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Date: May 23 5:28 PM, 2017
Demelza & Hugh Armitage
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Yes, it is extreme and I certainly Demelza's adultery was inexcusable but Ross passed up so many signs of her "hots for Hugh" and did nothing besides sanctioned her seeing him with only a warning to be careful.  Some of his extreme jealously-- his angry tide --- that he shows later might, just might have made  a difference. Is he completely blameless?

 

 

 

Yes, Ross is blameless . . . at least for Demelza's affair with Hugh.  Demelza was not a child he had to constantly monitor.  She was an adult woman in her mid-twenties and the mother of three children (one deceased) at the time of her affair with Hugh.  She was adult enough to be in control of her behavior and to know better.  Blaming Ross for Demelza's affair is like blaming Demelza for Ross' night with Elizabeth.  The only people who should be held accountable for the Demelza/Hugh affair are those two.



-- Edited by LJones41 on Tuesday 23rd of May 2017 05:28:27 PM



-- Edited by LJones41 on Tuesday 23rd of May 2017 05:28:56 PM

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Mrs. G for one who has lived with these characters for a long time do you have a take on my recent posts that Ross was too passive and in a way complicit in allow the affair to develop and should have handled the situation differmanly after Hugh died with undestanding rather that anger. He certainly was more forceful in Paris to support Demelsa and threw the wouldbe suited out. 



-- Edited by welmet on Friday 19th of May 2017 07:59:56 PM

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Sorry, I was muddling you up with Dave, who has only read up to TAT!  A senior moment...confuse



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Mrs Gimlett wrote:

Welmet, I take it from your references below that you have now read much further into the 12 books.


 Yes and I have read all 12 books And actually have the last 5 on kindle so it is relatively easy to find passages I am look for. why do you ask?



-- Edited by welmet on Thursday 18th of May 2017 10:44:27 AM

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Welmet, I take it from your references below that you have now read much further into the 12 books.



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Mrs Gimlett wrote:

I suppose the crux of the matter was Hugh arriving out of the blue that beautiful June day.  Demelza was caught off guard, but should have had sense enough to say they couldn't go to Seal Hole Cove without Ross. 

It was the situation that led to her relenting on that small strip of sand.  At Nampara cove or Hendrawna it couldn't have happened - nearby the seals it could and did - a sudden moment of weakness, which I believe she did regret.  Not perhaps the act, so much as the betrayal of Ross' trust in her.  That is what haunts her during the night, when she gazes out of the window. It was hard earned, and checked, after the episode with Blamey and Verity, but trust was something they both held dear and she shattered it.


 But that does not get to the matter of the hold he has on her and the revealing of her deep feeling for Hugh revealed when she sees him on his death bed. If there had been no June day, and she saw him so sick I think she and Ross would have reacted the same The act of adultery is almost insignificant. Having said that I don't think she loved Hugh given the way, outside of the day after he dies, she never seems to greave for him. When Ross comes back from London the first thing he asks her is if she were fretting for Hugh, and she says no, but for my husband. I think all she really wants to do is to get back to where she was before Hugh. She makes it plain in ATA that she does not long for that relationship, but for the deep relationship with Ross. 

Let me suggest a different way Ross could have handled things. He could have really continued the hold her, as he does at the end of TFS. He could have told her he understands that she felt for Hugh and had lost something dear to her, and comfort her.  He could have done exactly what Christopher did when Bella was sick. He did not allow her to talk about the conflict in their relationship but comforted her about her voice and in that way drew her closer to him.

Ross did not do that, he decided that what he needed was time away from Demelza, which turned into months, and during that time his anger grew. He became a stranger to her and her to him, just when they needed to come together. Dwight could see it, and Verity could see it but Ross really did not get over it until after the dual and he returns to Demelsa. And then what does he do, he apologies for letting his jealous and anger get between them resulting in him killing a man. They end by saying that had to go on living and loving--- that most of all. What if what follows had been said after Hugh died, and Ross had not done off to London. 

 

"Well, I dont know. In our lives before this weve each given the other cause for deep offence. This is not worse, and should in ways be less bad. Yet it cuts as deep. It cuts as deep. They had reached the heart of the issue. This time, Ross said, Im the chief offender maybe the only one. At least I plead no excuse. Oh, Ross, it is not Perhaps in the end one measures the quality of ones forgiveness by the quality of ones love. Sometimes my love has been lacking. Is yours now? No, she said. Nor ever will be. Tisnt love I lack, Ross, but understanding. Understanding comes from the head; love from the heart. Which have you always believed to be the more important? It isnt quite as easy as that. No, I know, he acknowledged slowly. I ought to know. The clouds were flying so fast it looked as if the moon were being thrown across the sky. Perhaps, she said, we both care too much. Its a signal failing in two people who have been married fourteen years. But I think if we can admit that, it is a long way towards
understanding. But caring, she said. Doesnt that mean thinking of the other? Perhaps we have each done too little of that. In other words our love has been selfish Not that much. But sometimes So we must be more tolerant, each of the other . . . But how do we achieve tolerance without indifference? Isnt that a worse fate? After a minute she said: Yes. Then what is your answer? My answer? Your solution. Perhaps we must just go on living and learning, Ross. And loving, said Ross. That most of all."
 (TAT, pp.556-567)

 



-- Edited by welmet on Wednesday 17th of May 2017 09:03:57 PM



-- Edited by welmet on Wednesday 17th of May 2017 10:50:18 PM

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Mrs Gimlett wrote:

I suppose the crux of the matter was Hugh arriving out of the blue that beautiful June day.  Demelza was caught off guard, but should have had sense enough to say they couldn't go to Seal Hole Cove without Ross. 

It was the situation that led to her relenting on that small strip of sand.  At Nampara cove or Hendrawna it couldn't have happened - nearby the seals it could and did - a sudden moment of weakness, which I believe she did regret.  Not perhaps the act, so much as the betrayal of Ross' trust in her.  That is what haunts her during the night, when she gazes out of the window. It was hard earned, and checked, after the episode with Blamey and Verity, but trust was something they both held dear and she shattered it.


 Beautifully and succinctly put Mrs G. The matter of betrayal of trust has been overlooked by us all I think. Yet it is at the heart of the matter.



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I suppose the crux of the matter was Hugh arriving out of the blue that beautiful June day.  Demelza was caught off guard, but should have had sense enough to say they couldn't go to Seal Hole Cove without Ross. 

It was the situation that led to her relenting on that small strip of sand.  At Nampara cove or Hendrawna it couldn't have happened - nearby the seals it could and did - a sudden moment of weakness, which I believe she did regret.  Not perhaps the act, so much as the betrayal of Ross' trust in her.  That is what haunts her during the night, when she gazes out of the window. It was hard earned, and checked, after the episode with Blamey and Verity, but trust was something they both held dear and she shattered it.



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Hollyhock wrote:

welmet wrote:

I think it is Ross that should be apologizing to Demelza.  ....For me the tragedy is that Demelsa was put in an untenable situation by the advances from a man her husband thinks well of young man, a brave one, in many ways an  admirable one (TAT, p. 88)and a husband who seems little concerned that she is being openly and shamelessly courted. 

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welmet,

Wait-just so I understand. You are saying that (1) it is Ross' fault that Demelza had the hots for Hugh Armitage and committed adultery and (2) that he, Ross, should have apologized to Demelza for her having engaged in a passionate affair of the heart with the man who repaid her husband for rescuing him from a hellish prison by seducing his wife?  You're saying that not only was Ross responsible for Demelza's disloyalty and betrayal, but that he actually encouraged them? I know that readers tend to blame Ross for everything while rationalizing and excusing Demelza's many faults, but this is a bit extreme and I'm afraid I can't consider this interpretation. 

--------------

Yes, it is extreme and I certainly Demelza's adultery was inexcusable but Ross passed up so many signs of her "hots for Hugh" and did nothing besides sanctioned her seeing him with only a warning to be careful.  Some of his extreme jealously-- his angry tide --- that he shows later might, just might have made  a difference. Is he completely blameless?

 

 

 

 



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welmet wrote:

I think it is Ross that should be apologizing to Demelza.  ....For me the tragedy is that Demelsa was put in an untenable situation by the advances from a man her husband thinks well of young man, a brave one, in many ways an  admirable one (TAT, p. 88)and a husband who seems little concerned that she is being openly and shamelessly courted. 

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welmet,

Wait-just so I understand. You are saying that (1) it is Ross' fault that Demelza had the hots for Hugh Armitage and committed adultery and (2) that he, Ross, should have apologized to Demelza for her having engaged in a passionate affair of the heart with the man who repaid her husband for rescuing him from a hellish prison by seducing his wife?  You're saying that not only was Ross responsible for Demelza's disloyalty and betrayal, but that he actually encouraged them? I know that readers tend to blame Ross for everything while rationalizing and excusing Demelza's many faults, but this is a bit extreme and I'm afraid I can't consider this interpretation. 

 

 

 

 


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Hollyhock wrote:

I think the point with many members who are disappointed with Demelza is not that she did not feel remorse for her adultery, but that she did not apologize to Ross for being 'unfaithful in spirit,' for the anguish that her affair of the heart caused him.

_____________________________________

Hollyhock, I have a very different view of this. I agree that Ross was anguished, but it was an anguish he largely brought on himself. Moreover, the way he reacted for years after Hughs death brought pain not only to Demelza, but he inflicted on himself. He should have taken Dwight's advise. 

I think it is Ross that should be apologizing to Demelza.

 This may sound like I am making the victim, the guilty party, and In a way I am, but Ross was playing a dangerous game and he needs to be held accountable for his actions and lack of actions, just as she has to be held accountable. 

While Hugh advances were totally despicable, Rosss failure to protect his marriage and to support her when she was crying for help makes him complicit to what happened. The following is one example of many when Ross not only fails to act, but gives an indication that he even enjoys seeing Demelza courted by Hugh. When it doesnt turn out the way he though it would he is understandably upset, but why should he every have placed his wife in such a situation? It is as if he is testing her to see if she really is an ideal, perfect wife, and when she proves to be human he gets angry. Here is the example: (The strange thing is it actually occurs after the beach incident, and suggests how detached and isolated the adultery was. Rather that run to her lover she is acting as if it never happened.)

When Ross and Demelza are discussing if she should join Dwight and Caroline to visit Hugh, Demelza says, How could I go without you? It would hardly be seemly. Thered be nothing unseemly if you went with Dwight and Caroline. I suspect it is you that Armitage really wants to see again. Demelza shook her head. I dont know. I dont know that I could go just with them. Well, I see no reason, but its for you to decide. No, Ross really its for you to decide, not me.  

 Ross, say, If I tell you to go it may be incautious on my part. If I tell you not to go it will be unfeeling. It need not be. I can well make some excuse. They would understand. But why would it be incautious of you to tell me to go?  I do not know how far your feelings have become involved.   I dont know myself,  Ross, and that is the honest truth. I only know His feelings for me. And that matters? It matters. (Ross says) , I think you should go. Why ever not? If I cannot trust you now, when could I ever?

As you know, I think well of Hugh, and can hardly dislike him for admiring you as long as that is all. No man wants his wife to be a woman that other men dont desire. No, Ross. But every man wants his wife to be a woman that other men dont get. Remember that, will you? Yes, Ross. (TFS, pp. 461-462)

Latter when he sees Demelza in Hughs sick room he realizes that things have not turned out as he had hoped. Just a few days earlier he had asked how she felt about Hugh and she gave him an answer that was not reassuring, it should have been a warning, and yet he tells her to go see him rather than supporting her when she says she is very willing not to go. And now, he was affronted by events, depressed, angry the way they were turning out. It disturbed and upset him to see Demelza so distressed; it upset him that she was so emotionally involved and her face today in that sick room had betrayed more than it had ever done before. TFS, p. 522) What was plain was that she was being unfaithful in spirit, her thoughts, her emotions, her heart, deeply engaged with another man.   (TFS, p. 549).

After Hughs death Ross thinks:

From the moment Hugh Armitage set eyes on her she had been ready to melt into his arms. And had made no secret of the fact, even to Ross. Ross, she had more or less said, this beautiful young man is after me and I like it. I cant help it. Im going to give myself to him. A pity about our home, our children, our happiness, our love, our trust. Such a pity. A shame. Too bad. Goodbye. (TFS, p. 574).

 If this was the way Ross saw things, ---from the beginning  --- why had he not taken steps to protect his marriages; Why did he not stop it when she first tells him she has feelings for Hugh:Why did he tell Demelza it was ok to see Hugh off the morning he was going to the navy; Why did he invite Hugh to come and see the seals; Why did he encouraged her to see Hugh just weeks before? I think that Ross enjoyed seeing his wife coveted by others. He encouraged it without regards to the situation it put her in  and how it might make her feel, which she says pulling at her heartstrings, the agony of divided loyalties. (TAT, p. 371). 

For me the tragedy is that Demelsa was put in an untenable situation by the advances from a man her husband thinks well of young man, a brave one, in many ways an  admirable one (TAT, p. 88)and a husband who seems little concerned that she is being openly and shamelessly courted. Ross likes the fact that other men covet his wife. If only either of them, Hugh or Ross, had acted differently, the whole story would have been different, and we would not have all this to write about. 

 

Oh, Hugh, dont you see how I am set? Im happily wed. Two beautiful children. Everything I want in the world. I want to be kind to you. I like you deeply. But you do see I cannot be more than kind    (TFS,p. 258). ------- Later Ross say, Just say what you want to do now tell me what you want, no more, no less.   Want? she said. I want nothing. Nothing? Nothing more than I have.  (And Ross answer is says, Had.   (TFS, p. 578). Since he wants to through her out punish her by taking it all way, which  of course he does not do.) In the final analysis Demelzas fault was that she was human, and not the ideal women that Ross thought she was.



-- Edited by welmet on Wednesday 17th of May 2017 02:37:59 AM

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welmet wrote:

 I have been troubled by the observation that Demelza never said she was sorry. I have struggled with this and in desperation when to the dictionary. What I found was so many different emotions tied to the word. All to often we say we are sorry for something we have done, not because we would not do it again, but because we have be caught. I think it is in this way Demelza cannot say she was sorry, she was not sorry what had happened. Yes, I was disappointed that Demelza never seem to show empathy for what Ross was going through, but to the extent that sorry mean that you regret making a choice, and I dont think Demelza regrets knowing Hugh or what he gave her. So what is it that Hugh gave her? I think it was a greatly heightened sense of self worth. All thought out the books, Demelza sees herself as a miner's daughter, and in a way a fraud as a lady. Just before Frances goes into the mine for the last time, he tells Demelza that she is a true lady, but she can't believe him because she still sees herself a miner's daughter. When men are after her she is sure it is about sex and that they think she would be easy because she is a miner's daughter. Even Ross knew her first as a miner's daughter, wanted her first for sex, and only later came to love her. But Hugh was different. He loved her for herself

After Hughs death, when she looks back she never says she loved him and never mourns for him, but she continues to be warmed by the way he saw her for herself, that "she could inspired such (poetic) passion  (from) an educated man, a lieutenant in the navy, who claimed he had known many women in his short life, and loved only one (her)." (TAT, p. 371, Book 3, chapter 1 section 2).  She say, "She was taken with him, warmed by his love, and returned some of it." So, to say she was sorry would somehow mean that she regretted knowing Hugh, rejected this gift from him, which she could not do.

There was, however, something I think she regret and that was the act of adultery. But she could not tell Ross she was sorry because she would have to admit it to him, which she is not going to do. She could hardly admit it to herself. She sees it as an isolated incident, that didn't change anything--her love for Ross or her feelings for Hugh--and "She did not see it as a happening that was likely to recur." So all she could say was, "For a time Hugh came into my life! I cant tell you why and into my heart, where before there had only been you. But it is over, that is all I can say." It's over and let's move on, "It shouldnt be allowed to wreck all that we still have." (TAT, Book 1, chapter 3, section 1) 

____________________________

In rereading TFS I came across this exchange between Demelza and Hugh on the morning he is going to return to the navy. It further talks to 
particular gift Hugh gives Demelza that warms her heart:

Hugh asks if he can have Demelzas permission to love her. You do not have my permission, Hugh. Im sorry, but Im happy to be your friend, really I am. But that is all it can be. And it is wrong, I have said it is wrong in you to suppose you have met some perfect creature and hold her up in your mind so that other women dont come to that level. I can do what I please.  But it isnt true! No one is like that! Dyou know Im a miners daughter, and never had no education? I did not. But of what importance is that? I would have thought to someone of your breeding twould mean a deal. I do not know if you misjudge my class, but you misjudge me. You have answers to everything I say. And they avail me nothing, without your kindness. How can I be kind? By letting me write to you.   (TFS, p. 257).

He goes on to say that through his letters , You will know that it is not a youthful affliction, that it is not something I will grow out of at the first port of call. You will know that I love you and will go on loving you to my lifes end Such a declaration is not something a woman may easily get out of her system, and Demelza particularly was not of the temperament to do so. She loved Ross no less and was no less contented with her house and family,  But the words remained, often warming her heart, (TFS, p. 258)

 

 


-- Edited by welmet on Sunday 14th of May 2017 07:22:19 PM


 



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welmet wrote:
Stella Poldark wrote:
welmet wrote:

 

Hollyhock==I am also very troubled by this passage, but I am not sure what it means. What do you think she is saying? 

"These - these are not the tears of a penitent - I may have reason to be penitent - but this is not that. I cry - it sounds silly - I weep for Hugh and - and for myself - and for - for the whole world."

 

Do you, or anyone have a explanation of why she never says she is sorry, never says she is penitent, especially since she sees the whole affair  as pulling at her heartstrings, the agony of divided loyalties, and one she did not want to repeat (TAT, p. 371). 


 welmet - my edition of TAT has different page numbers to yours. Please will you post the Book number, chapter number and number of the part of the chapter so I can read your quote in context.


 TAT book 3 chapter 1 section 2. I posted this before and it and a number of other post have disappeared. do you see them? Disregard they seem to be back. 



-- Edited by welmet on Monday 15th of May 2017 02:46:54 AM


 welmet and Hollyhock - the quote "These are not the tears of a penitent .... is on the penultimate page of the final chapter of The Four Swans not The Angry Tide.



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welmet,

As you've noticed by these interesting posts, Board members are divided in their opinions about whether or not Demelza ever actually felt any remorse for her adultery. But as she herself admits in that infamous late night reverie, the discomfort she felt after the event was due to her fear that Ross would find out and end their marriage. (I find this as selfish as any of Elizabeth's thoughts.) However, her physical disloyalty--although very disturbing--is not the critical issue, not even for Ross who knows in his heart that she has committed adultery. I think the point with many members who are disappointed with Demelza is not that she did not feel remorse for her adultery, but that she did not apologize to Ross for being 'unfaithful in spirit,' for the anguish that her affair of the heart caused him.

I think this re-posted comment from MrsMartin (lower in the thread) sums this up nicely.

I am sure that Demelza could apologise for the pain she has caused Ross by her "unfaithful in spirit", without apologising for the act itself, if her reasoning was that it better that Ross not know that she had committed adultery. Although, I believe that her actions in that respect were dishonest and cowardly. I feel that Demelza is never condemned by anyone for her involvement with Hugh and that it is Ross that ends up looking like an idiot for his reaction to Monk Adderley. It is Ross that is chastised by Caroline for his involvement with Monk and Demelza who feels that she has been wronged by it, but it is Demelza who is culpable for Ross' reaction to Monk antics. After Ross encounter with Elizabeth, although it might be an unsatisfactory apology, at least he says he is very sorry for all the pain he has caused Demelza and that she is his true love. I would have more respect for Demelza if she had been honest about what happen with Hugh and then tried to make amends for it. Better that, then to leave Ross believing the worst but never really knowing.  <http://poldark.activeboard.com/t62010632/demelza-hugh-armitage/?sort=newestFirst&page=2#comment-62094969>

In contrast to Demelza's continued self-preoccupation at the end of TFS, at the end of Warleggan Ross comes to terms with his disparate feelings and apologizes to D--not for going to Elizabeth--but for the anguish that he has caused her.

'And there's one other thing I want you to know,' he added. 'That is how deeply sorry I am that I ever hurt you in the first place - in May, I mean. You were so undeserving of any harm. All these months. I know how you will have felt. I want you to know that.

For me Ross' apology showed a level of sensitivity and spousal consideration that Demelza never exhibits. Her lack of consideration, sensitivity, and judgement is carried over into The Angry Tide when she seems flattered by Monk Adderley's creepy attentions and appears unconcerned about Ross' discomfort with her passive acceptance of Monk's aggressive overtures.

 



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Stella Poldark wrote:
welmet wrote:

 

Hollyhock==I am also very troubled by this passage, but I am not sure what it means. What do you think she is saying? 

"These - these are not the tears of a penitent - I may have reason to be penitent - but this is not that. I cry - it sounds silly - I weep for Hugh and - and for myself - and for - for the whole world."

 

Do you, or anyone have a explanation of why she never says she is sorry, never says she is penitent, especially since she sees the whole affair  as pulling at her heartstrings, the agony of divided loyalties, and one she did not want to repeat (TAT, p. 371). 


 welmet - my edition of TAT has different page numbers to yours. Please will you post the Book number, chapter number and number of the part of the chapter so I can read your quote in context.


 TAT book 3 chapter 1 section 2. I posted this before and it and a number of other post have disappeared. do you see them? Disregard they seem to be back. 



-- Edited by welmet on Monday 15th of May 2017 02:46:54 AM

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welmet wrote:

 I have been troubled by the observation that Demelza never said she was sorry. I have struggled with this and in desperation when to the dictionary. What I found was so many different emotions tied to the word. All to often we say we are sorry for something we have done, not because we would not do it again, but because we have be caught. I think it is in this way Demelza cannot say she was sorry, she was not sorry what had happened. Yes, I was disappointed that Demelza never seem to show empathy for what Ross was going through, but to the extent that sorry mean that you regret making a choice, and I dont think Demelza regrets knowing Hugh or what he gave her. So what is it that Hugh gave her? I think it was a greatly heightened sense of self worth. All thought out the books, Demelza sees herself as a miner's daughter, and in a way a fraud as a lady. Just before Frances goes into the mine for the last time, he tells Demelza that she is a true lady, but she can't believe him because she still sees herself a miner's daughter. When men are after her she is sure it is about sex and that they think she would be easy because she is a miner's daughter. Even Ross knew her first as a miner's daughter, wanted her first for sex, and only later came to love her. But Hugh was different. He loved her for herself

After Hughs death, when she looks back she never says she loved him and never mourns for him, but she continues to be warmed by the way he saw her for herself, that "she could inspired such (poetic) passion  (from) an educated man, a lieutenant in the navy, who claimed he had known many women in his short life, and loved only one (her)." (TAT, p. 371, Book 3, chapter 1 section 2).  She say, "She was taken with him, warmed by his love, and returned some of it." So, to say she was sorry would somehow mean that she regretted knowing Hugh, rejected this gift from him, which she could not do.

There was, however, something I think she regret and that was the act of adultery. But she could not tell Ross she was sorry because she would have to admit it to him, which she is not going to do. She could hardly admit it to herself. She sees it as an isolated incident, that didn't change anything--her love for Ross or her feelings for Hugh--and "She did not see it as a happening that was likely to recur." So all she could say was, "For a time Hugh came into my life! I cant tell you why and into my heart, where before there had only been you. But it is over, that is all I can say." It's over and let's move on, "It shouldnt be allowed to wreck all that we still have." (TAT, Book 1, chapter 3, section 1) 



-- Edited by welmet on Sunday 14th of May 2017 07:22:19 PM


 Thank you, Welnet, for making sense of my complicated feelings about this relationship for me. I just recognized something that never occurred to me before. Hugh Armitage gave Demelza a taste of what it must have been like to be Elizabeth, her husband's "perfect, untouchable love." And like Elizabeth, she ultimately had to pay the piper. 

Hugh served an important purpose for Ross as well as Demelza. His existence taught Ross that it is the spiritual infidelity -- like his "10-year devotion" to Elizabeth -- that does the greatest damage. The two years of dreading a May 9th was coming and Ross would leave her for Elizabeth wore Demelza down before the crisis actually came. When it did, she had none of her characteristic resilience left. After Hugh Armitage, he understood what he had done to Demelza. 



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 I have been troubled by the observation that Demelza never said she was sorry. I have struggled with this and in desperation when to the dictionary. What I found was so many different emotions tied to the word. All to often we say we are sorry for something we have done, not because we would not do it again, but because we have be caught. I think it is in this way Demelza cannot say she was sorry, she was not sorry what had happened. Yes, I was disappointed that Demelza never seem to show empathy for what Ross was going through, but to the extent that sorry mean that you regret making a choice, and I dont think Demelza regrets knowing Hugh or what he gave her. So what is it that Hugh gave her? I think it was a greatly heightened sense of self worth. All thought out the books, Demelza sees herself as a miner's daughter, and in a way a fraud as a lady. Just before Frances goes into the mine for the last time, he tells Demelza that she is a true lady, but she can't believe him because she still sees herself a miner's daughter. When men are after her she is sure it is about sex and that they think she would be easy because she is a miner's daughter. Even Ross knew her first as a miner's daughter, wanted her first for sex, and only later came to love her. But Hugh was different. He loved her for herself

After Hughs death, when she looks back she never says she loved him and never mourns for him, but she continues to be warmed by the way he saw her for herself, that "she could inspired such (poetic) passion  (from) an educated man, a lieutenant in the navy, who claimed he had known many women in his short life, and loved only one (her)." (TAT, p. 371, Book 3, chapter 1 section 2).  She say, "She was taken with him, warmed by his love, and returned some of it." So, to say she was sorry would somehow mean that she regretted knowing Hugh, rejected this gift from him, which she could not do.

There was, however, something I think she regret and that was the act of adultery. But she could not tell Ross she was sorry because she would have to admit it to him, which she is not going to do. She could hardly admit it to herself. She sees it as an isolated incident, that didn't change anything--her love for Ross or her feelings for Hugh--and "She did not see it as a happening that was likely to recur." So all she could say was, "For a time Hugh came into my life! I cant tell you why and into my heart, where before there had only been you. But it is over, that is all I can say." It's over and let's move on, "It shouldnt be allowed to wreck all that we still have." (TAT, Book 1, chapter 3, section 1) 



-- Edited by welmet on Sunday 14th of May 2017 07:22:19 PM

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Stella Poldark wrote:
welmet wrote:

 

Hollyhock==I am also very troubled by this passage, but I am not sure what it means. What do you think she is saying? 

"These - these are not the tears of a penitent - I may have reason to be penitent - but this is not that. I cry - it sounds silly - I weep for Hugh and - and for myself - and for - for the whole world."

 

Do you, or anyone have a explanation of why she never says she is sorry, never says she is penitent, especially since she sees the whole affair  as pulling at her heartstrings, the agony of divided loyalties, and one she did not want to repeat (TAT, p. 371). 


 welmet - my edition of TAT has different page numbers to yours. Please will you post the Book number, chapter number and number of the part of the chapter so I can read your quote in context.


 welmet - it is at the end of TFS and I can say that I do not know what it means but it seems Demelza is trying to make sense of her feelings.



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Stella Poldark wrote:
welmet wrote:

 

Hollyhock==I am also very troubled by this passage, but I am not sure what it means. What do you think she is saying? 

"These - these are not the tears of a penitent - I may have reason to be penitent - but this is not that. I cry - it sounds silly - I weep for Hugh and - and for myself - and for - for the whole world."

 

Do you, or anyone have a explanation of why she never says she is sorry, never says she is penitent, especially since she sees the whole affair  as pulling at her heartstrings, the agony of divided loyalties, and one she did not want to repeat (TAT, p. 371). 


 welmet - my edition of TAT has different page numbers to yours. Please will you post the Book number, chapter number and number of the part of the chapter so I can read your quote in context.


 TAT Book 3, Chapter 1, section 2. What she thinks when she visits Verity. As far as I can tell this is the only place she reflects back on her relationship with Hugh and gives an indication of how she felt as the letter were coming. Other references are that she felt deeply and that he entered her heart but not what she was going through as the deep feeling was developing. we know the end state but not how she felt.  I think this is important in understanding why she never says she is sorry. 



-- Edited by welmet on Sunday 14th of May 2017 04:23:43 PM

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welmet wrote:

 

Hollyhock==I am also very troubled by this passage, but I am not sure what it means. What do you think she is saying? 

"These - these are not the tears of a penitent - I may have reason to be penitent - but this is not that. I cry - it sounds silly - I weep for Hugh and - and for myself - and for - for the whole world."

 

Do you, or anyone have a explanation of why she never says she is sorry, never says she is penitent, especially since she sees the whole affair  as pulling at her heartstrings, the agony of divided loyalties, and one she did not want to repeat (TAT, p. 371). 


 welmet - my edition of TAT has different page numbers to yours. Please will you post the Book number, chapter number and number of the part of the chapter so I can read your quote in context.



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Hollyhock==I am also very troubled by this passage, but I am not sure what it means. What do you think she is saying? 

"These - these are not the tears of a penitent - I may have reason to be penitent - but this is not that. I cry - it sounds silly - I weep for Hugh and - and for myself - and for - for the whole world."

 

Do you, or anyone have a explanation of why she never says she is sorry, never says she is penitent, especially since she sees the whole affair  as pulling at her heartstrings, the agony of divided loyalties, and one she did not want to repeat (TAT, p. 371). 



-- Edited by welmet on Sunday 14th of May 2017 04:12:24 PM

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Stella--you do as well as the rest of us in trying to understand why WG's characters behave as they do! I sometimes wonder if even WG always knew. aww

But I don't think there will ever be a definitive--a one size fits all--answer for these questions. Echoing Susanne's sentiments, that's what makes us revisit these books again and again. The characters are like old friends aren't they. We may not always agree with them, or even like them, but we still love them. Every reader will take away something different depending on the views and experiences she or he brings to a reading. And these views may change over time.  

I absolutely love your assessment of Hugh's seduction argument. 

I loathe HA more than I loathe George Warleggan. He is a despicable character and like a snake the way he operates. In spite of Ross rescuing him from Quimper, he pursues Demelza until he gets his way. The argument he chooses to persuade Demelza to give in to his desires - "You think this is a terrible thing, asking you to be disloyal to Ross. And on the narrowest of terms it is. ....By giving love you do not diminish it. By loving me you would not destroy your love for Ross. Love only creates and adds to itself, it never destroys. You do not betray your love for Ross by offering some of your love to me....Tenderness is not like money: the more you give to one, the more you have for others." Such rubbish! His seduction of Demelza could have ended her marriage.

It is rubbish. (Can you imagine Caroline's reaction had he tried these lines on her?) I think of Hugh as the forerunner of the lounge lizard. I imagine him standing in front of a mirror practicing this speech and trying out expressions until he has perfected the look of the tragic poet. I wonder how many other married women he had tried this speech on. He himself disdained marriage, which explains his callous attitude. When he brings D the tree from America, and Ross finds them closeted together with Demelza flushed and weak-kneed, he tells Ross that he is on his way to the Teagues. Ross tells him that Mrs. Teague has unmarried daughters. They then have the following exchange. 

Armitage smiled. 'So I have been told: But I think she'll be disappointed if she entertains hopes of that sort. Having just escaped from one prison I'm the less likely just yet to want to enter, another.'

'A sour view of marriage,' Demelza said, smiling too. 'Ah, Mrs Poldark, I take a sour view of marriage only because I see so many of my friends bound in unions they find tedious and restricting. I don't take a sour view of love. For the overwhelming love of an Heloise, a Chloe, an Isolde, I would if need be, jettison everything, even life. For life is a trumpery thing at best, isn't it? A few movements, a few words, between dark and dark. But in true love you keep company with the Gods.' Demelza had coloured again.

Ross said: 'I don't think Mrs Teague will be thinking along those lines.' 'Well,' Hugh Armitage said, 'I shall hope at least for a passable dinner.'

(I love Ross' reply. It makes Hugh's paean sound so immature and silly.)  

On the Seal Cove day, illustrating that he is a hypocrite and a scoundrel, Hugh slithers off like a snake as soon as he can after he and Demelza have their beach tumble. On the boat trip back he tells her:

'You have not asked me to dinner but I'll not stay. If Ross should return I should feel embarrassed, and in truth all I want now for a long time is to be alone.' 343

If he really believed in the truth of his argument, why feel embarrassed? (Demelza certainly displayed no embarrassment.) I think the real reason Hugh wanted to hot-foot it out of there was that he thought Ross had returned to Nampara. He knew that if Ross saw the two of them strolling up from the beach, he would know what had just happened. He'd kill Hugh and then throw both of them off his property. smile So Hugh was at pains to be off as fast as he could.

 

 

 



-- Edited by Hollyhock on Sunday 14th of May 2017 12:30:10 AM

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Stella, you are correct in extending the quotation on page 429 to read, "attraction, sheer physical attraction, which she had felt from the moment they had first met last year; sadness for the news he brought of himself ; opportunity, which had settled on them like a strange bird, and giving her the feeling that she was no one except a nameless woman to be taken by a nameless man," but you should have gone on because she says, "Where these reasons, except the first, any better than more excuses?"

 

 

It seems to be that the case for lust is reinforced by her feelings on the beach:

 

"She began to trace figures in the sand. Her heart was beating as if there was a drum inside her. Her mouth was so dry she could not swallow. The nakedness of her body inside her frock seemed to have suddenly become more apparent to her, seemed to flower. She gave a slight groan which she tried to suppress altogether but could not quiet.

 

We are further told  "He moved towards her, and knew the moment he touched her that something had won his battle for him."

 

So what do think "won his battle for him?" My answer, "sheer physical attraction, which she had felt from the moment they had first met last year."

 

Others contend that lust is short lived, and certainly is not love. I certainly do not think it was love, and may have been lust that in a way was satisfied because after this, until she sees him on his deathbed, she does little to follow up or encourage him.

 

It surprised me how easily the passion passes. She says, "Perhaps her giving herself to him would in the end be a good thing. (If had not cured him) then had it cured her? The odd and slightly disconcerting thing was that she was not quite sure that she had anything to be cured of. She felt no less in love with Ross than before perhaps, perversely, a little more so. She felt no different or very little different towards Hugh Armitage. She was taken with him, warmed by his love, and returned some of it. The experience, the physical experience, had not in essence varied from what she had known before. She did not see it as a happening that was likely to recur." TFS, pp. 439-431)

I see her stepping back.  She could have manufactured opportunities to be with Hugh, and she did not. In fact, when presented with the opportunity to visit Hugh with Dwight and Caroline, she openly discusses it with Ross, who encourages her to go, and during the visit she does nothing to encourage Hugh. In fact, over dinner when he makes a remark that he has attainted a lot, and he will make the best of whatever is in store, she cuts him off and does not lead him on. (TFS, p. 467) 

Even before that, on the way back from the Cave when he asks when he can see her again, she say not for a long time, (TFS, p. 432). She even thinks that this was really dumb, for in a moment of passion she may have put her marriage in jeopardy. Her great fear is that that Ross might find out, or suspect. She thinks of his loving care, his trust, "And she had betrayed all that in a sudden unexpected quirk of pity, and love and passion for a man she scarcely knew ho happened to call and ask. It was not quite creditable." (TFS, p. 427) She then tells us she is not happy and the true discontent is "if Ross knew of it, even got to suspect it, then the anonymity of the experience would be shattered, the isolation broken into, and her life with him might be laid to waste." (TFS, p. 431)

 

Stella, you say you conclude that it was not lust or love that drew her to Hugh Armitage; may I ask, if not lust or love what was it?

 

 



-- Edited by welmet on Saturday 13th of May 2017 07:26:22 PM



-- Edited by welmet on Saturday 13th of May 2017 07:27:58 PM



-- Edited by welmet on Saturday 13th of May 2017 07:30:59 PM



-- Edited by welmet on Saturday 13th of May 2017 07:37:13 PM

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Fijane wrote

The link with the Monk situation is spelled out by Caroline, after the fact:

"..But it was really because of her that you killed him, wasn't it?"

"Partly, yes.  But I don't see..."

"Ross, when you fought Monk Adderley, it was not really him you were killing, was it."

"Wasn't it?"

"No...it was Hugh Armitage."

He took a gulp of wine this time. "Damn you, Caroline, it was a plain straightforward duel..."

"It was nothing of the sort and you know it! You killed him because you couldn't kill Hugh Armitage, who died anyway. But Hugh was a gentle, virile, sensitive man - the only sort Demelza would ever have, could ever have felt deeply drawn to. You must have know from the beginning that she wouldn't have spared so much as a thought for a wild worthless rake like Monk Adderley."

There is more to this exchange, in which Ross faces his own motives, and Caroline convinces him of how hurt Demelza is by the duel, and how the killing of Monk should put a full stop on all the angst about Hugh.

You are right, Stella, Ross would have known that the way Demelza acted with Monk was no different to her past high spirit dalliances. But that is the exact point. Because of Hugh, Ross could no longer tolerate Demelza's natural reaction to a man flirting with her. Because of Hugh, Ross could not see the innocence on Demelza's part. Because of Hugh, he couldn't shrug off the nuisance who was circling her. And because of Hugh, he could no longer be absolutely certain that Demelza would not be flattered and have her head turned.

Ross had been stewing about Hugh and Demelza for two years. He didn't know for certain whether Hugh had taken Demelza physically, only suspected, but could never ask. He had watched her mourn for Hugh, and Hugh's death left Ross in an unresolved state. Not at all surprising that he reacted badly to Monk.

Fijane - Thank you for reminding me of all this. For some time now I have been focusing on books 1 to 6 and, with short term memory problems had forgotten this very important detail in TAT.



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Stella Poldark wrote:
SusanneMcCarthy wrote:

What's really good is that you can consider what Demelza did on two levels. Thinking as if she was a real person, you can be very critical, even dislike her - or you can understand and empathise in the context of her history with Ross. But you can also think of her in terms of a fictional character created by WG, with so many human weaknesses and contradictions. Before the stuff with Hugh she was a bit of a long-suffering paragon, but this brought her down to earth with a bump. It also sets up for the later incidents with Monk Adderly, and why Ross was so angry and accused her of encouraging him - WG didn't make this explicit, we were left to figure it out for ourselves.

No wonder he kept coming back to these characters, as we do. He built up a wonderful complexity within them and within their relationships which is rare in novels. 


 Susanne - I cannot see it as you suggest because I think that Demelza, knowing how painful it is to be on the receiving end of infidelity, risks hurting Ross in the same way she was and also losing her marriage. So I'm unable to be sympathetic to her in this context. I'm puzzled why people are linking this with Monk Adderly which I see as a completely different situation. I am obviously missing something. I know both situations impact on Ross but in different ways, surely? I don't understand why Ross would accuse Demelza of encouraging Monk Adderly. Ross knows Demelza well enough to know that she is friendly to people until she has reason to be otherwise. I always feel that WG's characters are real even though of course they are fictional.


 The link with the Monk situation is spelled out by Caroline, after the fact:

"..But it was really because of her that you killed him, wasn't it?"

"Partly, yes.  But I don't see..."

"Ross, when you fought Monk Adderley, it was not really him you were killing, was it."

"Wasn't it?"

"No...it was Hugh Armitage."

He took a gulp of wine this time. "Damn you, Caroline, it was a plain straightforward duel..."

"It was nothing of the sort and you know it! You killed him because you couldn't kill Hugh Armitage, who died anyway. But Hugh was a gentle, virile, sensitive man - the only sort Demelza would ever have, could ever have felt deeply drawn to. You must have know from the beginning that she wouldn't have spared so much as a thought for a wild worthless rake like Monk Adderley."

There is more to this exchange, in which Ross faces his own motives, and Caroline convinces him of how hurt Demelza is by the duel, and how the killing of Monk should put a full stop on all the angst about Hugh.

You are right, Stella, Ross would have known that the way Demelza acted with Monk was no different to her past high spirit dalliances. But that is the exact point. Because of Hugh, Ross could no longer tolerate Demelza's natural reaction to a man flirting with her. Because of Hugh, Ross could not see the innocence on Demelza's part. Because of Hugh, he couldn't shrug off the nuisance who was circling her. And because of Hugh, he could no longer be absolutely certain that Demelza would not be flattered and have her head turned.

Ross had been stewing about Hugh and Demelza for two years. He didn't know for certain whether Hugh had taken Demelza physically, only suspected, but could never ask. He had watched her mourn for Hugh, and Hugh's death left Ross in an unresolved state. Not at all surprising that he reacted badly to Monk.



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SusanneMcCarthy wrote:

What's really good is that you can consider what Demelza did on two levels. Thinking as if she was a real person, you can be very critical, even dislike her - or you can understand and empathise in the context of her history with Ross. But you can also think of her in terms of a fictional character created by WG, with so many human weaknesses and contradictions. Before the stuff with Hugh she was a bit of a long-suffering paragon, but this brought her down to earth with a bump. It also sets up for the later incidents with Monk Adderly, and why Ross was so angry and accused her of encouraging him - WG didn't make this explicit, we were left to figure it out for ourselves.

No wonder he kept coming back to these characters, as we do. He built up a wonderful complexity within them and within their relationships which is rare in novels. 


 Susanne - I cannot see it as you suggest because I think that Demelza, knowing how painful it is to be on the receiving end of infidelity, risks hurting Ross in the same way she was and also losing her marriage. So I'm unable to be sympathetic to her in this context. I'm puzzled why people are linking this with Monk Adderly which I see as a completely different situation. I am obviously missing something. I know both situations impact on Ross but in different ways, surely? I don't understand why Ross would accuse Demelza of encouraging Monk Adderly. Ross knows Demelza well enough to know that she is friendly to people until she has reason to be otherwise. I always feel that WG's characters are real even though of course they are fictional.



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Hollyhock wrote:

Stella,

I think The Four Swans is as frustrating as the ending of Bella in that so much is left up in the air. The clues that WG gives about the Demelza/Armitage relationship are dispersed throughout TFS, TAT, and even the later novels. Trying to figure it out is pretty much like trying to complete a puzzle without knowing what the final result will be.  

You are right about this being a puzzle spread throughout TAT and beyond. I know I have a long way to go yet in getting the relevant clues into my head so that I have all the clues that WG gave us to try to make some sense of it.

Hugh Armitage himself is pretty much a one-dimensional character whose inner thoughts and reflections we never hear. And although others occasionally comment on him, we mainly see him through Delmeza's smitten eyes. And since she's so 'taken' with him, I'm not sure we can always trust what she says because her affection has compromised her judgement. HA's private, brief exchanges with Demelza and his poetry are the only intimations given us as to what he might be feeling. Based on his reprehensible actions, I doubt the depth, maturity, and certainly the sincerity of these furtive, distasteful exchanges. So we can speculate but never know for certain how Hugh truly feels about D.  However, his pursuit and romance of her are certainly not the actions of a decent man. I think WG actually gives us a clue in naming both of Demelza's most ardent pursuers Hugh--two sides of the same coin? But whereas Sir Hugh was lewd, crude, and rude, Hugh A. was subtle and sophisticated enough to hide his scheming and stalking behind poetry and smoldering looks.

I loathe HA more than I loathe George Warleggan. He is a despicable character and like a snake the way he operates. In spite of Ross rescuing him from Quimper, he pursues Demelza until he gets his way. The argument he chooses to persuade Demelza to give in to his desires - "You think this is a terrible thing, asking you to be disloyal to Ross. And on the narrowest of terms it is. ....By giving love you do not diminish it. By loving me you would not destroy your love for Ross. Love only creates and adds to itself, it never destroys. You do not betray your love for Ross by offering some of your love to me....Tenderness is not like money: the more you give to one, the more you have for others." Such rubbish! His seduction of Demelza could have ended her marriage. Demelza knew this but, as you say, her judgement was compromised by his constant persuasion. As you suggest, Hugh could not have loved Demelza or he would not have risked her happiness. So I agree with all you say above.

No, I do not think that Ross should have stepped in or be blamed for not stepping in. At first, I think he was trying to show Demelza that he had absolute faith and trust in her. Had he interfered it would have given Demezla the impression that he thought her untrustworthy (which of course she proved to be) and incapable of managing her paramours. He confirms this early on in Hugh's transparent and juvenile campaign to seduce D.  After Hugh furthers his suit by bringing her, instead of flowers, the tree from America, she is visibly shaken by his romantic looks and remarks. Ross notices that she has been emotionally stirred and by way of explanation, Demelza says of Hugh:

"He lives in dreams...Yet he isn't a dream. He's very real."

Ross replies: "I rely on your wonderful common sense always to remember that."  (TFS 106)

Later on, though not in the same context, Ross reaffirms his confidence and pride in her. The Dunstanville's are coming to Nampara for a visit and Demleza is nervous about hosting them. Ross tells her:

"I rely on you." 

D: "Perhaps you should not always."

R: "Whether I should or should not, I always will."  (TFS 255)  

Also, had Ross tried to quietly warn Hugh off, I'm sure the unprincipled cad would have sent Demelza a poem whining about Ross' actions in keeping them apart. As we know, when a relationship is forbidden, it becomes all the more tempting.  But ultimately, I believe Demelza would have held Ross' interference against him and would have reacted with anger and resentment, just as she did over his objections about her behavior with Monk Adderly (TAT). I imagine her acussing him of not trusting her, a miner's brat, to know how to behave with an educated, well-bred man. Ross was between the proverbial rock and hard place.

But most importantly, the main and (I believe overlooked) reason that Ross did not interfere was that he so desperately needed D to choose him over HA, just as he had chosen her over Elizabeth. Elizabeth had betrayed him with Francis and for once in his life he needed a woman to make him her unconditional choice. In TAT, he reflects, "I have loved only two women in my life and they have both turned to other men." (p.9) The fact that Demelza never articulated a choice before HA died is sad. I believe it was a fact that haunted Ross for years. 

Demelza should have handled the situation responsibly and honestly herself. She should have stopped passively encouraging Hugh. Only she is to blame for what happened, certainly not Ross, and not even despicable Hugh. Ross' only mistake was in misjudging the strength of Demelza's love for him in the face of Hugh's (unfathomable for me) "terrible attraction." 

I had not thought sufficiently about Ross's reasons for not stepping in. You are right, I think, in your analysis that Ross desperately needed to know that Demelza would choose him over HA because of his experience with Elizabeth So he confined himself to gentle remarks to her along the way, hoping she would think of him. I'm not sure about the link you make with Monk Adderly; I think that was quite different. We know it was an attempt by George to make trouble for Ross and Demelza. I do not agree with you that Demelza was the only one to blame for what happened with HA though I think that, knowing Ross as well as she does, she has let him down badly. We have, by this stage in the story of Ross and Demelza's relationship, been shown the worst of Ross and Demelza and these characters are so real and, of course, flawed, as we are all flawed. 

WG certainly makes us work hard to understand all the layers in the relationship between Ross and Demelza. I shall be looking out for other references to this time when I re-read yet again books 7 to 12. Thank you Hollyhock for enlightening me. I apologise for the bold type; I cannot see how to use blue in my typing.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

welmet,

I agree that sexual attraction was a big part of D's fascination with HA. She had set eyes on him only three times before she gave herself to him with "warmth and sensuous ease." As she herself said, she barely knew the man. Hugh really did not have to work that hard; among his several admitted conquests, this must have been a pretty easy one. She had been dreaming and fantasizing about running off and having a day of fun and sex with Hugh since she met him. So at the first opportunity, she did. 



-- Edited by Hollyhock on Thursday 11th of May 2017 11:36:08 PM



-- Edited by Hollyhock on Friday 12th of May 2017 02:09:31 AM


 I should like to respond to both these posts. Firstly welmet I think you are right that he had an easy time getting what he wanted from Demelza as he played on her sympathy and his physical attraction.

 

Hollyhock I have replied above in the text.



-- Edited by Stella Poldark on Friday 12th of May 2017 08:56:39 PM

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What's really good is that you can consider what Demelza did on two levels. Thinking as if she was a real person, you can be very critical, even dislike her - or you can understand and empathise in the context of her history with Ross. But you can also think of her in terms of a fictional character created by WG, with so many human weaknesses and contradictions. Before the stuff with Hugh she was a bit of a long-suffering paragon, but this brought her down to earth with a bump. It also sets up for the later incidents with Monk Adderly, and why Ross was so angry and accused her of encouraging him - WG didn't make this explicit, we were left to figure it out for ourselves.

No wonder he kept coming back to these characters, as we do. He built up a wonderful complexity within them and within their relationships which is rare in novels. 



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Stella,

I think The Four Swans is as frustrating as the ending of Bella in that so much is left up in the air. The clues that WG gives about the Demelza/Armitage relationship are dispersed throughout TFS, TAT, and even the later novels. Trying to figure it out is pretty much like trying to complete a puzzle without knowing what the final result will be.  

Hugh Armitage himself is pretty much a one-dimensional character whose inner thoughts and reflections we never hear. And although others occasionally comment on him, we mainly see him through Delmeza's smitten eyes. And since she's so 'taken' with him, I'm not sure we can always trust what she says because her affection has compromised her judgement. HA's private, brief exchanges with Demelza and his poetry are the only intimations given us as to what he might be feeling. Based on his reprehensible actions, I doubt the depth, maturity, and certainly the sincerity of these furtive, distasteful exchanges. So we can speculate but never know for certain how Hugh truly feels about D.  However, his pursuit and romance of her are certainly not the actions of a decent man. I think WG actually gives us a clue in naming both of Demelza's most ardent pursuers Hugh--two sides of the same coin? But whereas Sir Hugh was lewd, crude, and rude, Hugh A. was subtle and sophisticated enough to hide his scheming and stalking behind poetry and smoldering looks.

No, I do not think that Ross should have stepped in or be blamed for not stepping in. At first, I think he was trying to show Demelza that he had absolute faith and trust in her. Had he interfered it would have given Demezla the impression that he thought her untrustworthy (which of course she proved to be) and incapable of managing her paramours. He confirms this early on in Hugh's transparent and juvenile campaign to seduce D.  After Hugh furthers his suit by bringing her, instead of flowers, the tree from America, she is visibly shaken by his romantic looks and remarks. Ross notices that she has been emotionally stirred and by way of explanation, Demelza says of Hugh:

"He lives in dreams...Yet he isn't a dream. He's very real."

Ross replies: "I rely on your wonderful common sense always to remember that."  (TFS 106)

Later on, though not in the same context, Ross reaffirms his confidence and pride in her. The Dunstanville's are coming to Nampara for a visit and Demleza is nervous about hosting them. Ross tells her:

"I rely on you." 

D: "Perhaps you should not always."

R: "Whether I should or should not, I always will."  (TFS 255)  

Also, had Ross tried to quietly warn Hugh off, I'm sure the unprincipled cad would have sent Demelza a poem whining about Ross' actions in keeping them apart. As we know, when a relationship is forbidden, it becomes all the more tempting.  But ultimately, I believe Demelza would have held Ross' interference against him and would have reacted with anger and resentment, just as she did over his objections about her behavior with Monk Adderly (TAT). I imagine her acussing him of not trusting her, a miner's brat, to know how to behave with an educated, well-bred man. Ross was between the proverbial rock and hard place.

But most importantly, the main and (I believe overlooked) reason that Ross did not interfere was that he so desperately needed D to choose him over HA, just as he had chosen her over Elizabeth. Elizabeth had betrayed him with Francis and for once in his life he needed a woman to make him her unconditional choice. In TAT, he reflects, "I have loved only two women in my life and they have both turned to other men." (p.9) The fact that Demelza never articulated a choice before HA died is sad. I believe it was a fact that haunted Ross for years. 

Demelza should have handled the situation responsibly and honestly herself. She should have stopped passively encouraging Hugh. Only she is to blame for what happened, certainly not Ross, and not even despicable Hugh. Ross' only mistake was in misjudging the strength of Demelza's love for him in the face of Hugh's (unfathomable for me) "terrible attraction." 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

welmet,

I agree that sexual attraction was a big part of D's fascination with HA. She had set eyes on him only three times before she gave herself to him with "warmth and sensuous ease." As she herself said, she barely knew the man. Hugh really did not have to work that hard; among his several admitted conquests, this must have been a pretty easy one. She had been dreaming and fantasizing about running off and having a day of fun and sex with Hugh since she met him. So at the first opportunity, she did. 



-- Edited by Hollyhock on Thursday 11th of May 2017 11:36:08 PM



-- Edited by Hollyhock on Friday 12th of May 2017 02:09:31 AM

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Bella wrote:

Having said all that I was still very disappointed with Demelza for giving herself to Hugh, and from then on rightly or wrongly I didn't like her as much as a character, funny that I never felt that way about Ross, for some reason I forgave him, his night with Elizabeth but I never quite felt the same way about Demelza after the Hugh Episode.  I don't know why and I have read both the Four Swans and the Angry tide at least twice more and still feel the same way.

Bella,

This book changed my view of Demelza as well. It was her attitude that most disappointed me. She behaved so insensitively towards Ross, almost flaunting her romance in his face. In her exchanges with Ross about Hugh, her attitude seemed to be, "Ok, I'm involved with Hugh, so what. This doesn't affect you so get over it!" Perhaps she was entitled to her feelings but a little sensitivity would have spared Ross so much hurt and pain.  And in the end, after Hugh dies, her attitude towards Ross gets even worse. When she stumbles home that night from Caroline's, distraught and grieving over Hugh, Ross' hurt and anger are totally beyond her comprehension. She just does not get it. She tells him:

 "These - these are not the tears of a penitent - I may have reason to be penitent - but this is not that. I cry - it sounds silly - I weep for Hugh and - and for myself - and for - for the whole world."

Ross then has to plead, "Set some tears aside for me...for I believe I need them."

I'm in the camp that believes that the worse thing in this whole affair is the fact that Demelza never appears to regret of show any remorse for the anguish she has caused the man who, she says, "almost created her, out of the nothing that she had once been."

On the other hand, this book caused my admiration for Ross to soar even more. He grew and matured so much. In the end, he was able to put aside his own suffering to comfort Demelza and to try and understand her feelings for Hugh. What a guy!

 



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I think the actual deed on the beach was something she did almost outside of herself, fuelled by the time she spent with Hugh in the boat watching the seals and his persuasion and romanticism, it almost feels like its a dream something happening completely outside of her normal life with Ross and the children.  Perhaps this is why she never really feels regret or apologises to Ross because she feels it didn't diminish her love for Ross as she says in some ways she was "a little more in love with him.

Having said all that I was still very disappointed with Demelza for giving herself to Hugh, and from then on rightly or wrongly I didn't like her as much as a character, funny that I never felt that way about Ross, for some reason I forgave him, his night with Elizabeth but I never quite felt the same way about Demelza after the Hugh Episode.  I don't know why and I have read both the Four Swans and the Angry tide at least twice more and still feel the same way.

Claire

 



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Mrs Gimlett wrote:

Your view of this 'affair' is interesting, Welmet.  I am not sure I agree with your assessment because although Demelza was undoubtedly attracted to Hugh from the word go, I wouldn't call it lust.  She knew she felt drawn to him, but in my opinion, her attraction was tempered by a sadness that he had been incarcerated in that terrible Quimper prison and ruined his eyesight.

The main trouble was Hugh himself.  He soon realised Demelza was torn over her affection and instead of doing the decent thing, he continued to dog her and contrived to get her to Tregothnan on occasion, when he behaved in a less than gentlemanly fashion.  In fact, I would go so far as to say he set his heart on having her from the moment he clapped eyes on her. I wonder if he ever put himself in Ross' position?  It seems unlikely.

Demelza had never before had anything like it to contend with.  The others who fancied her were much lighter in manner and rather more jovial about it all; that she could cope with.  Where Hugh was concerned she was out of her depth and was desperate not to offend and quite desperate she wouldn't succumb.  Ross could have put a stop to it all very quickly, but he failed to realise the seriousness of the situation.  Also, he liked Hugh (why?) and was reluctant to become embroiled in unpleasantness. It had never stopped him before, but perhaps he never really thought there was any danger. He should have been more involved I feel.

Let's see what others think.

 


 Mrs G - In spite of reading The Four Swans twice I have still been puzzled about Demelza's reasons for giving into Hugh Armitage from the time she met him until he died. I have now read again parts of Book 3 where she appears to conclude the reason she gave herself to Hugh was "attraction, sheer physical attraction, which she had felt from the moment they had first met last year; sadness for the news he brought of himself ; opportunity, which had settled on them like a strange bird, and giving her the feeling that she was no one except a nameless woman to be taken by a nameless man." (Page 429)

Then the poem arrives  and Demelza thinks ...(page 430)

"It didn't seem to have altered his attitude as yet or to have cured him of anything at all....Then  had it cured her?.....The odd and slightly disconcerting thing was that she was not quite sure she had anything to be cured of. She felt no less in love with Ross than before perhaps perversely, a little more so. She felt no different  -- towards Hugh Armitage." (Page 430) Demelza also reflected on what could happen if Ross found out and concluded that her marriage would be over.

So from this I conclude that it was not lust or love that drew her to Hugh Armitage. I have reached this conclusion mainly from reading pages 427 to 431 of TFS.

I agree with you that this could have been ended quite quickly had Ross stepped in and dealt with it. His reasons for not doing so are beyond my understanding. If you or anyone else has some thoughts on this I should love to hear them.



-- Edited by Stella Poldark on Wednesday 10th of May 2017 09:33:09 PM



-- Edited by Stella Poldark on Wednesday 10th of May 2017 09:52:19 PM

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Your view of this 'affair' is interesting, Welmet.  I am not sure I agree with your assessment because although Demelza was undoubtedly attracted to Hugh from the word go, I wouldn't call it lust.  She knew she felt drawn to him, but in my opinion, her attraction was tempered by a sadness that he had been incarcerated in that terrible Quimper prison and ruined his eyesight.

The main trouble was Hugh himself.  He soon realised Demelza was torn over her affection and instead of doing the decent thing, he continued to dog her and contrived to get her to Tregothnan on occasion, when he behaved in a less than gentlemanly fashion.  In fact, I would go so far as to say he set his heart on having her from the moment he clapped eyes on her. I wonder if he ever put himself in Ross' position?  It seems unlikely.

Demelza had never before had anything like it to contend with.  The others who fancied her were much lighter in manner and rather more jovial about it all; that she could cope with.  Where Hugh was concerned she was out of her depth and was desperate not to offend and quite desperate she wouldn't succumb.  Ross could have put a stop to it all very quickly, but he failed to realise the seriousness of the situation.  Also, he liked Hugh (why?) and was reluctant to become embroiled in unpleasantness. It had never stopped him before, but perhaps he never really thought there was any danger. He should have been more involved I feel.

Let's see what others think.

 



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As a newbie to the Society and this thread I want to thank all who have gone before for their insights and stimulating discussion. I have learned a lot. In my introduction to the forum I said that I thought it was remarkable how WG weaves the story in a seamless continuum, especially since he took over half a century to write the story. For me the scattered reflections, and insights are pieces of a great puzzle that one cannot really understand until all the pieces fall into place. The story I want to explore is that of Demelza, Hugh and Ross. A lot has been written about Demelza infidelity fully exposed in TFS, but I dont think you can really understand it until you see the painful reconciliation in the TAT, but before that I want to try to place the courting of Demelza in, what I believe is the correct historical context. It goes to the issue of how despicable was Hugh Armitage's behavior going after a married women, Demelizas accepting of his attentions, and Ross passivity.  

 

 The Courting of Demelza

 

 Even before Hugh comes on the scene I was put off by the practice of men openly courting married women. It is so foreign to what we would expect and allow today, but it seemed to be commonplace in the late 18th century. For example, in Demelza (p. 221) at the ball we see:

 

Competition for Demelza was still strong. . It was her own falt that at that stage the snarling grew worse, she had been careless what she said, and no less than three men thought she had promised the dance. First they argued with her, then they argues with each other, and then they appealed to her gain. Demelza said they should toss a coin for her. .. . Sir Hugh grew angry and said he had no intention of gaming on a ballroom floor for any women. All the same, he was not willing to give up the women. Oh, Demelza, said Sir Hugh A later dance, Certainly.

Here we see Demelza, new to the social scene, learning to play the game, the same game she would eventually play with a different Hugh, Hugh Armitage. And, how did Ross feel about this all? I cant find the passage but what I remember, he was both put off that she was getting some much attention and proud that he had a wife that other coveted, as when Pascoe, says, Your wife. I understand, was quite the success of the evening (D, p. 236).  But it was not just at the ball, for that was the start of flirtatious courting, i.e., She had heard all about Mistress Poldark having been a great success at the celebration ball, and quite a number of people had been riding over to see her(D, p. 281). 

 

I was very curious about such how such behavior could be tolerated, goggled marriage in the 18th century among the upper class of England, and found a number of items that touched on the subject.

 

In the early nineteenth century, ... what counted for appropriate sexual behavior (in) the high society that Byron (1788-1824) enjoyed during his heyday in England was most striking for adhering to older, looser codes. In such society, adultery was commonplace and unremarkable so long as it was conducted with the proper degree of discretion. May of the great Wig ladies of London society had chequered pasts and were known to have had numerous out-of-wedlock affairs. Byrons adulterous flings with such women become biographical blur because they succeeded each other so quickly. As for working-class women, men of Byrons class traditionally assuming that such women were sexually available. (Drummond Bone , ed, The Cambridge Companion to Byron,Cambridge University Press, 2004, p. 65)

 

Another reference to the social norms of the time with reference to the country suggests that things might not have gone so far in Cornwall, but later explains what happens when Ross and Demelza goes to London, were she says she is out of her depth:

 

The ideal of marital fidelity also contrasted with reality, especially in upper circles of society. The Restoration of the Stuarts brought a change of moral climate and a release in manners. Practising adultery became a kind of fashion in high society, as is so well-documented by a number of Restoration comedies, such as The Country Wife by William Wycherley. We should realize, however, that the libertine lifestyle was mostly a matter of the London elite. In the country, the values of the previous generation remained largely unchanged. It is worth noting that one of the popular topics of Restoration plays was the difference between the hedonistic London society and the chaste country.( Alice Brabcová, Marriage in Seventeenth-Century England: The Womens Story)

 

With this background I suggest that Hugh's flirtatious courting was not completely out of bounds, one blog someone referred to him a Bryon light and his statements of love and his poems were not beyond what was acceptable; nor was Demelzas response; nor the Ross failed to break it up. For those who say Hugh did not act as a gentleman, all I can say is that for the time is was acting exactly like a gentleman of his class was expect to act. All was possible as long as it was with proper degree of discretion, and everything that transpired between Hugh and Demelza was done with the proper degree of discretion, up to and including his thank you note to Demelza written in a way that Ross could have read because it was "formal enough, a polite letter thanking her for her hospitality on Tuesday and expressing a hope that she and Ross would done again at Tregothnan before he returned home" (TFS, pp. 429-430).

 

So with this as background let's read of the initial encounter between Demelza and Hugh. She is ready to play the game, the flirtatious game she has played before, but this time from the very beginning something was different.

 

On introduction Lieutenant Armitage had not meant anything to Demelza, until she saw him greet Ross,  . (At dinner) Demelza was opposite Lieutenant Armitage. (She sat next to General Macarmick who was) polite and charming to everyone, but in between courses when his hands were not engaged he repeatedly felt Demelzas leg above the knee.  (TFS,p. 78)

She sometimes wondered what there was about herself that made men so forthcoming. In those early days when when had gone to various receptions and balls she had always had them two or three deep asking for the next danceand often more besides. If she had know herself to be supremely beautiful or strikingas beautiful, for stance, as Elizabeth Warleggan, or as striking as Caroline Enysit might have been more acceptable. Instead of that she was just friendly, and they took it the wrong way. Or else they sensed something particularly female about her hat set them off. Or else because of her lack of breeding they thought she would be easy game. Or else it happened to everybody. She must ask Ross how often he squeezed womens legs under the dinning table. (TFS, p. 79)

 (It appears that Armitage singularly focused on Demelza because when he was asked to talk) he took is eyes of Demelza and said . (TFS, p. 80)

 (And the game starts) From the beginning Demelza found herself partnered with Lieutenant Armitage. It was not deliberate on her part, but she knew it was on his.  (TFS, p. 83)

Hugh Armitage said: Shall we walk to the lake first? . Demelza hesitated, and then went with him. Their interchange so far had been pleasant, formal and light. A pleasant post-prandial stroll in the country garden in the company of a pleasant polite young man. Compared to the predatory conquerors she had kept at bay in the past     this was completely without risk, danger or any other hazard. But it didnt feel like itwhich was the trouble. This young mans hawk profile, deep sensitive dark eyes and gentle urgent voice moved her strangely. And some danger perhaps existed not so much in the strength of the attack as in the sudden weakness of the defense. (TFS, p. 85)

 

What is going on here; why does this game seem different; Demelza tells us, in her own words, near the end of TFS: "Sheer physical attraction, which she felt from the moment they had first met" (TFS, p. 429) In my words, lust, which the dictionary defines as an intense sexual desire or appetite; a passionate or overmastering desire or craving. Her statement for me colored the way I re-read TFS, which for me then was all about how Demelza is torn between her lust for Hugh, and her love for Ross. It is a battle that gives here great pain and which she describes as "pulling at her heartstrings".  One should find great joy in being loved and giving love, but not Demelza. Her next year will be the "agony of divided loyalties," (TAT, p. 371) an agony she will not be relieved of until Hugh is dead, and she can say, "For a time Hugh came into my life! I can't tell you why and into my heart, where before there had only been you. But it is over, That is all I can say"  (TAT, pp. 36-37).

 

In future postings I want to explore this year of agony for Demelza, and then the years of reconciliation. I think I can make the cast that lust is not love, and that she never loved Hugh, but recognized the hold he had over her, i.e., Verity "had never met Hugh and therefore would be unable to understand or even guess at his terrible attraction" (TAT, P. 371)

 

  



-- Edited by welmet on Tuesday 2nd of May 2017 10:22:28 PM



-- Edited by welmet on Tuesday 2nd of May 2017 10:33:02 PM

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Fijane-I absolutely agree. I think it is the loss of the ideal, the fact that both are forced to see these frailties in each other, that so devastates each of them. Their thoughts and feelings exactly echo each other after each incident.

When Ross goes to Elizabeth, we share Demelza's abject misery.

"Demelza's pride had been in him more than in herself. She had believed herself better than other women because a man like Ross had, married her. In his visit to Elizabeth last night he had not only let himself down, he had let her down. It was a joint betrayal, something which destroyed the whole basis of her life."

Then, after the HA affair, Ross discusses his feelings with Caroline more openly than he ever has with anyone as he tries to explain his desolation. 

"It was not so much her I blamed as - as something in humanity. You must not laugh at me for sounding silly and pompous....When I first found out about Demelza it was as if I had lost some belief - some faith in human character... It was like finding an absolute flawed."

I think WG so accurately captured what many married couples experience in similar circumstances. 



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Mrs Gimlett wrote:
Hollyhock wrote:
I think Ross best recognized the symptoms the night of Hugh's going away party. Hugh was returning to the navy and Demelza was very despondent. Ross said to her:

"'It's not a unique occurrence.'  'What's not?' 'What you feel. How you feel: It occurs in life. Especially among those who have loved early and have loved long.'Why among those?' 'Because others have supped at different tables first. And some others do not consider that loyalty and love must always go together. And then..' 'But I do not want to be disloyal! I do not want to love elsewhere! That's not it at all. I want to give another man some sort of happiness - some of my happiness perhaps - and I cannot - and it hurts.' 'Peace, my love. It hurts me too.' 'Does it, Ross? I'm that sorry.' 'Well, it's the first time I have ever seen you look at another man the way you look at me.'" Great line.

Although the adultery was the most emblematic aspect of the affair, I don't think it was the worst. As Ross said, it was the fact that she was "unfaithful in spirit, her thoughts, her emotions, her heart, deeply engaged with another man," that was the worst of the infidelity.

I agree this sums up what Ross is dealing with.  Of course, he doesn't consider that he put Demelza through the same mill - he somehow thinks of that as an isolated incident, a cathartic event even.  He probably thinks she wouldn't behave in the same way, that's why he is so conflicted.

 


I think you have touched on a parallel that is very important in this situation. When Ross went to Elizabeth, Demelza is hugely affected by the fact that she had hero-worshipped Ross, and always thought his behaviour would be above everyone else's.

Now we see the tables turned, because over the years Ross has come to view Demelza as more moral than most of his own class (and even himself). He has put her virtue and honesty on a pedestal.

For this reason, he doesn't recognise the threat posed by Hugh early enough, because for a long time he rests secure in his view of Demelza. Then when he comes to suspect that things have progressed beyond what he considers acceptable, it is too late to fight (figuratively) Hugh. I don't think Ross sees Demelza's feet of clay quite as clearly as this, but he is certainly affected by his discovery of them. And as with the earlier incident, it is even harder to take because of the loss of the ideal.



-- Edited by Fijane on Friday 17th of February 2017 10:44:57 PM

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Thank you Mrs Gimlett for your very reasoned response. I will certainly keep these points in mind on my next big read. I absolutely agree that WG left much to each reader's imagination and interpretation. I think it is these types of discussions that enrich the reading experience and makes us want to read the books over and over. Well, all this analyzing makes me want to run down to my local university and take a literature course just so I can write a paper on the Poldark saga. 

As to the question:

Would there have been the same outcome if Demelza had not heard the rumour about Ross and Elizabeth?

I think the outcome would have been the same because WG wanted to level the playing field between the couple. Otherwise I think Demelza might have appeared as too perfect a wife to Ross' flawed character. After May 9th people were eager send him to the stockade. I think Hugh Armitage was introduced to re-balance the relationship. 

 



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 Ross said it best. There's not room in a woman's heart for two men.

 

I don't know.  I think it can happen.

 

 

And I don't think that HA did love D. Much of his boyish passion resulted from the fear that he was going blind and suspected that his illness was fatal. Demelza offered a convenient, sympathetic breast to 'cry' on, and so became his final, grasping fantasy. (I sometimes wonder if HA initially went after Demelza because he resented the fact that Ross and his ragtag civilian crew had rescued him, a naval officer, and he immaturely wanted to humiliate Ross. (But that's a speculation for another thread.

 

I think it is possible that Hugh did love Demelza.  I think many of the saga's fans want to view  him as some amoral scoundrel who wanted to use Demelza as some notch on his belt.  It is probably hard for many to view participants in an adulterous affair capable of loving their partner "in crime" so to speak.  But love and romance can be a lot more complicated than many want to believe.



-- Edited by LJones41 on Thursday 16th of February 2017 08:51:18 PM

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Hollyhock wrote:

Thank you Mrs Gimlett for giving me a lot to think about. You've lived with these books longer than me so your insight is much appreciated. (Sometimes I wish I'd never immersed myself in the things because they can be so frustrating, but they are such lovely reads!) 

First, I too think Hugh was despicable for going after the wife of the man who saved his life. I think that alone would have turned most women off. As a reader invested in R&D, I find her attraction to Hugh deeply disappointing, distasteful even, but it is reflective of life. Decent women sometimes do distasteful things.

I think the reason Demelza is attracted to Hugh is because he doesn't behave like the other men who have angled after her.  Those she knew how to deal with, and they were not the type she would be attracted to anyway.  But Hugh appears and is gentle; a poet, which intrigues her; and he behaves outwardly like a gentleman.  She is fascinated by him and as she says herself, is flattered by his attentions, but she also says, that she would like to be someone else, in a position to give him some happiness.  She is not interested in adultery, just sad that he seems so melancholy.

Do I think Demelza was not happy in her marriage?  

I think before she met HA she was happy, or at least content. She'd pretty much gotten what she wanted. Ross had given up his preoccupation with Elizabeth. The children were healthy and Grace was making them wealthy. There were no more stresses in her life. I hate to say it but maybe contentment led to boredom. In any event, after meeting Hugh, I think her feelings changed. Otherwise, I don't think he could have so easily uprooted her.

Sorry, but I don't think Demelza would EVER be bored!  True things were going well for them, but she and Ross were back to the relationship they had when first married.  She says several times how happy she is, how all she wants is to be Ross' wife and no other.  She enjoys the companionship of Hugh, but what he says bothers her because a) she knows most of it is untrue and b) he shouldn't be talking to her in that way.

 I think Ross best recognized the symptoms the night of Hugh's going away party. Hugh was returning to the navy and Demelza was very despondent. Ross said to her:

"'It's not a unique occurrence.'  'What's not?' 'What you feel. How you feel: It occurs in life. Especially among those who have loved early and have loved long.'Why among those?' 'Because others have supped at different tables first. And some others do not consider that loyalty and love must always go together. And then..' 'But I do not want to be disloyal! I do not want to love elsewhere! That's not it at all. I want to give another man some sort of happiness - some of my happiness perhaps - and I cannot - and it hurts.' 'Peace, my love. It hurts me too.' 'Does it, Ross? I'm that sorry.' 'Well, it's the first time I have ever seen you look at another man the way you look at me.'" Great line.

Although the adultery was the most emblematic aspect of the affair, I don't think it was the worst. As Ross said, it was the fact that she was "unfaithful in spirit, her thoughts, her emotions, her heart, deeply engaged with another man," that was the worst of the infidelity.

I agree this sums up what Ross is dealing with.  Of course, he doesn't consider that he put Demelza through the same mill - he somehow thinks of that as an isolated incident, a cathartic event even.  He probably thinks she wouldn't behave in the same way, that's why he is so conflicted.

Earlier I suggested that, given the opportunity, Demelza might again succumb to Hugh's amorous caresses. You will recall that intense conversation she had with Ross when she is scheming to get him to take her to see Hugh after he sends a message that he is ill. Demelza is anxious for Hugh and Ross, put off by her obvious involvement, finally tells her to go with Dwight and Carolyn. Demelza says:

"'Thank you, Ross. I shall be - be well chaperoned. Caroline is not of a mind to let me stray.'"  Ross replies, 'Be not of a mind yourself.'"

Why would she even say that? I think it shows her erotic preoccupation. So, it's that and similar statements that make me wonder if Demelza would have let Hugh make love to her again if given the opportunity. 

I don't understand why that line of dialogue is there, either.  It is completely out of keeping for her to even think it, never mind say it.  However, as I read it, Demelza never schemed to see Hugh.  If Ross had said not to go, she would, I think have been relieved, but their meetings were never instigated by her, neither did she wheedle to get an invitation. 

So, let me ask you Mrs Gimlett. Why do you not think that Demelza was in love with Hugh? I'd value your perspective. She herself says she loves him and is always scheming to see him. She seems to get deep pleasure from her sneaky reads of his poems.  As she says, when she and her children are boating, she is often overcome with memories of her seal cove adventure with Hugh.  

As above, I do not think Demelza was scheming at all.  I just think she was infatuated by him because he was so different from anything she had known before.  She may have loved him as a friend, but not as a lover.  Naturally, she was fascinated by his poems.  Who wouldn't be?  I was always hoping she would consign them to the fire, but again, if someone has gone to the trouble of writing them, it's hard to throw them away.  Yes...being overcome with memories of Hugh may mean guilty conscience rather than wonderful thoughts.  Hugh was never the centre of her life as Ross always was.  She felt sorry for him and had great compassion, but not true love.

I believe that Demelza did want to share some of her happiness with Hugh, but he pushed and pushed her into an almost impossible position on that fateful day (sorry unfortunate turn of phrase!).  {That is one of his most despicable moments in my view} If only she had just got up and re-floated the boat...but in a sense, just like Ross, theirs was an event which happened in isolation too, almost a suspension of real life.  I don't like her for doing it any more than she likes herself afterwards.  It's interesting that WG writes both adulterous events as though they can be lifted out of their lives and separated from normal living.

I agree with Ross' assessment near the end of TFS:

"Together they had had everything and she had flung it all away. Almost without a thought to what she was spoiling and soiling for ever. Demelza, whom he had dragged up and loved and worked for devotedly: a man had come and smiled at her and held her hand and she had weakly, sentimentally and wantonly fallen in love. Almost without a token resistance. From the moment Hugh Armitage set eyes on her she had been ready to melt into his arms. And had made no secret of the fact, even to Ross. 'Ross,' she had more or less said, 'this beautiful young man is after me and I like it. I can't help it. I'm going to give myself to; him. A pity about our home, our children, our happiness, our love, our trust. Such a pity. A shame. Too bad. Goodbye.'"

And why, if that was not the case, did she never deny it? I was waiting until the end of TAT for her to, if not show some remorse, at least reassure Ross that he meant more to her than Hugh. 

Of course Ross' anger and disappointment is raw when he's thinking all that (entirely justifiable thoughts though).  Does he at that point blame himself for not stepping in to stop it?  No, he's feeling sorry for himself, unusually.  But life is all about what ifs..usually when a remedy is too late.

I believe she did explain to Ross that she didn't want to be unfaithful, that she loved only him; although that was before the seal viewing.  However, the more one tries to deny something, the more importance it assumes and perhaps that is why she didn't continue down that route.

At the end of TAT, When Ross is reflecting on their future together, he tells her about his visit to Trenwith. 

'What I have seen last night - makes me sick at heart -sick for all the charm and beauty that is lost - in Elizabeth. But most of all it makes me afraid.' 'Afraid, Ross? What of? ' 'Of losing you, I suppose.' 'I don't mean to another man - though that was bad enough. I mean just of losing you physically, as a person, as a companion, as a human presence being beside me and with me all my life.'

Why, did she not jump in as say, "you never lost me?" if that was not the case?

Perhaps she didn't rise to the bait at that point, because she recognised that Ross was in torment of a different kind.  He was trying to come to terms with Elizabeth's death and it was inappropriate for her to change his thought process.  He didn't lose her anyway.  She had no plans to be anything other than his wife; it was Ross who suggested she left at the end of TFS.  She was shocked by it.

I admit, though I'm fond of most of the characters, it is Ross that I love so my bias is always going to lay in his direction. So, I might be overlooking obvious clues to Demelza's state of mind.  But, I believe that while HA was alive, Demelza loved Ross but was in love with Hugh. Ross said it best. There's not room in a woman's heart for two men.

Yes, Ross said it and Demelza agreed with him.  That is why I think she loved only Ross, but felt a great attraction for Hugh.  Perhaps in the way that some people have a husband, but feel a great attraction to Ross!

Oh, by the way Mrs G., in her visit with Caroline the night of Hugh's death, do you think Demelza, in her grief, confessed all?

No, I think she kept the little cove incident very much to herself, for ever.  Caroline knew Hugh was champing at the bit for Demelza, but I don't think she ever knew exactly what went on, other than the obvious - that Demelza's feelings were stirred and she was desperately sad he had died.

In a way, both Ross and Demelza acted out of character over Hugh Armitage.  Ross, with any other man, would have left him in no doubt about his feelings for a seducer.  Yet he let the flirtation happen, trusting, it seems, that Demelza would be strong enough to resist.

Maybe Demelza herself was surprised that Ross made no move against the friendship. 

Perhaps in the end it strengthened their bonds as they realised how much each had to lose.  Before,  Ross had perhaps taken for granted Demelza's complete loyalty and trust, but he became confused because he never actually knew if they had been lovers, only that her thoughts were straying from him whilst Hugh lay dying.  That they were able to discuss it at the end of the book was progress for them.  A tear-jerking part for the reader.

Mrs G

Looking at that, I am not sure I have answered your questions!  The beauty of WGs writing is that he does leave much for the reader to imagine and fill in between the lines.  So in the end it is like viewing colours - we each see a slightly different thing.

 

 



-- Edited by Hollyhock on Wednesday 15th of February 2017 06:24:18 PM


 



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Thank you Mrs Gimlett for giving me a lot to think about. You've lived with these books longer than me so your insight is much appreciated. (Sometimes I wish I'd never immersed myself in the things because they can be so frustrating, but they are such lovely reads!) 

First, I too think Hugh was despicable for going after the wife of the man who saved his life. I think that alone would have turned most women off. As a reader invested in R&D, I find her attraction to Hugh deeply disappointing, distasteful even, but it is reflective of life. Decent women sometimes do distasteful things.

Do I think Demelza was not happy in her marriage?  

I think before she met HA she was happy, or at least content. She'd pretty much gotten what she wanted. Ross had given up his preoccupation with Elizabeth. The children were healthy and Grace was making them wealthy. There were no more stresses in her life. I hate to say it but maybe contentment led to boredom. In any event, after meeting Hugh, I think her feelings changed. Otherwise, I don't think he could have so easily uprooted her.

 I think Ross best recognized the symptoms the night of Hugh's going away party. Hugh was returning to the navy and Demelza was very despondent. Ross said to her:

"'It's not a unique occurrence.'  'What's not?' 'What you feel. How you feel: It occurs in life. Especially among those who have loved early and have loved long.'Why among those?' 'Because others have supped at different tables first. And some others do not consider that loyalty and love must always go together. And then..' 'But I do not want to be disloyal! I do not want to love elsewhere! That's not it at all. I want to give another man some sort of happiness - some of my happiness perhaps - and I cannot - and it hurts.' 'Peace, my love. It hurts me too.' 'Does it, Ross? I'm that sorry.' 'Well, it's the first time I have ever seen you look at another man the way you look at me.'"

Although the adultery was the most emblematic aspect of the affair, I don't think it was the worst. As Ross said, it was the fact that she was "unfaithful in spirit, her thoughts, her emotions, her heart, deeply engaged with another man," that was the worst of the infidelity.

Earlier I suggested that, given the opportunity, Demelza might again succumb to Hugh's amorous caresses. You will recall that intense conversation she had with Ross when she is scheming to get him to take her to see Hugh after he sends a message that he is ill. Demelza is anxious for Hugh and Ross, put off by her obvious involvement, finally tells her to go with Dwight and Carolyn. Demelza says:

"'Thank you, Ross. I shall be - be well chaperoned. Caroline is not of a mind to let me stray.'"  Ross replies, 'Be not of a mind yourself.'"

Why would she even say that? I think it shows her erotic preoccupation. So, it's that and similar statements that make me wonder if Demelza would have let Hugh make love to her again if given the opportunity.   

So, let me ask you Mrs Gimlett. Why do you not think that Demelza was in love with Hugh? I'd value your perspective. She herself says she loves him and is always scheming to see him. She seems to get deep pleasure from her sneaky reads of his poems.  As she says, when she and her children are boating, she is often overcome with memories of her seal cove adventure with Hugh.  

I agree with Ross' assessment near the end of TFS:

"Together they had had everything and she had flung it all away. Almost without a thought to what she was spoiling and soiling for ever. Demelza, whom he had dragged up and loved and worked for devotedly: a man had come and smiled at her and held her hand and she had weakly, sentimentally and wantonly fallen in love. Almost without a token resistance. From the moment Hugh Armitage set eyes on her she had been ready to melt into his arms. And had made no secret of the fact, even to Ross. 'Ross,' she had more or less said, 'this beautiful young man is after me and I like it. I can't help it. I'm going to give myself to; him. A pity about our home, our children, our happiness, our love, our trust. Such a pity. A shame. Too bad. Goodbye.'"

And why, if that was not the case, did she never deny it? I was waiting until the end of TAT for her to, if not show some remorse, at least reassure Ross that he meant more to her than Hugh. 

At the end of TAT, When Ross is reflecting on their future together, he tells her about his visit to Trenwith. 

'What I have seen last night - makes me sick at heart -sick for all the charm and beauty that is lost - in Elizabeth. But most of all it makes me afraid.' 'Afraid, Ross? What of? ' 'Of losing you, I suppose.' 'I don't mean to another man - though that was bad enough. I mean just of losing you physically, as a person, as a companion, as a human presence being beside me and with me all my life.'

Why, did she not jump in as say, "you never lost me?" if that was not the case?

I admit, though I'm fond of most of the characters, it is Ross that I love so my bias is always going to lay in his direction. So, I might be overlooking obvious clues to Demelza's state of mind.  But, I believe that while HA was alive, Demelza loved Ross but was in love with Hugh. Ross said it best. There's not room in a woman's heart for two men.

Oh, by the way Mrs G., in her visit with Caroline the night of Hugh's death, do you think Demelza, in her grief, confessed all?

 

 



-- Edited by Hollyhock on Wednesday 15th of February 2017 06:24:18 PM

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Hollyhock wrote:

Stella wrote:

I wonder if you think there is a link between Demelza's behaviour and Ross' behaviour with Elizabeth.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Thank you Stella. I appreciate your consideration. Do you mean that Demelza was reacting against what she thought was Ross' renewed interest in Elizabeth? That came into play later, but was not the case initially. She was sexually attracted to Hugh from the moment she set eyes on him at Tehidy. She even told Ross that she was drawn to him. When Hugh brings her the tree from America, Ross finds them alone together and Demelza is uncustomarily flushed and flustered. After Hugh leaves, Ross asks her: "'Does he touch you, my love?' She half glanced: up at him, with a glint of embarrassment. 'Yes.' 'Deeply?'  'A little'... He put his arm round her shoulders, and quickly she leaned against him. 'I see,' he commented 'A tree in need of support' 'Just a small matter shaken,' she said."

Ok, that whole conversation is strange but shows two things: (1) Ross is the most understanding of husbands (or needs to stop breathing mine air); and (2) Demelza had already fallen hard for HA.

She herself admits that even Jud's later tale-telling about seeing Ross and Elizabeth together wasn't the deciding factor in her surrender to HA. She said she surrendered out of "pity, love and passion."  


 I am obliged to you, Hollyhock, for reminding me of the above exchange between Ross and Demelza. There seems to be so much - so many little things that together show us the truth of Demelza's feelings for HA but they are scattered about and I find it impossible to keep them all in my head. The answer is to keep reading TFS over and over. I shall certainly re-visit those parts of the book that make up the story of Demelza and Hugh.

I agree that Ross was the most understanding of husbands in this respect although in the end he left Demelza for some time to go to London, in part because he was badly affected by Demelza's infidelity. I recall that Demelza made some effort to control her feelings for Hugh but he wouldn't let her go. I often wonder if Demelza would have found the strength to resist HA's attentions if Ross had not betrayed her with Elizabeth on the 9th May. Being betrayed by a spouse brings about changes in a person although my recollection from The Black Moon is that Ross and Demelza do heal their marriage.



-- Edited by Stella Poldark on Tuesday 14th of February 2017 08:26:50 PM

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Stella wrote:

I wonder if you think there is a link between Demelza's behaviour and Ross' behaviour with Elizabeth.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Thank you Stella. I appreciate your consideration. Do you mean that Demelza was reacting against what she thought was Ross' renewed interest in Elizabeth? That came into play later, but was not the case initially. She was sexually attracted to Hugh from the moment she set eyes on him at Tehidy. She even told Ross that she was drawn to him. When Hugh brings her the tree from America, Ross finds them alone together and Demelza is uncustomarily flushed and flustered. After Hugh leaves, Ross asks her: "'Does he touch you, my love?' She half glanced: up at him, with a glint of embarrassment. 'Yes.' 'Deeply?'  'A little'... He put his arm round her shoulders, and quickly she leaned against him. 'I see,' he commented 'A tree in need of support' 'Just a small matter shaken,' she said."

Ok, that whole conversation is strange but shows two things: (1) Ross is the most understanding of husbands (or needs to stop breathing mine air); and (2) Demelza had already fallen hard for HA.

She herself admits that even Jud's later tale-telling about seeing Ross and Elizabeth together wasn't the deciding factor in her surrender to HA. She said she surrendered out of "pity, love and passion."  



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SusanneMcCarthy wrote:
Mrs Gimlett wrote:

I suppose the question should be posed:-

Would there have been the same outcome if Demelza had not heard the rumour about Ross and Elizabeth?


 Ah, therein lies the heart of the matter. I certainly think it was a strong factor, as I have said below - not for revenge, but it had unsettled her. 

I never quite understood why Ross had kissed Elizabeth at that meeting. 


 Susanne - I have assumed it was part guilt that Elizabeth had problems in her marriage to George because of the matters relating to Valentine. I think it was also that he never stopped feeling affection for Elizabeth though I do not understand why after he was able to see how manipulative she was.



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Mrs Gimlett wrote:

I suppose the question should be posed:-

Would there have been the same outcome if Demelza had not heard the rumour about Ross and Elizabeth?


 Ah, therein lies the heart of the matter. I certainly think it was a strong factor, as I have said below - not for revenge, but it had unsettled her. 

I never quite understood why Ross had kissed Elizabeth at that meeting. 



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I suppose the question should be posed:-

Would there have been the same outcome if Demelza had not heard the rumour about Ross and Elizabeth?



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Interesting what you say, Hollyhock.

I am not one who thinks Demelza can do no wrong, but I cannot lay the blame entirely on her for that day- rather more on Hugh.  I fancy that Hugh saw his chance when they ran onto the sand to empty the boat of water.  He began working on her, talking about love and suggesting he was despicable for asking her to make love.  Demelza's response then should really have been, yes he was wrong to suggest it.  But she was feeling sorry for him and worried about his sight.  So instead of being her usual sensible self, she prevaricated and let him carry on telling her how wonderful love was etc, which had the effect of arousing her.   She questions him about loyalty and trust, but he cannot answer her.

Demelza had several chances to ward him off,  the last one when he asked to just kiss her.  He knew that would win her over - he'd seen the signs.  Hugh may have been young in years, though I believe he was in his early 20s, but he had been in the navy for years, so not inexperienced or naïve.

A  decent gentleman would have got the message long before, when they first met.  Demelza told him she was happily married, as you say, Hollyhock; although I am not sure why you italicised the word 'claimed'.  Do you think she was not happy?

I agree too that Hugh did not love Demelza; he was infatuated with her, maybe because she was natural and unassuming (rare in young women then).  Likewise, I don't think Demelza loved Hugh in 'that' way.  She liked him, he flattered her and was different from other men she had encountered, but I think her liking became compassion that day.

As I have said before and I know others disagree, but I do believe Demelza agonised over what happened, even though when she wakes in the night she doesn't seem that remorseful.  I think she couldn't understand why she didn't feel awful about it - she perhaps expected to feel very wicked and sinful.  It doesn't mean she wasn't suffering terrible guilt. I don't think the 'likely to happen again' bit is significant.  For my money, I  bet she would make sure it never happened again.  Once was enough.

 



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Hollyhock wrote:

For many, Demelza can do no wrong even when she does wrong. Demelza is a delightfully refreshing character with many charming traits. But, like everyone, she is flawed. Ross is castigated as insensitive and the worst of husbands when he does anything that is perceived as hurtful to Demelza. However, Demelza's transgressions are attributed to naivete and a rough childhood. Specifically, compared to Ross' discrete pining for Elizabeth, Demelza openly swoons and moons over HA and fantasizes about running off and sleeping with him. I definitely question her sensitivity and maturity, but do not consider her naive or innocent. Demelza is an older married woman who falls in love and lust with the new young man in the neighborhood. There's no rationalizing it or excusing it. She committed adultery, jeopardized her life with her children and husband, and felt no remorse for her actions. If Demelza's love for HA can be understood, then surely so must Ross' be for Elizabeth. What is true for the goose must be equally true for the gander.

I don't think Hugh Armitage treated Demelza like a lady. Had that been the case, like a gentleman, he would have backed off when she claimed to be happily married.  On the contrary, HA treated her like Sir Hugh, the Comte de Maresi, and her other would be paramours. The difference was in their approaches. While her other suitors were frank and direct, HA was subtle and urbane. But they all had the same object in mind, to bed her. Out of all her admirers, I think Captain McNeil showed her the most respect because he did not make a move on Demelza until she decided to seduce him.  However, in marrying her, encouraging her, and making her mistress of his estate, Ross is the man who best treated Demelza like a lady and demanded that everyone else do so.  Sadly, on that sandy beach with HA, she behaved like anything but a lady.

And I don't think that HA did love D. Much of his boyish passion resulted from the fear that he was going blind and suspected that his illness was fatal. Demelza offered a convenient, sympathetic breast to 'cry' on, and so became his final, grasping fantasy. (I sometimes wonder if HA initially went after Demelza because he resented the fact that Ross and his ragtag civilian crew had rescued him, a naval officer, and he immaturely wanted to humiliate Ross. (But that's a speculation for another thread.)

I would also argue that Ross was a romantic husband. He didn't sit around writing poetry all day, wasn't his temperament and he had to make a living. But he was always doing and saying little sweet, uncontrived, unexpected things. Like, about the scar on Demelza's knee: "Blemishes on the beauty of a person one loves are like grace notes adding, something to, a piece of music."   Better than any of HA's fluff.

 Finally, I wonder if HA had lived, what would have been the resolution of that triangle. (Suspenseful music...)

Would our heroine Demelza have run off with her lover, HA?  During her infamous reflection about her sandy romp with HA, the text states:

"She did not see it as a happening that was likely to recur."

It's that likely that WG threw in there that makes me wonder. If she were definitely decided, why not say, "she would make sure it never happened again."

So, I wonder if, like some randy dog, HA started making frequent visits to Nampara when Ross was away, would Demelza be likely to find excuses to show him, instead of the wonders of Seal Hole, the wonders of the rarely used Nampara cellar?  confused.gif

 

 


 Hollyhock - I find your reply thought-provoking so thank you. I wonder if you think there is a link between Demelza's behaviour and Ross' behaviour with Elizabeth.



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For many, Demelza can do no wrong even when she does wrong. Demelza is a delightfully refreshing character with many charming traits. But, like everyone, she is flawed. Ross is castigated as insensitive and the worst of husbands when he does anything that is perceived as hurtful to Demelza. However, Demelza's transgressions are attributed to naivete and a rough childhood. Specifically, compared to Ross' discrete pining for Elizabeth, Demelza openly swoons and moons over HA and fantasizes about running off and sleeping with him. I definitely question her sensitivity and maturity, but do not consider her naive or innocent. Demelza is an older married woman who falls in love and lust with the new young man in the neighborhood. There's no rationalizing it or excusing it. She committed adultery, jeopardized her life with her children and husband, and felt no remorse for her actions. If Demelza's love for HA can be understood, then surely so must Ross' be for Elizabeth. What is true for the goose must be equally true for the gander.

I don't think Hugh Armitage treated Demelza like a lady. Had that been the case, like a gentleman, he would have backed off when she claimed to be happily married.  On the contrary, HA treated her like Sir Hugh, the Comte de Maresi, and her other would be paramours. The difference was in their approaches. While her other suitors were frank and direct, HA was subtle and urbane. But they all had the same object in mind, to bed her. Out of all her admirers, I think Captain McNeil showed her the most respect because he did not make a move on Demelza until she decided to seduce him.  However, in marrying her, encouraging her, and making her mistress of his estate, Ross is the man who best treated Demelza like a lady and demanded that everyone else do so.  Sadly, on that sandy beach with HA, she behaved like anything but a lady.

And I don't think that HA did love D. Much of his boyish passion resulted from the fear that he was going blind and suspected that his illness was fatal. Demelza offered a convenient, sympathetic breast to 'cry' on, and so became his final, grasping fantasy. (I sometimes wonder if HA initially went after Demelza because he resented the fact that Ross and his ragtag civilian crew had rescued him, a naval officer, and he immaturely wanted to humiliate Ross. (But that's a speculation for another thread.)

I would also argue that Ross was a romantic husband. He didn't sit around writing poetry all day, wasn't his temperament and he had to make a living. But he was always doing and saying little sweet, uncontrived, unexpected things. Like, about the scar on Demelza's knee: "Blemishes on the beauty of a person one loves are like grace notes adding, something to, a piece of music."   Better than any of HA's fluff.

 Finally, I wonder if HA had lived, what would have been the resolution of that triangle. (Suspenseful music...)

Would our heroine Demelza have run off with her lover, HA?  During her infamous reflection about her sandy romp with HA, the text states:

"She did not see it as a happening that was likely to recur."

It's that likely that WG threw in there that makes me wonder. If she were definitely decided, why not say, "she would make sure it never happened again."

So, I wonder if, like some randy dog, HA started making frequent visits to Nampara when Ross was away, would Demelza be likely to find excuses to show him, instead of the wonders of Seal Hole, the wonders of the rarely used Nampara cellar?  confused.gif

 

 



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SusanneMcCarthy wrote:

I really don't think Demelza intended to have a physical affair with Hugh. As I see it, she was charmed by him as a handsome and romantic young man, who openly adored her - while Ross could rarely be accused of being romantic! Until the day of the seal cove visit - indeed, until they were on the beach - I think it was nothing more than a fantasy romance to her. Then the warmth and privacy began to meld reality and fantasy, and the recollection of Jud's tale about Ross and Elizabeth weakened her resistance - not in the sense of consciously wanting revenge, but in undermining her hard-won confidence in herself. If Ross didn't love her, at least this young man did.    

I don't see her as naive and innocent, nor as selfish. I think she slid into it as an incremental thing, as so often happens in real life. She let herself persuade herself of Hugh's arguments, at least for that moment, though the sensible side of her knew it wasn't true. Hence she both felt guilty and not-guilty at the same time - guilty because she knew it would hurt Ross, but she couldn't quite regret it because that earthy side of her knew it had been something beautiful but never-to-be repeated. 


 I remember reading somewhere (it may have been on a forum here) that Hugh was the first man to treat her like a lady and perhaps that was partly what she couldn't resist. Where I disagree with you, Susanne, is when you say she wasn't naive. This was the first man to treat her as a lady and I think she found that difficult to resist. Also this man was ill and dying and I think that played a part in her decision. Interesting that she never told Ross and I think she must have known she was jeopardising her marriage, yet she still gave herself to him. I have to say that I hold Hugh to be more responsible than Demelza. He just would not give up. Horrible man!



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LJones41 wrote:

I don't think Demelza had approached her affair with Hugh Armitage with naive eyes.  I do not believe she had been manipulated by Hugh to sleep with him.  She had made up her mind not long after learning that Ross and Elizabeth had seen each other in that churchyard by Jud.  Both she and Hugh went into their affair with their eyes wide open.  I believe Hugh was in love with Demelza in his own youthful way.  And I believe Demelza was in love with Hugh - but not as much as she was in love with Ross.

I don't see the need to paint Demelza and Hugh's affair as one in which a naive woman's innocence was manipulated by a scheming man.  Both knew what they wanted and both knew what they were doing.  And to paint Hugh as being selfish and not Demelza doesn't seem right to me.  In a way, both were selfish.  Considering that love is selfish anyway, I don't really find this surprising.

-- Edited by LJones41 on Saturday 11th of February 2017 05:40:46 PM


 I re-read this part of the Four Swans recently and felt it was full of manipulation by Hugh Armitage. He just would not let go. Of course Demelza is responsible for her decision but HA played with her emotions selfishly to get what he wanted. As a character, I detest him.



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