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Post Info TOPIC: Series Two Episode 8


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Date: Oct 26 10:57 AM, 2016
RE: Series Two Episode 8
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Take your point only I think it goes well beyond that, as I feel the core issue throughout the books is that George had a huge hang up and inferiority complex about being the grandson of a blacksmith, and that this could well have stemmed from when he and Ross were at school, picking up the odd references to the other when back with their parents afterwards so not a question of where the forge actually was.

And I think this is the central theme George knowing that Ross would always play this humiliating card especially in public so he had to be careful and always keep his temper in check choosing instead to increasingly humiliate him in public financially. So more a question I think of being top dog, for example Monk Adderley, rather than a question of personalities as right up to the end both of them never knew that Jeremy had taken part in the stagecoach robbery.

I think it's this constant battle and tension between them that is yet another wonderful element in the books as well, often wondering how WG would have depicted both of them the moment they both knew as I'm pretty sure George would have had a field day ! Again Demelza to the rescue....



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Date: Oct 26 10:06 AM, 2016
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I don't think the older Poldarks would have been aware of the Warleggan family when Ross and Francis were young, Ross.  Not until George was invited to Trenwith and Agatha tells us how possed up and timid he was. The blacksmith's forge was in St Day - several miles from Trenwith/Nampara.  I have always imagined that when Francis, Ross and George were at school, Francis was the heir to the estate and much was invested in his future.  (Ross does say to George many years later that Francis was the most successful at school).  George was 'new money' stock, aware that he was being groomed for taking over his father's growing business and very much spoilt.  It is mentioned how he was dressed in unsuitable clothes and probably came across as a dandy in waiting.  Ross on the other hand, was the product of a liberal upbringing, knew much of life at an early age and was a free spirit.  Quite clearly he was rebellious, hence the beatings, and most probably had the best brain of all three, if only it could be channelled correctly.

So what happens?  George is fascinated by Ross, and intensely jealous of his disposition and freedom.  It continues all through their lives.  Ross probably despises George because a) their personalities are opposites and b) he is the cossetted product of parents who are gradually becoming richer through means Ross doesn't approve of.  Result - a lifelong antipathy towards each other.

 



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Date: Oct 26 12:02 AM, 2016
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Dark Mare wrote:
Here's a question: Does anyone else wonder what started the feud? Was it just a fierce competition for Francis' attention? Or was there an incident perhaps? An eighteenth-century equivalent of Ross stuffing George in his locker or flying his trousers from the school's flagpole? Or was Ross the class clown and George the evil teacher's pet manufacturing evident to get him in trouble with Rev. Halse, their teacher? 

Referring to the dates of the most detailed family trees of Ross and George, I've always felt that Joshua and Charles when young at Trenwith would have been only too aware of Luke Warleggan the village blacksmith and Nicholas his son. So I think George when growing up must overtime have become very resentful at this atmosphere perhaps being taunted at school by an already rebellious and insubordinate Ross, as evidenced by his reply to the Rev Halse's remarks in the coach as he returns from America that at thirteen he felt his education had gone far enough, his buttocks being as sore as the Reverend's ankles.



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Date: Oct 25 11:10 PM, 2016
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LJones41 - I would highly recommend your reading the books.   I would like to share something with you and the other readers of this page. My response goes beyond your question, but I need to post this.  I hope everyone will indulge me.

As a woman and a feminist, it has been hard sometimes to reconcile when characters we love (looking at you, Ross) do things we hate (May 9th, kill me now). 

I saw the series last summer in the U.S. and then, wanting more, I read all 12 books.  Now, they are my bible, really.  Winston Graham is a genius and I don't say that lightly.  He understands character development, psychology and relationships so well.  I believed he could teach me something.  So I bought my therapist a set of the first four books and we have read the text weekly over the last year (in between real-life stuff).  No kidding.  Sometimes, it feels like a graduate English seminar.  I wanted to know how May 9th happened - how did Ross, Demelza and Elizabeth each contribute to May 9th?

Here's what I believe: When Ross and Demelza return from the trial, she doesn't tell him she's pregnant.  She decides he doesn't want any children (okay, he did say that) and, further, she decides he doesn't want her.  (I could cite the text, but it's in there - Jeremy.)  She withdraws and this creates a breach between Ross and Demelza.  He notices her distance, questions her about it, but she will not tell him the truth.  At the same time, Elizabeth has decided that she wants to be princess.  She wants to regain her "ascendance" over him.  (Some of us may know how that is - I don't have him, but I want him to like me best.)  I don't like Elizabeth, but I have some compassion for her.  She is a victim of her class, the culture and the times.  There aren't many opportunities for women like her to self-actualize.  As a consequence, she does the one thing she knows she's good at - she ramps up the flirtation with Ross.  And he is susceptible because of (a) his life situation (death of Francis/poverty/death of Julia), (b) his breach with Demelza and (c) his immaturity. He is flirting back with Elizabeth; he is doing the easy, fun thing instead of the hard work he should be doing with Demelza.  He is not innocent.  

After Francis's death, everything intensifies.  This death contributes to Ross's existential crisis.  He resents the unfairness of life - people are not always rewarded/punished for their behavior.  In addition, he has the ongoing pressure of a looming bankruptcy.  The mine accident occurs two days before he receives Elizabeth's letter.  He feels responsible for these deaths.  Finally, May 9th.  Ross is so blinded by his own pain and anger that he doesn't see Demelza.  I believe he cannot reconcile Elizabeth's behavior towards him with her marrying George - the man responsible for many of his and Francis's troubles.  I believe he wants to confront Elizabeth.  He wants a straight answer; he wants her to own up to what's been going on.  He says he will go if she will just tell him whether she loves George.  He knows she does not "love him to distraction."  But she lies.  She doesn't take responsibility for anything.  I believe if she had owned up to any of her behavior, he would have gone home.  Because of everything going on in his life, that's it for him.  She's been acting like a slut and he's going to treat as such.  I believe (as Graham's son has said), that it has all the elements of a rape, but that it changes. Throughout many of the books, this is evident. When Elizabeth is trying to postpone her wedding to George, she is remembering Ross's lips on her neck.  Indeed, the reason she wants to postpone the wedding is to see if something works out with Ross.  It is a challenge sometimes because Graham does not spell everything out in detail.  Instead, we have clues and internal dialogue which give us information.

While I think I have come to understand Ross's behavior, I don't approve of it.  So how do I reconcile the character I love with the act I hate?  (a) On a practical level, the events take place in the 1790s.  It can be uncomfortable to look at these events with our modern eyes.   (b) I have read the text closely to understand how Demelza, Ross and Elizabeth each contribute in their own way to May 9th.  That's why it makes me a little crazy when the TV series changes things.  There is no one good guy/bad guy.  (Although I believe Demelza is the least culpable.)  (c) I believe that authors convey their approval/disapproval of their characters through the plot.  Ross is the hero, but he and Demelza are always painfully reminded of May 9th - even many years later.  They do reconcile and their relationship deepens, but the evidence of May 9th is always present.  Even after Valentine dies, his son reminds us of Ross's betrayal. (d) Finally, people we love do bad, stupid things sometimes.  If there is a solid relationship (like Ross and Demelza's), it is worth it to find a way past the hurt and anger and disappointment.  I have to say that before reading these books, I did not really, truly understand this.

I'm so glad I have a place where I can say this!  Thank you!

Janet

 



-- Edited by JanetMaison on Tuesday 25th of October 2016 11:17:07 PM



-- Edited by JanetMaison on Tuesday 25th of October 2016 11:18:32 PM



-- Edited by JanetMaison on Wednesday 26th of October 2016 06:53:51 AM

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Date: Oct 25 10:25 PM, 2016
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Stella, I didn't realise this verse was Shakespeare (I've only basically read the plays required at school). That first line is so poignant. And this one:

Enjoy'd no sooner but despised straight;

Thanks for sharing the whole sonnet.


-- Edited by Fijane on Tuesday 25th of October 2016 10:27:49 PM

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Date: Oct 25 10:22 PM, 2016
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Dark Mare, I certainly had the impression the schooldays were something like you describe!

I don't remember reading of any specific incident, just that they disliked each other from the start, and it was often the cousins against George. Of course, George's business practices later were the main thing that deepened Ross's attitude. Seeing friends and acquaintances bankrupted through pure spite was intolerable to Ross.



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Date: Oct 25 10:12 PM, 2016
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Dark Mare - This is beautiful.  Thank you.  So apt.  I did look up the citations when he's breaking into Trenwith.



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Date: Oct 25 9:47 PM, 2016
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Stella Poldark wrote:
 Dark Mare - I really appreciate you posting this because it has clarified a great deal. Shakespeare has something profound and helpful to say about most aspects of life, I think but I tend to forget him. So perhaps when we cannot puzzle out the Poldark characters we should turn to him more often.

You're welcome, Stella.

For puzzling out Ross definitely. It sometimes seems the only things he took away from his schooldays were a headful of snippets of Shakespeare -- as he is preparing to break into Trenwith, he is quoting Ophelia -- and a lifelong hate for classmate George Warleggan. 

Here's a question: Does anyone else wonder what started the feud? Was it just a fierce competition for Francis' attention? Or was there an incident perhaps? An eighteenth-century equivalent of Ross stuffing George in his locker or flying his trousers from the school's flagpole? Or was Ross the class clown and George the evil teacher's pet manufacturing evident to get him in trouble with Rev. Halse, their teacher? 



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Date: Oct 25 8:57 PM, 2016
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Dark Mare wrote:

I just watched the last scene again and wondered how long Ross would lie in the dirt of the stable yard and what had to be going through his mind. Then it hit me, "Sonnet No. 129," the one he struggled to remember the morning after his first night with Demelza. So much more appropriate this time.

 

Sonnet #129

The expense of spirit in a waste of shame
Is lust in action; and till action, lust
Is perjured, murderous, bloody, full of blame,
Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust;
Enjoy'd no sooner but despised straight;
Past reason hunted; and no sooner had,
Past reason hated, as a swallowed bait,
On purpose laid to make the taker mad:
Mad in pursuit, and in possession so;
Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme;
A bliss in proof, and proved, a very woe;
Before, a joy proposed; behind, a dream.

All this the world well knows; yet none knows well
To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.

 Dark Mare - I really appreciate you posting this because it has clarified a great deal. Shakespeare has something profound and helpful to say about most aspects of life, I think but I tend to forget him. So perhaps when we cannot puzzle out the Poldark characters we should turn to him more often.



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Date: Oct 25 8:43 PM, 2016
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Some of them.



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Date: Oct 25 5:35 PM, 2016
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Have you read the books?  That's a direct quote. 



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Date: Oct 25 4:53 PM, 2016
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They would be far better informed in they looked at first editions as there is far more in those about Elizabeth's character than in any subsequent ones. This series has not, until recent episodes, portrayed Elizabeth's character very accurately.

 

 

Exactly how is Elizabeth's character now being accurately portrayed?

 

When Ross tried to shame Elizabeth for marrying George, asking why his "greatest friend" would marry his "greatest enemy", it never really occurred to me how much of an egotist he truly is.  As if Elizabeth or any other woman of his acquaintance is supposed to wrap her world around his to that extreme degree.

 

 

 



-- Edited by LJones41 on Tuesday 25th of October 2016 05:07:27 PM

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Date: Oct 25 1:48 PM, 2016
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I just watched the last scene again and wondered how long Ross would lie in the dirt of the stable yard and what had to be going through his mind. Then it hit me, "Sonnet No. 129," the one he struggled to remember the morning after his first night with Demelza. So much more appropriate this time.

 

Sonnet #129

The expense of spirit in a waste of shame
Is lust in action; and till action, lust
Is perjured, murderous, bloody, full of blame,
Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust;
Enjoy'd no sooner but despised straight;
Past reason hunted; and no sooner had,
Past reason hated, as a swallowed bait,
On purpose laid to make the taker mad:
Mad in pursuit, and in possession so;
Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme;
A bliss in proof, and proved, a very woe;
Before, a joy proposed; behind, a dream.

All this the world well knows; yet none knows well
To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.


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Date: Oct 25 1:28 AM, 2016
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From all your comments, I'm very pleased that the writer did not try to portray this as rape. Thank goodness. I will now look forward to watching this episode, and keep hoping that she doesn't ruin the ball. Surely, with such a quality story available, she would not change the outcome? Surely not? Please?



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Date: Oct 24 9:40 PM, 2016
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Mrs Gimlett wrote:

Well THAT SCENE has certainly stirred up a hornet's nest in the press!

Lots of indignation and criticism of a 'consensual rape'.  It was quite like the book but I would rather have seen Ross climb quietly through a window.  I suppose that was DHs way of making it seem as though he was only there to talk, not  have some secret assignation, but as MrsMartin says, too many people know of the event now.

I also was looking forward to seeing Demelza sweep the breakfast things off the table.  Instead she chose violence against Ross, whereas really she was utterly desolate inside, because her trust in him had been destroyed.

Perhaps George can now stop his silly boxing bouts as he is about to become a married man.

I can foresee a problem about where he and Elizabeth are going to live.  His parents, in the novels, occupy Cardew, which he boasts will be their home in his 'proposal'.  In this production, there is no impediment to him taking Elizabeth there; wonder what will happen? There is much to fit into the two remaining episodes. 

According to the Radio Times, there was no adverse reaction to THAT SCENE in 1976.  How times have changed, especially since 1793 and even since 1954, when the book was written.

I should stick to my maxim: treat the series as a separate entity.


 I wonder what will happen if those who are charged with dealing with the complaints (apparently there have been 7 to the BBC) look to the books. They would be far better informed in they looked at first editions as there is far more in those about Elizabeth's character than in any subsequent ones. This series has not, until recent episodes, portrayed Elizabeth's character very accurately.

I think the entire episode was well done and that it was not rape.



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Date: Oct 24 8:12 PM, 2016
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I agree Mrs Gimlett.  WG uses so much internal dialogue to convey important information about the plot and the characters and their feelings. I always knew translating this would present a challenge. Sometimes I like it the way it's done, sometimes I don't.



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Date: Oct 24 7:42 PM, 2016
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I don't think you'll be disappointed JanetMaison.  I agree Demelza wouldn't have hit Ross - her heart was breaking too much.  However, it has ever been a problem to portray characters' thoughts effectively on screen, which is mainly why the film has to be so different from the books.  We learn so much through the thoughts of many of those in the Poldark world.



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Date: Oct 24 6:21 PM, 2016
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The scene after the party/Looe is one of my favorite scenes!  I hope DH does it justice.



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Date: Oct 24 6:18 PM, 2016
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Mrs. Gimlett - I've read all your posts and I trust your perceptions. I'm in the U.S. and we won't get this episode for a couple of weeks.  I did look at some of  gifs posted online. I was SO WORRIED that they would water down this scene but it sounds like it remains true to the book. What do you think of the "morning after" scene with Ross and Elizabeth? I suppose its intention was to remove any doubts about consent. I, too, was looking forward to the scene with Demelza sweeping everything to the floor.  She would never have hit Ross. Ah, well.  It could have been much worse.



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Date: Oct 24 5:56 PM, 2016
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I see that Debbie Horsfield took the Buffy and Spike route from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer".  In an episode called "Gone", Buffy Summers had been struck by an invisible ray.  She used her invisible state as an opportunity to pay Spike a visit at his crypt and attempt to rape him.  When he realized that the invisible force trying to sexually assault him was Buffy, he consented to have sex with her.

 

Horsfield obviously took this route with that whole scene with Ross and Elizabeth.  Start out with attempted rape and end it with consensual sex.  How cowardly on her part and the BBC.  

 

For those of you worried about Ross and Demelza, she's going to forgive him.  But, she'll never forgive Elizabeth.  Why?  One, Ross is her husband.  And two, it's easier for Demelza to be angry at Elizabeth instead of Ross.  No matter how Debbie Horsfield tries to transform her into some proto-feminist figure, Demelza is a product of a patriarchal society that always, always blame the woman over the man.  She was the same way with Keren Daniels and Dwight Enys and nothing will change when it comes to Ross and Elizabeth.  This sexist attitude has remain to this day . . . even with other women.



-- Edited by LJones41 on Monday 24th of October 2016 05:57:42 PM

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Well THAT SCENE has certainly stirred up a hornet's nest in the press!

Lots of indignation and criticism of a 'consensual rape'.  It was quite like the book but I would rather have seen Ross climb quietly through a window.  I suppose that was DHs way of making it seem as though he was only there to talk, not  have some secret assignation, but as MrsMartin says, too many people know of the event now.

I also was looking forward to seeing Demelza sweep the breakfast things off the table.  Instead she chose violence against Ross, whereas really she was utterly desolate inside, because her trust in him had been destroyed.

Perhaps George can now stop his silly boxing bouts as he is about to become a married man.

I can foresee a problem about where he and Elizabeth are going to live.  His parents, in the novels, occupy Cardew, which he boasts will be their home in his 'proposal'.  In this production, there is no impediment to him taking Elizabeth there; wonder what will happen? There is much to fit into the two remaining episodes. 

According to the Radio Times, there was no adverse reaction to THAT SCENE in 1976.  How times have changed, especially since 1793 and even since 1954, when the book was written.

I should stick to my maxim: treat the series as a separate entity.



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Date: Oct 24 3:50 PM, 2016
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I was very worried about how the episode would be portrayed, but I think on a whole, it was done pretty well. There were only a few things that I didn't agree with but most of those were minor, except for Jud, Prudie and Aunt Agatha all seem to know what was going on. I was happy that a great deal of the dialogue from the book was used and the tone of the whole encounter seemed to be in keeping with Winston Graham's intent. It will be interesting to see how Demelza's encounter with Captain McNeil is adapted and the conversation between Ross and Demelza after his return from Looe is portrayed. As for that right hook. I liked it!



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Date: Oct 24 2:51 PM, 2016
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Wow! Growing up with six brothers has its benefits.

I hope Prudie got to see it. She'll be so proud of Demelza.

 

 



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Date: Oct 24 1:41 PM, 2016
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One of the best episodes of the season, the scene with Ross and Elizabeth was very well acted, and close to the book, I was also glad it didn't fade out after the bedroom scene and that you got to see Demelza's first reaction, what a right hook !!!

Overall thoroughly enjoyed this intense highly charged episode.  Can't wait for Episode 9 as we get to see Demelza at the Ball.  

 



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Date: Oct 24 11:32 AM, 2016
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I think Debbie Horsefield deserves credit for episode 8. It followed the book very closely and I was pleasantly surprised. We saw how quickly Ross regretted going to Trenwith and that he is starting to realise he may lose Demelza. After a not so good start to this series it has redeemed itself.

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Date: Oct 24 9:53 AM, 2016
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May 9th...........



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