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Post Info TOPIC: Discrepancies throughout the Poldark books


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RE: Discrepancies throughout the Poldark books
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I am not sure if this is a discrepancy or just something that WG wanted to make clear to the reader in his final book 'Bella Poldark.'

In 'The Twisted Sword,' during Stephen Carrington's final illness, Jason lets slip to Clowance that his mother made him an item of clothing he was wearing. This makes Clowance suspect his mother might be still alive, particularly when Jason tells her that he can't remember when his mother died. He finally admits to her death being in January 1814 but this still leaves Clowance unsure of the truth. She wants to ask Stephen but, because of his condition, she can't bring herself to do it. After Stephen's death she tells Verity that, '..Mama has a dangerous intuition. But even her intuition, I believe will not perceive all that I have in my heart to tell her if I would. But I will not. Nor will I tell you, dear, cousin, for I believe it is best buried with Stephen.'

The reader is only aware of Clowance's suspicions of bigamy in 'The Twisted Sword,' but at the beginning of 'Bella,' WG states quite clearly that for Clowance, Jason's presence, '......was a reminder of the fact that she had never been legally married to Stephen because his first wife had been alive at the time.' Later on in the book Clowance herself, when thinking about Bella and Christopher, admits to herself that she and Stephen, ' ...had come together and married and lived in harmony, until at the end it came out that he had lied to her continuously, had married her bigamously, after his son by his former marraige had turned up.'

How did it come out? Did Stephen regain consciousness and finally tell her the truth before he died? Or did Jason tell her after Stephen had died? Or had she come to the truth in another way - did she just believe this was the truth? 

Looking further ahead beyond 'Bella,' wouldn't Jason be a possible future threat to Clowance's and Edward's marraige, knowing what he did about his father's bigamy? Finally, why did Tom Guildford never reappear on the scene after being mentioned by Demelza at the end of 'The Twisted Sword?' Did he marry? Did he go to Calcutta? He was not mentioned once in 'Bella' not even by Valentine. I might have missed clues or other events which provide answers to all my questions.

 



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Need to correct myself from earlier post.  Apparently Demelza did have six brothers but in the Stranger from the Sea, which I just finished reading again,  she mentions that one of them has died.



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Dark Mare wrote:

Mrs. G,

I think you misunderstood my point. I tossed in the second example to point out that a few of the discrepancies we find as we read are deliberate. 


 Hello Dark Mare.

i understood what you did perfectly.  It just got me thinking about R&Ds birthdays and how they didn't celebrate.  Then I remembered about Ross having the conversation with Verity.  Of course he always knew how many years he had been around, but was unsure of his actual birth date.

i am not so sure Jud's memory is to be relied upon.  He said many things to Ross and Demelza, mainly to curry favour and remind Ross he was a link with the past.  Perhaps Ross was a Christmas child and because of all the celebrating the date got mislaid by Joshua and Grace!



-- Edited by Mrs Gimlett on Monday 21st of August 2017 10:42:57 PM

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Hollyhock wrote:

Brightgirl,

This is sooo interesting. My reference is from an edited ebook edition (Sourcebooks). I know that later publishers deleted sections of the first edition, but I had not imagined that they changed details like this one. Or perhaps it was a misprint. But in any event, I have to trust Jud's memory and WG's original text that Ross was born in 1759. 

Thanks for bringing this to my attention.


 Hollyhock,  this is so confusing.  I have only the ebooks also besides the hard copy first edition.  In the family trees that WG wrote, he has Ross being born in 1760 (and Demelza in 1770).  So when and who changed Ross' year of birth within that sentence you and i referred to when Jud refers to Ross' year of birth?  It could have been a later publisher or perhaps even WG himself told a publisher to change it if he found his mistake and wanted to keep his later writings' dates correctly in line with the 1760 date. Perhaps his later intention is that Ross is born in 1760.  ???

 

Another discrepancy I found.  I don't have the ebook of Bella--I have the physical copy.  I first went to it to look for the Family Tree.  The Tree is not in the book but a short resume for each main character is at the beginning written by WG.  For Demelza, he notes that she had five brothers.  But in the preceding books he states that she had six younger brothers.  And if you go to the Family Tree again, WG has six younger brothers listed.

 

 

 



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Brightgirl,

This is sooo interesting. My reference is from an edited ebook edition (Sourcebooks). I know that later publishers deleted sections of the first edition, but I had not imagined that they changed details like this one. Or perhaps it was a misprint. But in any event, I have to trust Jud's memory and WG's original text that Ross was born in 1759. 

Thanks for bringing this to my attention.



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Hollyhock, I'm so glad you posted this for I was meaning to make a similar posting.  It was always easy to keep track of Ross and Demelza'a ages, knowing they were 10 years apart according to what WG wrote and according to the Family Trees.

But.....After receiving the First edition of Ross Poldark, I noticed when Jud is telling Demelza about the figurehead of the Mary Buckingham he tells Demelza that it came ashore in 1759, three days after Ross was born.  (page 194)

No wonder Ross was confused.



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I think that sometimes Sawle village is St Ann's and sometimes it isn't. He mentions them both separately and then tells us that Stippy Stappy leads to Sawle village.

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Hollyhock wrote:

Hi Stella,

Ross always knew that he was roughly ten years older than Demelza. What he did not know was the exact date of his own birth--whether it was December 1759 or January 1760. He was certain only that he was christened in January. As we've learned there could be a significant gap between birth and christening.

In the Angry Tide, when Verity is questioning Ross about his obviously strained relationship with Demelza, she mentions her age (chpt. 5, p. 173). 

'This year I was forty...'

Ross put some books on a shelf. They were old books, and on the new shelf they looked shabby. 'Do you know when I was born, Verity?'

"You? Serious? I know roughly. Don't you?'

"No, I can find no record. I was christened late in January '60, but whether I was born in January 1760 or in December '59 I have no idea.'

'I have always thought myself eighteen months older than you.'

However, Jud knew exactly when Ross was born. In Ross Poldark, Demelza asked Jud about the figurehead of the Mary Buckingham she had discovered while exploring the library. Jud told her that it had come ashore in 1760, three days after Ross was born. Jud had innumerable faults but a bad memory was not one of them. So I believe that WG entrusted this fact to Jud (chpt. 17, p. 166).

 


 Hollyhock - It is a surprise to me that I have never taken in this information! As Ross says "it's a fascinating thread". I am so glad you have posted this. What a gem of information it is! Definitely time for me to re-read 'Ross Poldark' for the umpteenth time wink



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Fascinating thread....



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Hi Stella,

Ross always knew that he was roughly ten years older than Demelza. What he did not know was the exact date of his own birth--whether it was December 1759 or January 1760. He was certain only that he was christened in January. As we've learned there could be a significant gap between birth and christening.

In the Angry Tide, when Verity is questioning Ross about his obviously strained relationship with Demelza, she mentions her age (chpt. 5, p. 173). 

'This year I was forty...'

Ross put some books on a shelf. They were old books, and on the new shelf they looked shabby. 'Do you know when I was born, Verity?'

"You? Serious? I know roughly. Don't you?'

"No, I can find no record. I was christened late in January '60, but whether I was born in January 1760 or in December '59 I have no idea.'

'I have always thought myself eighteen months older than you.'

However, Jud knew exactly when Ross was born. In Ross Poldark, Demelza asked Jud about the figurehead of the Mary Buckingham she had discovered while exploring the library. Jud told her that it had come ashore in 1760, three days after Ross was born. Jud had innumerable faults but a bad memory was not one of them. So I believe that WG entrusted this fact to Jud (chpt. 17, p. 166).

 



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Mrs Gimlett wrote:
I believe her birthday was meant to be in May, although people didn't generally celebrate birthdays then, unless an excuse for a get together was needed.  Strangely, Ross didn't seem to know how old he was himself, and indeed he questioned Verity about it, she saying there was about 18 months between them, she being the elder.  I don't think this was unusual, judging from my research into Parish Registers, there was much approximation going on.

 Mrs G - It's interesting for me to hear that "people didn't generally celebrate birthdays then, unless an excuse for a get together was needed." This occurred to me recently and I wondered why they were not celebrated at least among the landed gentry.

I haven't noticed that Ross didn't seem to know how old he was.  In fact I thought he was often aware of the exact age gap between him and Demelza.

 



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Mrs. G,

I think you misunderstood my point. I tossed in the second example to point out that a few of the discrepancies we find as we read are deliberate. 



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Dark Mare

Regarding the discrepancies over Demelza's age, I think she told them at Trenwith she was 18 because that was what she put in the register and that was the age at which you could marry without too much notice being taken of it.  Ross knew very well how old she was - I believe her birthday was meant to be in May, although people didn't generally celebrate birthdays then, unless an excuse for a get together was needed.  Strangely, Ross didn't seem to know how old he was himself, and indeed he questioned Verity about it, she saying there was about 18 months between them, she being the elder.  I don't think this was unusual, judging from my research into Parish Registers, there was much approximation going on.



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Little Henry wrote:

Since we're really delving into this and it's become a sort of game, I noticed something else.  In "The Loving Cup", Mrs. Selina Pope was invited to Clowance and Stephen's wedding and later all the invited guests had a small dinner in the library. About 40 pages later Selina calls on the Poldarks and the text says "She had never been to Nampara before".  Very minor.

 


 I think this shows that WG was, by the time he wrote 'The Loving Cup', getting a little forgetful as I am these days wink It's a short space of time to forget something like that but I can understand it.



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Since we're really delving into this and it's become a sort of game, I noticed something else.  In "The Loving Cup", Mrs. Selina Pope was invited to Clowance and Stephen's wedding and later all the invited guests had a small dinner in the library. About 40 pages later Selina calls on the Poldarks and the text says "She had never been to Nampara before".  Very minor.

 



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Little Henry wrote:

It is strange how historical fiction writers can research facts so well but seem to lapse with simple time and space.  I've read about it with another historical fiction writer.  I don't think it has been mentioned that in "The Miller's Dance" Demelza says "Julia would have been 22?  No, 21."  By my calculation she would have been 24.  I noticed it because Ross had just said that Jeremy was over 20.


 Little Henry - this was well spotted! smile



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Someone was asleep at the switch on this one from "Ross Poldark." The pages they appear on are just 60 pages apart.
 
Page 187
"He dont want for me to go back, for hes wed again. He was married again last Monday! So now hes ready to be friendly an I dont have to feel every night, whats Brother Luke doing and do Brother Jack miss me."

Page 247 
Tom Carne saw her and stopped. She ran up to him. Since his last visit when he had announced his coming marriage her feelings for him had changed.
 
 
There is one series of discrepancies in "Ross Poldark" that was deliberately done. They involve Demelza's age in the days between May 30, the night of the blue dress, and June 24, her wedding day. 
 
Page 248 (Demelza is talking to her father on May 30, 1787) 
"Well-a-fine. Tis she in part do feel you be betterer wi we than ere in this house exposed to all the temptations o the world, the flesh, and the devil. Youre but sixteen yet 
Seventeen. 
No matter. Youre too young to be wiout guidance. Carne thrust out his bottom lip.
 
Page 263 (Demelza clashes with Ross over the dress that same night.)
"Im seventeen, she said mutinously. I been seventeen for weeks. Are ee always going to treat me like a child? Ill not be treated like a child! Im a woman now. Can I not choose myself when I go to bed? 
You cant choose yourself how you behave."
 
Page 285 (Signing the parish register on their wedding day.)
... Ross and Demelza were married on the twenty-fourth of June, 1787. ... The register shows that the bride gave her age as eighteen, which was an anticipation of fact by three-quarters of a year. Ross was twenty-seven. ...
 
Page 341 (Meeting Aunt Agatha on Christmas Eve, 1787)
... Aunt Agatha stroked the whiskers on her chin. Come here, bud. I dont bite. How old are you
Demelza allowed her hand to be taken. Eighteen. She glanced at Ross. 
Hm. Nice age. Nice and sweet at that age. Aunt Agatha also glanced at Ross, her small eyes wicked among their sheaf of wrinkles. ...
 
From the first edition of "Ross Poldark" (it is not in subsequent editions). It is part of Ross's internal monologue as they walk home from Trenwith on Christmas Day, 1787. It begins on page 376 in the Kindle edition: 
Demelza is nearly eighteen and I am twenty-seven, and we have found together a companionship few people know. Just now, there is no wind, and the sun has set and the waves are breaking under the heavy sky and Demelza is walking and skipping at my side.
 
I always thought Demelza acted alone when she lied in the parish register, entering her age as 18 on their wedding day. (She was really 17 years and three months old.) Now I'm not so sure. Ross heard her tell Aunt Agatha she was 18 that Christmas Eve at Trenwith, but the next day he said, "Demelza is nearly eighteen ..." He knew she had lied to his aunt. Now I have to question whether Ross put her up to it. And if so, why? Did he think Mrs. Teague, Polly Choake, Mrs. Odgers and Joan Chynoweth would brand him a cradle robber if Demelza listed her true age? 



-- Edited by Dark Mare on Thursday 17th of August 2017 09:27:50 AM



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It is strange how historical fiction writers can research facts so well but seem to lapse with simple time and space.  I've read about it with another historical fiction writer.  I don't think it has been mentioned that in "The Miller's Dance" Demelza says "Julia would have been 22?  No, 21."  By my calculation she would have been 24.  I noticed it because Ross had just said that Jeremy was over 20.



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Reading The Angry Tide for the third time I came across, in chapter one part 2 that "Demelza, "smothered by a clutch of younger brothers, had had to act the mother at fourteen." Yet, in Ross Poldark, Book Three, Chapter One we are told that "Ross and Demelza were married on the twenty-fourth of June 1987. .....The Register shows that the bride gave her age as eighteen, which was an anticipation of fact by about three-quarters of a year. So she was 17 then and had worked for Ross for four years at Nampara. Soon after Ross met Demelza he asks her how old she is. She replies that she is thirteen. " I recall reading somewhere that she had to be 'mother' to her brothers from the age of eight when her mother dies.



-- Edited by Stella Poldark on Monday 14th of August 2017 11:00:06 AM

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Mrs Gimlett wrote:

To an extent, I too can forgive some small discrepancies; except WG was so meticulous in his research and spent many hours studying the period, Cornwall and many other topics, that it seems strange for there to be some quite noticeable ones.

Here is something which begins in The Black Moon and then is contradicted in The Four Swans.

Geoffrey Charles is showing Drake round Trenwith.  They come to the hall, heavily hung with portraits,

'These are all my ancestors,' said Geoffrey Charles.  'See this one, this is Anna Maria Trenwith, who married the first Poldark.  And this is my Great Uncle Joshua as a boy, and that is his favourite dog'.

In The Four Swans, Demelza visited the churchyard to see if work has begun on Agatha's headstone and she copied down the words on Joshua's grave.

WG writes:

All she knew of his parents (Ross') was Joshua's reputation as a young man, of his brief but happy marriage and of his returning to his old ways when his wife died.  All she had ever seen of Ross' mother was a damp spotted miniature, of Ross's father nothing at all; there was not even a portrait of him among the stacked pictures at Trenwith.

In one of the later books, and I cannot remember which one, I am fairly sure Ross is talking to one of the Nanfans (as far as I recall), who remembers Ross's mother.  He thinks about her for some minutes, rueing the fact that there is no image of her, she is so completely gone.

It's quite puzzling that these little snippets were not picked up on.

 


 Darn you, Mrs. Gimlett, I've had this discrepancy sitting in my drafts file waiting to my feeble brain to come up with some witty way to point out how ironic it was that when George toned down the Poldark influence in the Trenwith art collection, he failed to purge it of the portrait of Ross' father as a boy. Did he not know that the boy in the picture was Joshua Poldark or remember that Joshua Poldark was Ross' father? Or did he keep it on display so Ross wouldn't feel he could ask for it? And after Aunt Agatha dropped her bombshell, did George regularly exam the portrait for signs of a resemblance to Valentine as the boy aged?  



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I understand W.G. was a mystery writer also. Maybe he left these little teasers for to us find and ponder over. But gawd when you are writing about a family over a period of many years then  I can forgive him for not getting everything correct. 



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To an extent, I too can forgive some small discrepancies; except WG was so meticulous in his research and spent many hours studying the period, Cornwall and many other topics, that it seems strange for there to be some quite noticeable ones.

Here is something which begins in The Black Moon and then is contradicted in The Four Swans.

Geoffrey Charles is showing Drake round Trenwith.  They come to the hall, heavily hung with portraits,

'These are all my ancestors,' said Geoffrey Charles.  'See this one, this is Anna Maria Trenwith, who married the first Poldark.  And this is my Great Uncle Joshua as a boy, and that is his favourite dog'.

In The Four Swans, Demelza visited the churchyard to see if work has begun on Agatha's headstone and she copied down the words on Joshua's grave.

WG writes:

All she knew of his parents (Ross') was Joshua's reputation as a young man, of his brief but happy marriage and of his returning to his old ways when his wife died.  All she had ever seen of Ross' mother was a damp spotted miniature, of Ross's father nothing at all; there was not even a portrait of him among the stacked pictures at Trenwith.

In one of the later books, and I cannot remember which one, I am fairly sure Ross is talking to one of the Nanfans (as far as I recall), who remembers Ross's mother.  He thinks about her for some minutes, rueing the fact that there is no image of her, she is so completely gone.

It's quite puzzling that these little snippets were not picked up on.

 

 



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I agree with you, Susanne. I sometimes wonder if W.G. is looking upon us, smiling at our nitpickiness of his story's. I will give him "artistic license", whatever that is, to divorce himself from reality occasionally when writing these wonderful books. 



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It just amazes me how WG managed to write such a long historical saga at all before the age of Google, and before Word with it's convenient 'Find' function. I use both all the time. I think he's allowed the odd discrepancy!



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Off topic discussions on "Hector McNeil" transferred to this thread - "Discrepancies throughout the books"....

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This thread has now gone completely off-topic.

However, in reply to the burning of fences or Trenwith itself, it was totally wrong.

This is nothing to do with the Enclosures Act or anything illegal.  All George was doing was making himself unpopular with the locals because he wanted to define the land they owned by fencing it off.  He had bully boy gamekeepers and henchmen aplenty to ensure villagers didn't trespass and he had made certain no part of the fence encroached on common land.

The locals would have accepted it.  Not with good grace maybe, because they didn't like the man; but many landowners had boundary fences or walls.  Just because Ross had only a few stone posts marking the extent of his ownership doesn't mean all the gentry would have been content with the same.

I never thought I would be standing up for George and in doing so I am not suggesting I agree with his actions; but he was perfectly entitled to do that if he wanted.

I guess it was done only for effect.  I'm of the school who would have liked to see a faithful production, rather than random events.  There is ample drama within the books to draw from.

Just to complete my off-topic comments, I have been thinking about Nampara.  It is all wrong on screen.  It is supposed to be a Georgian building - not a mansion or stately home, but utilitarian and contemporary. In the series it is portrayed as a moorland dwelling, barely better than a miners cottage, with much exposed stone and very dark.  I know it adds atmosphere, but unless DH goes off-topic too, it will present problems when the renovation takes place. An elegant library would look completely incongruous anywhere near TV Nampara.

I'll go back to the kitchen now

Mrs G



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Off topic discussions on "Hector McNeil" transferred to this thread - "Discrepancies throughout the books"....

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I rather like the way the new series split the difference between the 1975 series and the books on burning Trenwith. Setting just the fences ablaze was perfect. There is something so dramatic about fire in the dark, but burning Trenwith was overkill and made more plot tinkering necessary. On the other hand, having everyone just accept the fences, as WG did, seemed like a missed opportunity. 

I just wish Debbie Horsfield had had Aunt Agatha congratulate Elizabeth for her choice in replacement husbands as they watched Demelza pleading with George and the mob. In just a few months George had achieved what the Trenwith/Poldarks had been unable to do in 250 years: alienate the neighbors enough to get them to march on the estate with torches and pitchforks. Or maybe Agatha could have congratulated George himself later.



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Dave, I you are confusing the cellar with the cache which was excavated when Trencrom began using Nampara Cove for landing the contraband.  The one Ross hid in.  Incidentally, when you read either WGs memoirs or Poldark's Cornwall, you will learn more about the cache!

The cellar was an integral part of the house from when it was built.  It is mentioned in the first edition of RP a few times, when Jud has to clean up all the detritus he and Prudie created when supposedly 'in charge' of the place, before Ross' return.



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IF I remember correctly when they decided to remodel the house Demelza, didn't like its memories, wanted it filled in, but Ross wasn't interested in doing that. 



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Yes, you are quite right - Jud does begin his last hurrah down in the cellar.

It is also mentioned again when the house is searched during the smuggling raid, but nothing is found there - I think it was a redundant space because after that, no mention, and it seems neither Ross nor Demelza ever descended those cellar steps!

 

 

 



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Mrs Gimlett wrote:

Another change is in Nampara itself.  For those lucky enough to have a first edition of RP, the house has a ramshackle conservatory when Ross arrives back from America.  It also has a cellar.  Neither of these are ever mentioned again, and indeed, WG actually writes that the house had never had a conservatory. In this edition, there is half a chapter, describing Nampara house.

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

Mrs G, to be fair to WG, he did mention the cellar at least once more--in Demelza. It's in the chapter where Jud gets fired. Jud started swilling Ross' good gin in the cellar and then came up to the parlor and accused Jinny of sleeping with Ross, and claimed the proof was in little Benjamin Ross' scar.  



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Mrs Gimlett wrote:

Perhaps the uncle of Demelza's was her mother's brother.  If so it could explain why Drake may not know of him, since he was the youngest and the mother died when he was very young.  We never learn much of Demelza senior, but perhaps she was a little above her husband.  She would have soon have been worn down by all those children - maybe they married because she was pregnant.  All speculation, of course,  but Tom Carne doesn't come across as the catch of the season!


 I thought I read that Demelza's mother was an only child -- possibly a love child -- and she spent part of her childhood on her aunt's farm. Maybe Henry was the aunt's husband, making him Demelza's great-uncle. 

I was thinking Henry might have been one of Tom Carne's two brothers who accompanied him to Nampara to claim Demelza and bring her back to Illugan. I'd like to think it was the younger one, who characterized the fight between Tom and Ross as the best fight he'd ever seen, adding, "Many's the time 'e's laced me. I never thought to see 'im beat. Thank 'ee, mister." You've gotta like a guy who thanks the man who finally bested his brother. 

 


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Stella Poldark wrote:
 Off topic I know but I cannot resist highlighting that poor Demelza senior had a child every year of her marriage!! Poor woman. I would like to have seen Tom Carne get his comeuppance.

He did. He got saddled with seven children under the age of 9. No matter how accomplished 8-year-old Demelza was at running the house, there were still six little boys being little boys in a tiny cottage. No wonder he drank.

Nellie was a saint to take them on, but she made Tom quit drinking, which meant he had to stay home nights, and go to church -- so much for his Sunday afternoon wrestling matches. 

 



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Mrs Gimlett wrote:

Perhaps the uncle of Demelza's was her mother's brother.  If so it could explain why Drake may not know of him, since he was the youngest and the mother died when he was very young.  We never learn much of Demelza senior, but perhaps she was a little above her husband.  She would have soon have been worn down by all those children - maybe they married because she was pregnant.  All speculation, of course,  but Tom Carne doesn't come across as the catch of the season!


 Off topic I know but I cannot resist highlighting that poor Demelza senior had a child every year of her marriage!! Poor woman. I would like to have seen Tom Carne get his comeuppance.



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Problem with text suddenly going way off page this morning for some strange reason which I can't rectify or trace, so forum host providers notified....

Ross



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Perhaps the uncle of Demelza's was her mother's brother.  If so it could explain why Drake may not know of him, since he was the youngest and the mother died when he was very young.  We never learn much of Demelza senior, but perhaps she was a little above her husband.  She would have soon have been worn down by all those children - maybe they married because she was pregnant.  All speculation, of course,  but Tom Carne doesn't come across as the catch of the season!



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Sometimes the discrepancies from book to book seem almost deliberate. Here is one:

Page 410, "The Miller's Dance"

They called him Henry, after an uncle of Demelzas.

Page 130, "The Loving Cup"

"Why did you call him Henry?" Drake asked, staring down at his tiny nephew.

"We tried all the names we could think of," said Demelza "All the family tried.

It was quite different from the other children; we knew as soon as ever they were born. Not Henry. We almost called him Claude.

"Why?"

"It was Ross's brothers name - who died young. And Ross's grandfather too."

"And who was Henry?"

"Ross's grandfather too."

They both laughed.

"Claude Henry," Demelza explained unnecessarily.

"I thought I heard Clowance call him Harry."

"So you would. Henry. Harry. Hal. Thats what they called the Henrys who were kings."

"And he has another name?"

"Vennor. I dont suppose he will wish to be called that, but it all depends how he feels when he grows up."

WG seems to have forgotten from one book to the next after whom Henry was named. But is this a mistake or a red herring -- or even a breadcrumb of foreshadowing that was not returned to later?

Demelza is discussing the name choice with her brother Drake, who would know whether they have an uncle named Henry. Because he is the one who raises the subject, asking, "Why did you call him Henry?," it crossed my mind that maybe Demelza changed the story because her family had fallen out with the uncle she liked enough to name her son after him. If that happened, could the Carnes' conversion to Methodism and temperance be enough to drive a wedge between them and the rest of Tom's family? Would Tom expect his children to shun any relatives who hadn't followed him into the faith - or maybe had mocked him for the changes he'd made in his life since remarrying?

We'll never know, of course, but it is fun to speculate.



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I went through the first book and pull out these distances from place to place. Hope this helps. If time permits will do more with the other books. I have done distances to the French coast but didn't write them down. Hope to do so in the future. I too am always curious as to distances and also compass points which have confused me greatly in these books.

To take a child from her home to a house ten miles away, a girl and underage, Illogan to Nampara

Ross Poldark: A Novel of Cornwall, 1783-1787 (The Poldark Saga Book 1) (p. 119).

Next time youre here venture another three miles and visit Nampara". Ross's invitation to William-Alfreds who was visiting Trenwith House at this time.

Ross Poldark: A Novel of Cornwall, 1783-1787 (The Poldark Saga Book 1) (p. 138).

Distance from Mellin Cottages to Turno for Jim Carter's trial. The day of the trial was very warm, and Ross rode into Truro early with the songs of the birds all the way. In the well of the court Jinny Carter, who had walked the nine miles with her father, tried to smile as her husband glanced toward her.

Ross Poldark: A Novel of Cornwall, 1783-1787 (The Poldark Saga Book 1) (p. 239).

Distance from the beach to Nampara house. Then without words, they turned, walked across the sand and shingle, crossed the stream at the stepping stones, and walked together hand in hand the half mile to the house.

Ross Poldark: A Novel of Cornwall, 1783-1787 (The Poldark Saga Book 1) (p. 298).

Distance from Mellin cottages to Bodmin. One never knew how much the jailer pocketed, and it had taken all Mrs. Zackys persuasion, and the claims of motherhood, to keep Jinny from walking the twenty-six miles to Bodmin,

Ross Poldark: A Novel of Cornwall, 1783-1787 (The Poldark Saga Book 1) (p. 336)

Turno to London --approximately 284 miles and a 5 day trip in Poldark's time. google maps.



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Thanks Ross. Very helpful!



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For what it's worth WG's original maps etc. in the Society's original Website & Archives. Top bar extreme left....

http://web.archive.org/web/20071015071914/http://www.poldark.org.uk/map1953.html

Ross smile



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Exactly Stella, throughout the novels the distance between Nampara and Trenwith varies between 3 and four miles. Perhaps when Ross says it was three miles he was referring to one of his 'secret ways' into Trenwith that he alluded to when facing George down.smile



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Dave wrote:

A normal person can walk 3 miles in an hour, less if you have a long stride like Ross, I imagine a horse at a normal trot can go twice that speed so I am guessing it would take two hours to go the 12 miles. Also, we know Trenwith is 3 miles from Nampara so when Ross and Demelza and others are going back and forth from there and to there it would be an hour walk. 


 Do we know that Trenwith is 3 miles from Nampara? Here is another discrepancy but I cannot point to where it is 4 miles and even 5 miles I believe but I recall reading all of these distances in the books.



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A normal person can walk 3 miles in an hour, less if you have a long stride like Ross, I imagine a horse at a normal trot can go twice that speed so I am guessing it would take two hours to go the 12 miles. Also, we know Trenwith is 3 miles from Nampara so when Ross and Demelza and others are going back and forth from there and to there it would be an hour walk. 



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More on the distance discrepancy between Nampara and Killewarren

At the end of TBM, when WG is wrapping up loose ends, he provides an update on Dwight's recovery at Killewarren. While the Nampara Poldarks are enjoying family time on their lawn, WG states:

"And a dozen miles away Caroline Penvenen was watching a groom help Dwight mount his first horse..."

This explains why, at the beginning of the book, it took R&D over 2 1/2 hours to reach to Killewarren.  It also explains why, on a subsequent visit to Nampara, Caroline told Demelza she could not stay longer because it would take her forever to get home and Uncle Ray would be worried.  And it particularly answers, for me, the question of why Ross didn't enforce his suggestion (at the end of Warleggan) that Caroline visit often.

'When Dwight has gone, so long as you stay with your uncle, I hope you'll come and sup with us once or twice a week. It will help the time to pass.'  This would have been a welcome escape for Caroline. 

But, apparently, WG found it convenient to have the families closer so that the twelve miles gradually shrunk until by the end of the saga, the distance between the two homes was a comfortable four mile walk. 

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

One of the inconsistencies that always strikes me is the shifting distance between Nampara and Killewarren. An early example occurs in The Black Moon (p. 124 my edition). When Ross and Demelza accept an invitation to dine with Ralph-Allen Daniell, they decide to break their journey by taking chocolate with Caroline at Killewarren.  

The text states, "they left home before eight on the 28th..." and "reached Killewarren about ten-thirty..."

This suggests a travel time of over two-and-a-half-hours by horseback. In each of the successive books, the distance seems to shrink drastically until it seems that the two houses are separated only by a walking distance of a few miles.  Then, in the Author's Note to Bella, we are informed,  "A mile beyond Sawle Church in an inland direction live the ENYSES, at Killewarren."

Finally, when Caroline invites Lord Edward to stay at Killewarren during Bella's illness, he asks Clowance, "how far is their house from here? She relies, "about four miles." 



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Mrs Gimlett wrote:

Candles were a very important part of life in those times, Dave.  Without them - only firelight!

I think if you light one candle on a dark night and see just how little light it gives, you'll understand why there are so many.  It wasn't romanticism per se, as is the case for much candle lighting these days, but pure practicality.

Perhaps Ross lit another candle because he liked to see what he was taking to his bed...  I think that would mean there were then three in the bedroom; one Ross carried upstairs with him, one Demelza brought with her and the extra one he decided was necessary. That was quite extravagant...


 Well if no one else is going offer this observation on the subject of candlelight, I will. (It is one of my favorite scenes from a Poldark marriage. Demelza is beginning the first morning of her first visit to London.)

Spoiler



-- Edited by Dark Mare on Sunday 5th of February 2017 11:04:44 AM



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I live in a rural area and sometimes during a ferocious storm we lose our power and have to resort to candles. 



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Hi, I don't if Victoria is playing over there but it is here in the States and there was a scene in last week's episode about candles. The Queen's right-hand gal (or whatever she is called) is trying to save money and is using tallow instead of wax. It was amusing how it had disastrous consequences during  Q.Victoria's party ball. 



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Mrs Gimlett wrote:

Candles were a very important part of life in those times, Dave.  Without them - only firelight!

I think if you light one candle on a dark night and see just how little light it gives, you'll understand why there are so many.  It wasn't romanticism per se, as is the case for much candle lighting these days, but pure practicality.

Perhaps Ross lit another candle because he liked to see what he was taking to his bed...  I think that would mean there were then three in the bedroom; one Ross carried upstairs with him, one Demelza brought with her and the extra one he decided was necessary. That was quite extravagant...

Oh and Stella, you say how does WG remember small details - well, I would think that scene was etched into his brain.  It's the catalyst for everything.  I guess he wrote and rewrote that section so it would naturally be something he would never forget.


 The importance of candles is something I forget. I recall there was mention of how many more candles there were at Trenwith and think it might have been Demelza who noticed this. Of course George had even more!

Mrs G - you are of course right about that scene being the catalyst for everything and so naturally WG would have it etched into his brain. There are so many aspects and layers to the books and many things that are linked together throughout the books that, even if one spent a lifetime re-reading and noting the many intertwined aspects of the books, it would be impossible to know them all.

Stella



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Candles were a very important part of life in those times, Dave.  Without them - only firelight!

I think if you light one candle on a dark night and see just how little light it gives, you'll understand why there are so many.  It wasn't romanticism per se, as is the case for much candle lighting these days, but pure practicality.

Perhaps Ross lit another candle because he liked to see what he was taking to his bed...  I think that would mean there were then three in the bedroom; one Ross carried upstairs with him, one Demelza brought with her and the extra one he decided was necessary. That was quite extravagant...

Oh and Stella, you say how does WG remember small details - well, I would think that scene was etched into his brain.  It's the catalyst for everything.  I guess he wrote and rewrote that section so it would naturally be something he would never forget.



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Yes Yes, I remember that when I first read that episode and thought it was puzzling. I would think he would put the candle out. Of course, candlelight is very poor and it is maybe more romantic than most electric ones or does Ross likes to see what is going on. Do you have an idea why he lit the candle? Also, candles are mention many times in these books. What did  W.G. indicate by so many lighting or extinguishing of candles   ......most times they are extinguished and the smoke continues to curl upwards.  Even in the film version they use this candle theme, is it a transition effect? In the film someone mentioned they used the surf, waves breaking on the shore to indicated a jump forward in time. 



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Mrs Gimlett wrote:

Yes, Stella.

Ross and Demelza are 'relaxing' in bed after his return from London and they are catching up on news, and idly talking of memories and trivia.  Then I think it is Demelza who says something like 'do you remember first taking me to bed in this room?'  Then he points out she seduced him at which she replies it didn't feel like it because he lit another candle.  He tells her he meant to know her better by morning...


 Thank you Mrs G. You always have the answers biggrin I thought that WG did not re-read his earlier books so I wonder how he remembered such a small detail but got other things wrong.



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