn't cut out to be philosophical about loss? When Demelza laughed when he told her he was reopening the mine after all, was she really saying that's more good money after bad or just that he was the only person who ever believed he would be able to shut Wheal Grace for good?
 
 
 
 



-- Edited by Dark Mare on Saturday 8th of October 2016 03:28:07 PM



-- Edited by Dark Mare on Saturday 8th of October 2016 04:07:36 PM

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Dark Mare wrote:
He did say all those things in a conversation she didn't want to be having. If he had come down onto the beach, found her to make sure she was OK and then said those four sentences, he would have seen in her eyes how angry she was and told her the only things she needed to know right then. Then if he asked whether she'd rather be alone, she could say yes and be free of him. She wasn't ready to talk to anyone yet, especially him. She was still busy hating herself. She needed a few more days to finish wallowing in self-pity.

 I think that this is what make Winston Graham such a wonderful writer and his characters so real, we have all had conversations that we don't necessarily want to have or not at that particular time. That is why I love Ross and Demelza, their marriage is so realistic and it flourishes through the ups and downs of a long union. 



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MrsMartin wrote:
Dark Mare wrote:

 

All Ross had to do was tell her he wasn't going anywhere. He wasn't leaving her for Elizabeth because he didn't want to. If she could find it in her heart to stay, he would be very grateful, and he understood that did not mean he had been forgiven. If she felt she must leave, it was all he deserved. If he'd said just that and turned and left the beach, things might have sorted themselves out months sooner too. All Demelza needed to know was 1.) Elizabeth was out of the picture, and 2.) the future of her marriage was in her own hands. Was it that hard for Ross to give her that much? 


 Dark Mare

I think Ross does tell Demelza all the things that you say he should have. He says that he hadn't been at Trenwith and that he had never intended on going there. Ross says to Demelza that he doesn't lie to her.  He tells her that the marriage between George and Elizabeth, would probably still go through. He says to Demelza when she offers to leave, that he doesn't want her to leave, that he wishes her to stay if she felt she could. All these things should have made a difference to Demelza but she couldn't hear them because she was feeling humiliated, that there were unbreakable chains that bounds her to him. Ross knew how Demelza was feeling about his night with Elizabeth but he didn't know about Demelza's adventure with McNeil. I think he would tried to mend his fences with her, but was unable to because of the hatred he saw in her eyes. 

In the months that followed May 9th, Ross makes no attempts to visit Elizabeth and when she marries George, Ross does nothing. He is unsettled by the news of their marriage but what he is really upsets him is that they have chosen to live in Trenwith, a Poldark home. I understand that the events of May 9th were what Demelza had feared almost her entire married life but if she had known Ross, as she thought she did. She would have realised that to him his actions spoke louder than words, he hadn't left her, he made no more attempts to see Elizabeth or to stop her wedding, that although he was didn't like the news of George and Elizabeth's wedding, that was not what really irked him. All these things to Ross spoke volumes but to Demelza they meant nothing.


 He did say all those things in a conversation she didn't want to be having. If he had come down onto the beach, found her to make sure she was OK and then said those four sentences, he would have seen in her eyes how angry she was and told her the only things she needed to know right then. Then if he asked whether she'd rather be alone, she could say yes and be free of him. She wasn't ready to talk to anyone yet, especially him. She was still busy hating herself. She needed a few more days to finish wallowing in self-pity. (Back then, it must have been really difficult to throw yourself a decent pity party. No ice cream, no chocolate, no pepperoni pizza, no Chinese food, no food delivery at all, no TV, no Netflix, no chick flicks. How did women survive having their hearts pulverized?)

 



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Dark Mare wrote:

 

All Ross had to do was tell her he wasn't going anywhere. He wasn't leaving her for Elizabeth because he didn't want to. If she could find it in her heart to stay, he would be very grateful, and he understood that did not mean he had been forgiven. If she felt she must leave, it was all he deserved. If he'd said just that and turned and left the beach, things might have sorted themselves out months sooner too. All Demelza needed to know was 1.) Elizabeth was out of the picture, and 2.) the future of her marriage was in her own hands. Was it that hard for Ross to give her that much? 


 Dark Mare

I think Ross does tell Demelza all the things that you say he should have. He says that he hadn't been at Trenwith and that he had never intended on going there. Ross says to Demelza that he doesn't lie to her.  He tells her that the marriage between George and Elizabeth, would probably still go through. He says to Demelza when she offers to leave, that he doesn't want her to leave, that he wishes her to stay if she felt she could. All these things should have made a difference to Demelza but she couldn't hear them because she was feeling humiliated, that there were unbreakable chains that bounds her to him. Ross knew how Demelza was feeling about his night with Elizabeth but he didn't know about Demelza's adventure with McNeil. I think he would tried to mend his fences with her, but was unable to because of the hatred he saw in her eyes. 

In the months that followed May 9th, Ross makes no attempts to visit Elizabeth and when she marries George, Ross does nothing. He is unsettled by the news of their marriage but what he is really upsets him is that they have chosen to live in Trenwith, a Poldark home. I understand that the events of May 9th were what Demelza had feared almost her entire married life but if she had known Ross, as she thought she did. She would have realised that to him his actions spoke louder than words, he hadn't left her, he made no more attempts to see Elizabeth or to stop her wedding, that although he was didn't like the news of George and Elizabeth's wedding, that was not what really irked him. All these things to Ross spoke volumes but to Demelza they meant nothing.



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Joanna Poldark posted "in all the years I've been reading this book, I've never really been aware of the importance of that one question Or it's answer. "

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Elizabeth's answer had another significance too for Ross. It took him back to soon after she had married Francis and when she no longer loved Francis. Elizabeth lied then by telling Ross she loved Francis. Ross believed her then but knew she was lying about George. I think this scene is yet another example of how selfish and self-centred Elizabeth is.

Stella

-- Edited by Stella Poldark on Sunday 2nd of October 2016 02:05:22 PM



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LJones41 wrote:

It does say of course a lot about Demelza standing by him throughout, quite probably always remaining true to him such was her love even when he was being led to the gallows. So just very, very lucky for him and all his friends indeed that Elizabeth said and did nothing.

 

 

Even if Elizabeth had revealed what happened that night to others, chances are Ross would not have been convicted.  He is a member of one of the oldest families in the neighborhood . . . a member of the upper-class and he was a man.  There were no other witnesses to what happened.  And even if George had believed her, I suspect that some part of him would always suspect that consensual sex was involved.  A lot of fans believed that happened anyway, why not George?


Oh, Ross could have been convicted of rape, all right. Mrs. Chynoweth would have seen to that, with the help of George's wallet and printing press. As for the jurors, they would know all about him and his father before him. Remember, there were still bad feelings about Ross' father's adventures among the wives and daughters of the other gentry, and Ross was considered, without much justification, to be a chip off the old block -- remember the rumor that Benjy Ross Carter was really Ross' son? -- by the gossips from the drawing rooms to the miner's cottages. As for pedigrees, the Poldarks were parvenues compared with the Chynoweths. Jonathan may have been the cheapest drunk in Cornwall, but he, like Charles and then Francis, was a magistrate, and he had a smart and vindictive wife who did his thinking for him.

And don't forget Demelza. There is no way she would be able to excuse rape. It would be the ultimate betrayal, a public humiliation and rejection. Remember, she believed Elizabeth's engagement was her last-ditch effort to persuade Ross to leave her, and after his return May 10, she still thought it was going to happen. Rape would mean Elizabeth had not wanted Ross at all and had not been pressing him to leave Demelza, as she had feared since Francis died. That would mean Ross had been wearing his "Elizabeth look" so often not because Elizabeth had been pressuring him but because he was obsessed with wanted her. Big difference. Would she help the prosecution? No. Would she help the defense. Not a chance. Would she be in court? I don't know.

And then there is Ross himself. He would try to persuade jurors that Elizabeth had twice given her consent to this encounter, once, a year or so earlier during a dinner party at Sir John Trevaunance's house and, before that, the previous Christmas, when she let him help clean up  after the holiday feast. She gave him encouraging looks, and she said she was sorry she had lied to him several years earlier when she said she loved her new husband and didn't love him. The fact that she had never once said anything the least bit encouraging during the weekly meetings they had had to go over estate business in the several months after her husband's death meant nothing. He knew she was waiting for him to come to her after she sent the letter announcing her engagement. (She was, that afternoon, but not after the household had retired for the night.) He would count on the jurors, being men, to understand, but he would fail to realize they were also sons, husbands and fathers, and they would not be able to find an ounce of encouragement on Elizabeth's part on May 9th. 

Yes, it is true that rape was  a nearly impossible crime to prove in 18th century England, thanks to legal minds like Sir Matthew Hale, the man who gave us: "In a rape case it is the victim, not the defendant, who is on trial." Unfortunately, Sir Matthew thought that was as it should be. Another of his gems: "Rape ... is an accusation easily to be made and hard to be proved, and harder to be defended by the party accused, tho never so innocent." (Indeed, in Sir Matthew's world, it seems the only way to prove you've been raped is to die at the rapist's hand.) That said, a Cornish jury found Ross not guilty of wrecking when, by his own admission, he was guilty. (My suspicion is the jury found as it did because it recognized a selection prosecution and what a dangerous precedent for Cornwall's coast a conviction would have set. Without scavengers, every beach would be a junkyard storing detritus to wash into the county's harbors in the next storm.) This time, one might convict him just to get him to stop treating the laws as mere suggestions.  

Thank you, LJones41, for writing: "And even if George had believed her, I suspect that some part of him would always suspect that consensual sex was involved," You have cleared up a mystery for me. When Elizabeth took that oath on her Bible saying she had given herself two men, Francis and you (George), I expected George to say something like, "So you are telling me there is no way Valentine is not my son because the alternative is too terrible to consider. But I must ask, did someone raped you?" But he said nothing like that. He spent the next few weeks parsing the statement and grumbling about it not being definitive enough. It's so obvious, and yet it never occurred to him.



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Mrs Gimlett wrote:

Ross was angry, consumed with ire, about George's intention to marry Elizabeth, but he is the sort of man who, if his rage was directed at George, would seek him out, not rush off to see Elizabeth.  Remember, it was the letter written by Elizabeth which provoked his visit, as she knew it would.  She may not have expected him to climb in a window, but she knew it would bring him to Trenwith quicker than you can say knife.  I bet she had been on tenterhooks all day, wondering when he would arrive.  His only hope to prevent the marriage was to see her, try to persuade her George wasn't good enough for her.  But of course, George had the one thing everyone else was short of - money.  That to Elizabeth meant security and lack of worry.  Never mind whether love came into it, it got her out of a hole.  When someone is as pent up as Ross was, after all his other failures as well, he wouldn't have stopped to wonder what anyone else in the county thought about him.  He rarely cared anyway.

 


 Although, I completely agree with you Mrs. Gimlett, I would only change, that Ross' anger and ire was about Elizabeth's intentions to marry George, not the other way around. Ross went to speak to Elizabeth, to try to get her to reconsider her decision, not to do anything else.  I think we have to remember that Ross knew George very well, he knew that George had always coveted Elizabeth and so he couldn't have been that surprised that George  would have asked Elizabeth to marry him. But, I don't think that Ross ever thought that George stood a chance with Elizabeth, so his surprise, his overwhelming sense of betrayal, comes from Elizabeth agreeing to marry George. 

 

 



-- Edited by MrsMartin on Saturday 1st of October 2016 11:07:41 PM



-- Edited by MrsMartin on Sunday 2nd of October 2016 05:43:14 AM

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Yes always possible but I can't see Cary even George's father ever passing up such a golden once in a life time opportunity and easily override George, as most of the oldest families and upper class were probably already in hock up to their eyebrows to their bank anyway given the poor economic conditions at the time. George's father being from memory a magistrate as well ....



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It does say of course a lot about Demelza standing by him throughout, quite probably always remaining true to him such was her love even when he was being led to the gallows. So just very, very lucky for him and all his friends indeed that Elizabeth said and did nothing.

 

 

Even if Elizabeth had revealed what happened that night to others, chances are Ross would not have been convicted.  He is a member of one of the oldest families in the neighborhood . . . a member of the upper-class and he was a man.  There were no other witnesses to what happened.  And even if George had believed her, I suspect that some part of him would always suspect that consensual sex was involved.  A lot of fans believed that happened anyway, why not George?



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Mrs Gimlett wrote:

Remember, it was the letter written by Elizabeth which provoked his visit, as she knew it would.  She may not have expected him to climb in a window, but she knew it would bring him to Trenwith quicker than you can say knife.  I bet she had been on tenterhooks all day, wondering when he would arrive.  His only hope to prevent the marriage was to see her, try to persuade her George wasn't good enough for her. 

When someone is as pent up as Ross was, after all his other failures as well, he wouldn't have stopped to wonder what anyone else in the county thought about him.  He rarely cared anyway.


Very true about the letter provoking Ross Mrs. G, but afraid I can't agree about your theory either because already being pent up beforehand I think her letter hit the hitherto hidden vital nerve of George potentially gaining the dreadful upper hand, and as I've said all rational thoughts and behaviour soon went out the window.

Or to put it another way if he had retained control of himself throughout he could never ever have even considered such a thing. But the fact is he did and stupidly went ahead not even thinking or caring about the likely dreadful consequences afterwards, only to deny George at all costs and that she would have always "belonged" to him first, and this is what any Court in the land would have judged him on at his trial had things gone wrong and Elizabeth had shouted for help.

Namely his initial motivation and subsequent follow up deeds. The outcome meaning he almost certainly would have been hung like a common criminal at Bargus, George would have seen to that vitally important detail, not even being given the opt out of being sent to a penal colony in Australia, all no doubt much to the further delight of George as it would have saved him a lot of money and time as well as getting rid of his arch enemy at long long last.

Perhaps he didn't care what the County thought about him much, but quite a different kettle of fish being a common criminal and an outcast to all his close relations and friends whom he did care for greatly, as it would have been quite a different matter bringing everlasting shame on all the Poldarks, take Verity for example even she would desert him instantly, for generations to come should they decide not to leave as quickly as possible overnight in shame. It does say of course a lot about Demelza standing by him throughout, quite probably always remaining true to him such was her love even when he was being led to the gallows. So just very, very lucky for him and all his friends indeed that Elizabeth said and did nothing.

Why is another question altogether but I think it does show she must have still felt something for him....

In my view he was completely crazy to have even thought about leaving Nampara and going to Elizabeth in the first place, for had he first stopped whilst in the stable saddling his horse and thought through the likely consequences of his intended actions he would have realised the inevitable outcome and accepted furiously that George had won. But the fact is he didn't as I think it was already too late with all rational thoughts and behaviour seemingly already flown out the window the moment he stepped outside the front door. Reflecting exactly the same stiff necked attitude he displayed towards the Bench when clumsily pleading for Jim to be found not guilty which failed, or his attitude towards his own counsel Mr. Bull when he himself was up for trial only just managing to avert a possible heavy sentence as well.



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Yes, Dark Mare, it was hard for Ross to have a rational conversation with Demelza.  We know he always found it difficult to voice his thoughts.  They always came out sounding the opposite of what he meant.  It was a result of his never really having someone to talk to in his formative years, I think.  Even when he had found his soul-mate (Demelza in his case), it wasn't easy for someone like Ross, who had an immense amount of pride, to unbutton.  He did get better at it, but not much.  Think of just after Hugh died, when they were able to talk in a measured way about it. But in 1793, he knew nothing of how she had spent the weekend and she thought he had been with Elizabeth, which made her escapade seem all the more futile.

I'm sorry, Ross, but I cannot agree with your theory about 9th May.  Ross was angry, consumed with ire, about George's intention to marry Elizabeth, but he is the sort of man who, if his rage was directed at George, would seek him out, not rush off to see Elizabeth.  Remember, it was the letter written by Elizabeth which provoked his visit, as she knew it would.  She may not have expected him to climb in a window, but she knew it would bring him to Trenwith quicker than you can say knife.  I bet she had been on tenterhooks all day, wondering when he would arrive.  His only hope to prevent the marriage was to see her, try to persuade her George wasn't good enough for her.  But of course, George had the one thing everyone else was short of - money.  That to Elizabeth meant security and lack of worry.  Never mind whether love came into it, it got her out of a hole.  When someone is as pent up as Ross was, after all his other failures as well, he wouldn't have stopped to wonder what anyone else in the county thought about him.  He rarely cared anyway.

 



-- Edited by Mrs Gimlett on Sunday 2nd of October 2016 05:36:14 PM

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MrsMartin wrote:

       Dark Mare,

I did not mean to imply that Demelza did not have the right to her anger. What I meant was, that if Demelza had greeted Ross with the same anger that she felt on the morning of May 10th, instead of the hostility that he was greeted with when he returned from Looe, they might have be able been able to talk thing out and they may have been able to start on to the road of reconciliation earlier. I understand Demelza's anguish and I think Ross did too, but he didn't understand the hatred she met him with, because it had not been there morning after his encounter with Elizabeth. It could have saved Demelza months of torment and feelings of inadequacies, if they had met without the enmity from Demelza.

 


MrsMartin,

Poor Demelza was embarrassed about how she had behaved with McNeil and hated herself for it  and because she had been unable to vent her fury by acting out. By the time Ross found her on the beach Monday afternoon, she had two grievances, maybe even three, instead of one, and they were all his fault in her mind because what he did May 9th had caused her to become a crazy person. 

There was no way Ross could have known that her increased hostility stemmed from two incidents, not one, but the last person she wanted to see at that moment was him, and she certainly didn't want to talk to him about anything. She just wanted him to pack his stuff and leave her so that part would be over, and she could try to start picking up the pieces. Can you tell I have a little familiarity with this? The experience, at least for me, was like an earthquake, and with earthquakes come aftershocks, including on occasion some more powerful than the initial jolt. I'm not surprised she was angrier Monday afternoon than she had been Friday morning. I think I might have been, and I hadn't had a trip to Werry House in the interim. 

 

All Ross had to do was tell her he wasn't going anywhere. He wasn't leaving her for Elizabeth because he didn't want to. If she could find it in her heart to stay, he would be very grateful, and he understood that did not mean he had been forgiven. If she felt she must leave, it was all he deserved. If he'd said just that and turned and left the beach, things might have sorted themselves out months sooner too. All Demelza needed to know was 1.) Elizabeth was out of the picture, and 2.) the future of her marriage was in her own hands. Was it that hard for Ross to give her that much?

 



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MrsMartin wrote:
If the encounter between Ross and Elizabeth was about George, then why did Ross not go to Elizabeth and apologize?

 


Because by then it was all far too late and the horse had bolted so there could never be any going back....

Without question by then he must have felt far too ashamed to ever face her again in any case so it just couldn't have been about Elizabeth at all, whatever her by comparison minor failings as we all know how much he idolised her, but about George. Otherwise he would never have behaved in such an impossibly cruel and degrading manner towards her in the first place, as he was far too much of a gentleman with a much respected public position in county society to ever stoop to such a low and demeaning level as he would have been outed instantly. A fate worse than death....

Instead it was all about male rivalry and supremacy, even world wars can be based on that, something that to him was far greater and more important than Elizabeth would ever be as he would always know that "Elizabeth would from then on always "belong" to him after Francis for ever, plus the immense satisfaction of denying what George craved the most, reflected respectability and gentility, as well as avoiding the inevitable public meetings with George most likely smirking at every opportunity, Elizabeth perhaps always trying to avoid Ross and of course their new offspring.

And why I very much doubt Ross would have ever have been able to come to terms with this humiliating and lifelong situation somehow, wanting to move somewhere else even and you can bet that the cruel and sadistic side of George would have loved and revelled every minute of it, going out of his way whenever possible to always rub it in."



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Ross Poldark wrote:
MrsMartin wrote:

 I just can't believe that Ross would use Elizabeth in such a cruel way and for no purpose


Whilst we are talking about fiction and not real life, unfortunately I think where George was concerned and in this particular highly subjective situation Ross regrettably wanted only to defeat George at all costs, as the alternatives mentioned earlier facing him were unthinkable and why as I said "all rational thoughts and behaviour soon went out the window...."


 If the encounter between Ross and Elizabeth was about George, then why did Ross not go to Elizabeth and apologize? Even if he did not have anything to offer her, if he had used her as means to get one up on George, then I think he would have said he was sorry for treating her so badly or using her as a weapon to get to George. No, it was about Elizabeth and the way she had manipulated him through the years. When he sat and thought of all the ways she had ensured that she was always that unattainable love, the one to be admired, the one he would build castles out smiles and glances, he didn't feel the need to apologize. Yes, he had treated her badly but she it was something she had inviting for years.

Dark Mare wrote: 

i think you ask too much of Demelza given all that had happened between Ross riding off to Trenwith and returning from Looe. She had seen the idol she had adored tumble off his pedestal and smash into a thousand pieces and still she could not bring herself to be unfaithful to him out of revenge, and that made her hate herself and hate Ross all the more. It shouldn't, of course, because it meant she was a better person than she thought she was, but she was completely lost.

Dark Mare,

I did not mean to imply that Demelza did not have the right to her anger. What I meant was, that if Demelza had greeted Ross with the same anger that she felt on the morning of May 10th, instead of the hostility that he was greeted with when he returned from Looe, they might have be able been able to talk thing out and they may have been able to start on to the road of reconciliation earlier. I understand Demelza's anguish and I think Ross did too, but he didn't understand the hatred she met him with, because it had not been there morning after his encounter with Elizabeth. It could have saved Demelza months of torment and feelings of inadequacies, if they had met without the enmity from Demelza.

 



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Hi all--my take on the May 9th and the aftermath events are a little different. Throughout the first seven novels, after horrendous events, Ross suffers from what Dwight best termed in Jeremy, "a mental breakdown." The pressure just builds up in him, like in one of his mine engines, and the explosion usually results in actions that he later regrets.

The first time it happened was after Jim Carter's death. He stayed drunk for days and only found some emotional release by throwing Sanson, a symbol of all that was rotten, in the mud where rottenness belonged.

The second time it happened was of course after Julia's death. Ross' grief was so deep and he had no way of expressing it. Coordinating the salvage operations at the shipwrecks at least helped him release some of that pressure. Even so, I think that Ross was still deeply grieving for Julia in Warleggan, which added to his grocery list of problems. If anyone ever needed grief counseling it was Ross. There was no one he could talk to, and even if there had been, he would not have known how to. He was such a self-contained individual. 

In Warleggan, Ross' world continues to spiral out of control as he is faced with failure after failure in the mine, Warleggan plots, and finally Francis' death. So Elizabeth's letter was the catalyst that resulted in this particular explosion. Again, he went a little crazy, lost all reasoning, and wasn't even competent to think about the consequences of his actions in visiting Elizabeth. However, the one who suffered most from May 9th was Valentine. It was his abuse of innocent Valentine that made me realize how sick and disturbed George really was.

Finally, in the Angry Tide, Ross's battle with Monk Adderly, althought probably inevitable, was certainly fueled by the deep "lowness of spirit" that Ross felt after Demelza's betrayal of him with Hugh Armitage.  After the duel, Ross regained some perspective, but it was hard won. 

So, after May 9th, Ross found that he had let off months of accumulated anguish and anxiety, regained some perspective, but again at a steep cost.  He could not possible have gone to see Elizabeth to explain; it would only have made matters worse.


 



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Joanna poldark wrote:

Apologies I'm not good at picking out the excerpt I wish to reply to. 

this post is in response to the length of time it took for Ross and Demelza to reconcile after May 9th. I think six months is actually quite quick and it was such a huge event in their lives that couldn't and shouldn't have been resolved promptly.

Ross had loved(or thought) he loved Elizabeth for years, Demelza had lived with knowing that for years, only time was going to slowly change that state of Mind. Also , though Demelza had known of Ross's feelings for Elizabeth, she probably thought Ross would never seriously endanger their relationship by acting on those old yearnings. When he did, that must have dented her faith and trust in him, words or indeed actions were never going to repair that damage promptly. Only time and patience would. And very very good behaviour! 



-- Edited by Joanna poldark on Friday 30th of September 2016 03:15:13 PM


 And allowing George Warleggan and his men to beat him bloody. 



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MrsMartin wrote:

While I do consider George a factor in Ross going to Elizabeth in the first place but I don't consider that George played a factor in their ultimate encounter between Ross and Elizabeth. It is my belief that if Elizabeth had told Ross that she didn't love George, that she was marrying for other reasons or if she had just pacified Ross and told him that she would reconsider her decision to marry George, Ross would have left and nothing would have happened. But no, what Elizabeth did was to lie to Ross, like she had lied to him about loving Francis, that is the trigger that set everything off. He had believed her lie before, he was not going to believe it again. I never thought that this encounter between Ross and Elizabeth, was Ross putting his mark or having Elizabeth before George. I just can't believe that Ross would use Elizabeth in such a cruel way and for no purpose, other than male ego or as a pissing contest between them. 

Stella,

Thank you for you insight and consideration of the questions asked, I appreciate it. I agree with that Ross' love for Demelza was never in question. But I do think that they would have been on the road to reconciliation sooner, had when they met that day after his return from Looe,  without such open hostility and anger. The months of misunderstanding and misery might have been avoided had both of them been able to speak to each other before rift had become so great. I also think that they were equally to blame for this.

 


 MrsMartin -- 

i think you ask too much of Demelza given all that had happened between Ross riding off to Trenwith and returning from Looe. She had seen the idol she had adored tumble off his pedestal and smash into a thousand pieces and still she could not bring herself to be unfaithful to him out of revenge, and that made her hate herself and hate Ross all the more. It shouldn't, of course, because it meant she was a better person than she thought she was, but she was completely lost. She had always measured herself by her reflection in Ross' eyes so now that he  had shown himself to be someone she could not admire, where did that leave her? She had lived for years with the fear, no, the expectation, that Ross would leave her for Elizabeth, but she never expected him to go to Elizabeth and then come back to her. What is she supposed to make of that? That Elizabeth decided she didn't want him after satisfying her curiosity and sent him back to her? Demelza had to think she was in hell because obviously he still must be pining for Elizabeth, but he wouldn't tell her to leave. She wanted to go for her pride's sake, but what about Jeremy? So she stayed.

It is too bad she didn't feel right talking to Verity about what happened because she desperately needed a friend. It probably would have shortened the estrangement by a few months because Verity is the one person who can tell Ross what to do without incurring his wrath.



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MrsMartin wrote:

Personally, I have never had  a great deal of sympathy for Elizabeth or if any consequences from the events of May 9th. I have always characterised her as a manipulator, someone that played with other peoples emotions for her own gratification. Even in the encounter with Ross at Aunt Agatha's grave, she must have know if George or Ross was the father of Valentine but chose to keep that secret to herself, thus causing decades of uncertainty. I believe it is very much like Ross said during that scene, he couldn't go to her and hash out the whole encounter of May 9th with her because it would have stirred up more trouble. 

When Ross is heading home from Looe, he thinks that although the events of May 9th had brought Elizabeth down into the arena, which was helpful, it had also caused more turmoil. He had realised that Elizabeth was not the zenith he was searching for, but how could he have told her that? I think that once he really looked at Elizabeth as a woman, he found that she was not at all what he desired, then having made that discovery, he found it impossible to convey that to Elizabeth. His actions of May 9th, had lowered his own self esteem and made him into a person that he didn't like very much. He had risked the true love of his life for a phantom love and he couldn't forgive himself, let alone ask for forgiveness from Demelza, so he stayed silent. I also think that though he felt guilty for not going to Elizabeth afterwards, he partly blamed Elizabeth for what had transpired that night and all the years before.


MrsMartin -- Excellent analysis of Ross' reaction to his May 9th behavior as viewed in the cold light of day. 

As for Elizabeth, I just realized why people have suggested that Elizabeth either faked falling down the stairs or made herself fall -- she did have a large bruise on her arm and a twisted ankle so the latter seems more likely than the former. She wanted Valentine to be Ross' child. The baby was three weeks overdue if he was conceived May 9th. Every day he didn't come, it became more likely he was George's child than Ross'. If she took a tumble down the stairs, she might be able to give nature a push so the clock stopped in the gray area where either man could be the father. Why would Elizabeth do that? To mess with Demelza's head? 

 



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MrsMartin wrote:

 I just can't believe that Ross would use Elizabeth in such a cruel way and for no purpose


Whilst we are talking about fiction and not real life, unfortunately I think where George was concerned and in this particular highly subjective situation Ross regrettably wanted only to defeat George at all costs, as the alternatives mentioned earlier facing him were unthinkable and why as I said "all rational thoughts and behaviour soon went out the window...."



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Date: Sep 30 5:05 AM, 2016
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While I do consider George a factor in Ross going to Elizabeth in the first place but I don't consider that George played a factor in their ultimate encounter between Ross and Elizabeth. It is my belief that if Elizabeth had told Ross that she didn't love George, that she was marrying for other reasons or if she had just pacified Ross and told him that she would reconsider her decision to marry George, Ross would have left and nothing would have happened. But no, what Elizabeth did was to lie to Ross, like she had lied to him about loving Francis, that is the trigger that set everything off. He had believed her lie before, he was not going to believe it again. I never thought that this encounter between Ross and Elizabeth, was Ross putting his mark or having Elizabeth before George. I just can't believe that Ross would use Elizabeth in such a cruel way and for no purpose, other than male ego or as a pissing contest between them. 

Stella,

Thank you for you insight and consideration of the questions asked, I appreciate it. I agree with you, that Ross' love for Demelza was never in question. But I do think that they would have been on the road to reconciliation sooner, had when they met that day after his return from Looe,  without such open hostility and anger. The months of misunderstanding and misery might have been avoided had both of them been able to speak to each other before rift had become so great. I also think that they were equally to blame for this.

 



-- Edited by MrsMartin on Saturday 1st of October 2016 06:04:44 AM

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Mrs Gimlett wrote:

I see your point, Ross, but I don't think George ever knew about Ross' visit that night, so how could it have hit at him?.  He certainly knew Ross visited Elizabeth, but only during the day.  She would never have said anything and neither would Demelza or Ross.  They never really spoke about it together, let alone to anyone else.  He might only have become aware if Elizabeth hadn't married him at all.


It wasn't anything to do with George, rather I think it was Ross realising that Elizabeth would from then always "belong" to him after Francis for ever, plus the immense satisfaction of denying what George craved the most, reflected respectability and gentility as well as avoiding the inevitable public meetings with George most likely smirking at every opportunity, Elizabeth perhaps always trying to avoid Ross and of course their new offspring.

And why I very much doubt Ross would have ever have been able to come to terms with this humiliating and lifelong situation somehow, wanting to move somewhere else even and you can bet that the cruel and sadistic side of George would have loved and revelled every minute of it, going out of his way whenever possible to always rub it in.

Interesting scenarios btw regarding Valentine and Clowance.... ! biggrin



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Mrs Martin posted back in February

"Demelza gives Ross two options, she offers to leave Nampara or for Ross to go and live with Elizabeth, he chooses neither. Was Ross' non action, him choosing Demelza over Elizabeth? Did Ross ever think of leaving Demelza for Elizabeth? Was his love for Demelza ever in question? Would the reconciliation between Ross and Demelza, been sooner, had he not been met with such hostility then?"

These are interesting questions and yet no one has engaged with them. I have often wondered about Ross's behaviour towards Demelza after May 9th. These are my thoughts. Firstly I think Ross needed time to process what had happened and what were his feelings. He did not seem prepared for Demelza's reaction and appeared to not have a clue how to respond to her. He moved into the Joshua's old bedroom as he didn't want to inflict himself on Demelza. This Demelza interpreted as finding her disgusting after the experience with Elizabeth. So there was much misunderstanding and neither was able to attempt to unravel it all. Ross comes across to me at this time as completely lacking any understanding of how wounded Demelza felt.  "Hell hath no fury than a woman scorned" is I think the general wisdom but Ross didn't seem to understand this or if he did he didn't know what to say or do. Having lost his mother at such a young age seems to have denied him an understanding of women and he is left idealising them. 

My personal view is that he was in a kind of frozen state, knowing he should visit Elizabeth but not wanting to risk upsetting Demelza any more than he had already. He gives this explanation to Elizabeth when they meet in the churchyard. I think the reason it took so long to reconcile with Demelza was his initial confusion and then his inability to find the right words plus a wariness of making things worse between them. In some ways Ross is quite naive about women but Demelza knows her man very well. 

I do not think Ross's love for Demelza was ever in question. After that night (which was more about George than Elizabeth perhaps) Elizabeth became a more real person to him. He also has a child with Demelza which was an important factor I think given Ross's character. But I think his love for Demelza was never  seriously in question.

Stella

 



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Date: Sep 29 7:45 PM, 2016
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I see your point, Ross, but I don't think George ever knew about Ross' visit that night, so how could it have hit at him?.  He certainly knew Ross visited Elizabeth, but only during the day.  She would never have said anything and neither would Demelza or Ross.  They never really spoke about it together, let alone to anyone else.  He might only have become aware if Elizabeth hadn't married him at all.

Now that would have changed the whole of the series.  Or would she have gone away, had the baby and returned?  Then Clowance may have happened upon 'Valentine', fallen in love with him and no-one would have been aware of who he was.  Of course Elizabeth would probably have lived longer...Oh dear, realms of fantasy... I'd better stop.



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