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Post Info TOPIC: The Aftermath of May 9th.


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Date: Sep 29 7:00 PM, 2016
The Aftermath of May 9th.
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Personally I've always felt that the root cause of everything that happened that night was due directly to the deep and almost pathological long standing enmity between Ross and George, each trying to gain the upper hand in every possible situation with George always being made painfully aware of his blacksmith's beginnings on top, perhaps due to Ross simply being there. Culminating in one scene with the open violent clash between them as a result of Ross winning the duel against Monk Adderley in Hyde Park, when George threw the coins back at him in an antechamber of the Houses of Parliament.

And it's this backdrop that I think was always in the back of WG's mind throughout from the beginning, and why at this particularly early sensitive stage the moment that Ross learnt that Elizabeth was going to marry George, quickly became just too much for Ross to bear and all rational thoughts and behaviour soon went out the window. Had it been any other man I'm pretty sure Ross would have accepted the situation gracefully but to have his biggest enemy, in his view deliberately shattering his dream image and pedestal of beautiful Elizabeth, snatching her from right under his nose caused him to snap as it was hitting him at his weakest point; i.e. typical male rivalry going back to the Stone Age and wooden clubs etc.

This I why I think that with so very little time left he knew that by striking first and going to see Elizabeth that night would hit George at his weakest point as well, regardless of all consequences and devil take the hindmost. And whilst I can't remember whether Demelza ever realised this or said anything, certainly Aunt Agatha must have done when George having callously revealed her real age and thus spoiling her dream party, instinctively struck at the very same weak point that Ross had sensed was there as well.

Even though she must have known it could well cost her her life....



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Date: Sep 29 6:48 PM, 2016
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I know it is not customary for us to repeat things others have posted but Mrs Martin you are so spot on and have clarified a great deal for me in your post so I would like to add my appreciation to that of Mrs G's.

Stella



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Date: Sep 29 4:23 PM, 2016
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You have hit the nail on the head Mrs Martin. 

 



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Date: Sep 29 2:52 PM, 2016
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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.



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Date: Sep 29 10:37 AM, 2016
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For those who don't know or haven't seen this thread yet the article in "Woman Magazine WG Exclusive" dated Dec. 1977 reveals how WG first thought of the idea of what he called a love triangle.

I've always enjoyed reading it....smile

http://poldark.activeboard.com/t42017573/woman-magazine-wg-exclusive-dec-1977/



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Date: Sep 29 10:22 AM, 2016
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We are led to believe that Ross' thoughts are in absolute turmoil on May 10th, and for some time after.  He wouldn't have even wondered about any possible pregnancy.  As you say, Elizabeth would have expected further visits, as did Demelza, but she completely misread him.  Quite understandable, of course, she was in bits over his actions and felt utterly desolate. 

Ross didn't know what to do.  Had he waited before rushing off on his 'escapade', he would have realised any action was useless. However, wasn't it the straw that broke the camel's back? After all his disappointments and setbacks, it must have seemed to him that only action would alleviate his anger and frustration.  Not that I am condoning it at all. 

The fact that we discuss this in depth shows how brilliant WGs writing is - we really care about these characters and of course WG was just adding spice and consequences into his story for the future.  Perhaps if Valentine hadn't been conceived, further books may not have been written.  Then think where we would be.



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Date: Sep 29 12:09 AM, 2016
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Joanna poldark wrote:

No wonder she hated Ross after that. Even though he decided Demelza was his true love , he didn't show any sort of concern for how Elizabeth might feel or what the consequences of his visit might be. 


I agree that his neglect was despicable, and being Elizabeth, she would just sit and wait for his next move. I wouldn't be surprised if the TV Elizabeth comes running over to Nampara to provoke a response.

Of course, only WG knows exactly the circumstances, but I tend to think that by the next morning Ross had probably already accepted that his actions had changed nothing, that although he still didn't want E to marry George, he could not see himself somehow leaving Demelza for her. I think his thoughts turned quite rapidly to the damage done to his marriage, and trying to assess what Demelza would do next.

I'm realising that my memory is starting to get a little scrambled, but I thought that E did not know (for certain, at least) that she was pregnant before she married G. Given that the author wants to leave us all doubtful about that pregnancy for several whole books, there is no clear statement at the time. I know E tried to postpone the wedding, feeling that she could not go from one bed to another so quickly, but G gentle overrode her attempts. Then later, she seemed to want the wedding to happen quickly to make her "safe" from Ross. Can anyone remind me of the time frame between May 9th and the wedding? Of course, after she realised that she was pregnant, it was probably clear to her when the conception occurred.



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Date: Sep 28 4:39 PM, 2016
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Fijane wrote:

I still see Ross's musings as devoid of real love for Elizabeth. The fact that her confession took some of the gloss away from her, was the beginning of his realisation that the Elizabeth he was yearning for wasn't the real person. He wasn't losing love for her, but gradually becoming aware of the crumbling of his illusion.


 Hi Fijane,

I agree with your musing about Ross' feelings for Ellizabeth. During her confession to Ross, Elizabeth asks how much had they seen each other in the last five, a dozen times? I think that her confession is the first time Ross looks at Elizabeth as a real woman and not as a paragon of virtue. It was not just that she had made a mistake and stoically accepted her mistake, no it was the fact that she had evidently let Francis know that she had made a mistake. He was just as attracted to Elizabeth but he found that he liked her less.

Why did it take Ross several months to apologise to  Demelza or even talk to Demelza about Elizabeth? Had he intended to discuss his Elizabeth encounter with Demelza after he had come home from Looe but didn't because he was met with bitter anger from Demelza? Or did he hope that the whole incident could be brushed under the rug?

Mrs Martin

 

 

 

 



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Date: Sep 27 11:46 PM, 2016
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Stella, thanks for your insights, especially about Ross's reactions to Elizabeth's ill-timed confession. And I agree that a lot of what happened was attributable to George's influence in all their lives. In view of G & E's uneasy marriage, it seems that George (and Elizabeth) paid an ultimate price for the behaviour that had incurred Ross's wrath.

I still see Ross's musings as devoid of real love for Elizabeth. The fact that her confession took some of the gloss away from her, was the beginning of his realisation that the Elizabeth he was yearning for wasn't the real person. He wasn't losing love for her, but gradually becoming aware of the crumbling of his illusion.



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Date: Sep 27 1:43 PM, 2016
RE: The Aftermath of May 9th. SPOILER ALERT!!!
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Fijane wrote:

I've always thought that the events of May 9th purged Elizabeth from Ross's soul. I don't think he ever considered leaving Demelza, although he does seem to recognise that she may want to leave him. What happened, was an impulsive act, borne out of an accumulation of emotions that he hadn't really recognised. It was the only way he could convince Elizabeth of how angry he was, and it was also a way to hurt George.

But I think the whole thing acted as a pressure valve. By bringing her down to par with Demelza, he had to let go of the illusion that Elizabeth was superior, and in the end it was Demelza who was found to be the better woman.

I know he later considers his neglect of Elizabeth immediately after as unforgivable, but I sensed from the book that it was more a case of "thank goodness that is over, and I can get back to normal". I'm not sure if I'm making myself clear, but I think he sensed that the event had to happen sometime, if only to relieve the volcano of his feelings. Having done "the worst" he could get past a psychological roadblock. In short, he was cured of Elizabeth. To Demelza, the whole thing was nearly a deal-breaker, but for Ross it was like an elective operation, get it over with and get back to normal.

And, yes, I don't believe he ever really loved her. Before the war, she was a diversion, like many other girls would have been (it is hinted that he left for the war because of sowing wild oats). If she had been waiting when he returned I expect he would have soon discovered that he had outgrown her. But because she was denied him, she became the unattainable dream. I believe he was self-deluded into thinking he loved her, when really his pride was just hurt. With a bit more knowledge of her, he would have been under no illusion that they were incompatible.

 


 If Elizabeth had written that she was marrying anyone but George, Ross would have been glad for her I think. That night took place against the background of Elizabeth's somewhat seductive revelation to Ross at the Trevaunance dinner that she had made a mistake in marrying Francis and also making clear to Ross that she still loved him (Ross). Ross loss some respect for her because of this and realised that she had ruined Francis's life. 

"Francis had known. Ross saw that now. Francis had known so long that his early outbreaks of disillusion and disappointment were far behind him. His own jealousy long spent, and perhaps his love with it, he felt no discomfort at seeing Ross and Elizabeth together." (Warleggan Chapter 3).  In chapter four of book one we are told "Elizabeth's confession at the party had had an unexpected effect on him. Behind the strong and sometimes lawless impulses that moved from time to time was a bitterly clear-minded critic who saw his own acts, usually after he had performed them, with great detachment. Sometimes, though not very often, this critic tuned on others. It did so now on Elizabeth. She wasn't at all less attractive to him--much the reverse. But he found himself liking her less."

Following on from this although some months later he received the letter telling him that Elizabeth was to marry his worst enemy. I think that, having played with his feelings at the dinner and then written to him of her intended marriage to George, Elizabeth was playing with fire.

Fijane I think you are right about the bringing down of Elizabeth to the level of an ordinary woman clarified things for him eventually. I do believe he loved Elizabeth passionately before May 9th but thereafter he was able to re-assess those feelings. He maintained a fondness for her but his real love was Demelza as he discovered in time.

To return to George I think he was the trigger of Ross's rage as he set off for Trenwith and I think Elizabeth's letter to Ross shows us how self-centred she was as a character. She seemed to care nothing for anyone but herself and Geoffrey Charles.

Stella                                                 



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Date: Sep 27 8:28 AM, 2016
RE: The Aftermath of May 9th.
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I've always thought that the events of May 9th purged Elizabeth from Ross's soul. I don't think he ever considered leaving Demelza, although he does seem to recognise that she may want to leave him. What happened, was an impulsive act, borne out of an accumulation of emotions that he hadn't really recognised. It was the only way he could convince Elizabeth of how angry he was, and it was also a way to hurt George.

But I think the whole thing acted as a pressure valve. By bringing her down to par with Demelza, he had to let go of the illusion that Elizabeth was superior, and in the end it was Demelza who was found to be the better woman.

I know he later considers his neglect of Elizabeth immediately after as unforgivable, but I sensed from the book that it was more a case of "thank goodness that is over, and I can get back to normal". I'm not sure if I'm making myself clear, but I think he sensed that the event had to happen sometime, if only to relieve the volcano of his feelings. Having done "the worst" he could get past a psychological roadblock. In short, he was cured of Elizabeth. To Demelza, the whole thing was nearly a deal-breaker, but for Ross it was like an elective operation, get it over with and get back to normal.

And, yes, I don't believe he ever really loved her. Before the war, she was a diversion, like many other girls would have been (it is hinted that he left for the war because of sowing wild oats). If she had been waiting when he returned I expect he would have soon discovered that he had outgrown her. But because she was denied him, she became the unattainable dream. I believe he was self-deluded into thinking he loved her, when really his pride was just hurt. With a bit more knowledge of her, he would have been under no illusion that they were incompatible.

 



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Date: Feb 29 10:37 PM, 2016
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After, Ross' encounter with Elizabeth and Demelza's adventure at Werry House:

As he set out the last stage of the journey home, his mind returned to the familiar devils, those which had occupied so large a part of his waking thoughts during the last week. He had, not seen Elizabeth since his visit to her that might.' He could not evaluate his own feelings yet and did not know hers. The only ones he was sure of were Demelza's,, and as he neared home he knew that some personal decisions had to be made and faced quickly if this own attitude was not to go by default. But how could he explain or justify what he did not understand himself?

Ever since he left Elizabeth in the early hours of the morning he had been tormented with new problems. What he had done had brought Elizabeth very much down into the arena. That might have simplified everything. In fact, he found it had not. All his old values had been overthrown and he found himself groping for new ones. As yet they were, not to be discovered.

Did Ross' make a personal decision or did let his own decision go by default? By Ross not going to see Elizabeth after May 9th, was he saying that he didn't love her?  Or, having brought Elizabeth down into the arena, did Ross' then discover that he had never really loved her?

All his old values had been overthrown and he found himself groping for new ones. As yet they were, not to be discovered.

It has always been my belief that one of Ross' main characteristic, one of his main motivators was his desire  to be nothing like his father.  By going to Elizabeth, in his mind he has stooped lower than Joshua ever would have. Joshua was a rogue and a libertine but he would never have been unfaithful to Grace. Are these his old values that had been overthrown?

They faced each other, At that moment she hated him deeply - as she had done all week-end so much more deeply because she knew she was bound to him by apparently unbreakable chains, which he it seemed could cast aside at will; because she had discovered it at great personal humiliation to herself - greater than - she had ever imagined possible. 

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?



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