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Post Info TOPIC: Discrepancies throughout the Poldark books


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Date: Oct 9 7:24 PM, 2017
RE: Discrepancies throughout the Poldark books
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Having considered your reply, I think we shall have to agree to differ on this subject, Dark Mare.  Yes, Godfrey Kneller was a well-known artist, who painted some royal portraits, although mostly, of European heads of state.  You are probably correct that George would have valued these and had them in a prominent position, as much to imply an ancestry for his family as anything else.  From what is written of George, although he spent much on his properties, he was ostentatious and lacked good taste.  His intention was to make an impression of how wealthy he was.  This idea was quite alien to the Poldark family.

I'm also sticking to my guns about any possible picture of Joshua.  Perhaps GC was misinformed about who was in the picture.  It is very common for verbal family 'history' to be incorrect. To my mind, anything with Joshua in it would have been known about by Ross.  Even if George was mistakenly told there was a portrait of Ross' father, I am fairly certain it would have been consigned to the very furthest part of the attics, no matter who had painted it.



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Mrs Gimlett wrote:

Sorry, Dark Mare, but I cannot agree with you.

Ross, when thinking about his parents, says that no portraits of his father exist, 'he is so completely gone'. 

In the Four Swans, Demelza makes a visit to the churchyard to see if Agatha's grave is being attended to.  She reads the inscription on Joshua and Grace's stone.

'All she knew of his parents 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' father nothing at all; there was not even a portrait of him among the stacked pictures at Trenwith'.

I cannot see why you think the portraits at Trenwith were done by leading Royal artists.  The most likely artist for society pictures in Cornwall would have been John Opie, who was born in a village not far from St Agnes.  Although Royalty are known to have purchased pictures from him when he eventually went to London, he didn't paint any of the royal family.

Ross would certainly have known if there had ever been a picture of his father; he may not have had enormous interest in art, but there are references to his looking at pictures in the big houses and musing over who might best depict Elizabeth.  He may have had a scanty knowledge of art, but Ross knew his Trenwith intimately, from very early on.  He would have been made aware of anything relating to his side of the family, even the disapproved of Joshua. 

I think perhaps WG meant Charles as a boy with his dog, when referring to that portrait. For a start it would make more sense - the older brother.   It would not be the first time the two names were confused; either by a negligent typesetter or WG himself, which then got missed at the editing stage.


I'm not trying to be argumentative, but I was on solid ground there. This quote from "Ross Poldark" says the paintings of the first Poldarks (Anna-Marie Trenwith and Charles Vivian Raffe Poldarque) were painted by Godfrey Kneller:

Ross Poldark, Page 104: 
"There was then discreet silence for three generations until one came to an attractive painting by Godfrey Kneller of Anna-Maria Trenwith and another by the same artist of Charles Vivian Raffe Poldarque, whom she had married in 1696."
 
And the Tate website has this to say about Kneller:
 

Remember, the Poldarks were a lot wealthier in 1696 than they were 100 years later because Grambler was in its early days. They could afford portraits painted by an artist who had also painted multiple British kings. 

I also have to quibble with your suggestion that WG meant Charles not Joshua because Geoffrey Charles said, "This is my great uncle Joshua and his favorite dog..." or words to that effect. If WG had meant Charles, Geoffrey Charles would have said "my grandfather," not "my great uncle." Geoffrey Charles may have identified other portraits in the tour he gave Drake, and WG didn't include that part of the tour. Then again, George may have culled Charles from the abbreviated collection because he didn't like the portrait --- or its subject -- or because the artist wasn't on par with Kneller. George redecorated Trenwith to show off his wealth and taste so he would have chosen portraits to display on the basis of artistic merit -- or artist's reputation -- not importance to the remaining Poldarks. Charles could be languishing in the attic (or wherever the superfluous art was stashed) along with other Poldarks and Trenwiths who didn't make the cut when George redecorated.

 

 



-- Edited by Dark Mare on Friday 29th of September 2017 12:18:11 PM

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Sorry, Dark Mare, but I cannot agree with you.

Ross, when thinking about his parents, says that no portraits of his father exist, 'he is so completely gone'. 

In the Four Swans, Demelza makes a visit to the churchyard to see if Agatha's grave is being attended to.  She reads the inscription on Joshua and Grace's stone.

'All she knew of his parents 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' father nothing at all; there was not even a portrait of him among the stacked pictures at Trenwith'.

I cannot see why you think the portraits at Trenwith were done by leading Royal artists.  The most likely artist for society pictures in Cornwall would have been John Opie, who was born in a village not far from St Agnes.  Although Royalty are known to have purchased pictures from him when he eventually went to London, he didn't paint any of the royal family.

Ross would certainly have known if there had ever been a picture of his father; he may not have had enormous interest in art, but there are references to his looking at pictures in the big houses and musing over who might best depict Elizabeth.  He may have had a scanty knowledge of art, but Ross knew his Trenwith intimately, from very early on.  He would have been made aware of anything relating to his side of the family, even the disapproved of Joshua. 

I think perhaps WG meant Charles as a boy with his dog, when referring to that portrait. For a start it would make more sense - the older brother.   It would not be the first time the two names were confused; either by a negligent typesetter or WG himself, which then got missed at the editing stage.



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Mrs Gimlett wrote:

... The portrait you mention, of Joshua, is interesting and we have discussed it before.  I too think this must be an aberration, or a wrong name. 

In context,  George had recently moved to Trenwith and is tarting up the place in a vulgar fashion.  He discards many of the pictures, but keeps the best.  Can anyone seriously believe he would retain on the wall a picture of Ross's father?  Furthermore, it is said to be Joshua as a boy with his favourite dog.  George cannot abide dogs.  That is two good reasons for it to be a mistake.


I doubt it was a mistake at all. Rather, the painting was likely chosen to remain because it was done by a prominent artist. George hated the Poldarks, yet he had no problem keeping the portraits of the last Trenwith and her husband, the first Poldark. Why? Because the pair of portraits were by the royal portrait artist of their day. (The name appears in either "Ross Poldark" or "The Black Moon," I forget which. I googled the artist's name and found out just how prominent he was.) As for the portrait of Joshua, likely George either a.) didn't know who the boy in the portrait was and cared only about the painted signature in the corner or b.) did not realize the Joshua in the painting was Ross' father. A glance at the Poldark family tree shows how much the family tended to recycle names across the generations. I have always read this as another practical joke Graham was pulling on poor George. My favorite is having one of Harriet's boarhounds save his life.

The fact that Ross didn't know the portrait was there is the only thing that makes this theory shaky. Then again, he demonstrated no interest in art so the paintings were just things that were in his uncle's house. (I never knew certain things in my relatives' houses were anything special until I was working for the lifestyle section of a newspaper that had a weekly supplement that devoted a lot of space to home furnishings, antiques, etc.) 



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The problem is, Little Henry, once a book is published, unless the publisher is alerted to the mistakes, typos and other errors, a reprint will be exactly the same.  I doubt if WG read through any of his novels once there were published - he was keen to get on with the next project.  Therefore, these discrepancies keep appearing.

You are quite right about Wheal Maiden being the mine building which  became the meeting house.  I meant to put that but got distracted by the thought of going to the beach.  Then I remembered it's Bank Holiday, so went into the garden instead!

The portrait you mention, of Joshua, is interesting and we have discussed it before.  I too think this must be an aberration, or a wrong name. 

In context,  George had recently moved to Trenwith and is tarting up the place in a vulgar fashion.  He discards many of the pictures, but keeps the best.  Can anyone seriously believe he would retain on the wall a picture of Ross's father?  Furthermore, it is said to be Joshua as a boy with his favourite dog.  George cannot abide dogs.  That is two good reasons for it to be a mistake.

Again, this is in The Black Moon.  Perhaps it would have been an idea for WG to ask Jean to read the MS and see if it tallied with what went before.  Twenty years is a huge period in which to forget small details - no wonder he said continuing the Poldarks was like breaking the sound barrier!



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It seems no one goes back to check the years, months timeline as it crops up a lot.  In your example, they built the meeting house out of the ruins of Wheal Maiden I believe, not Grace.  It is such an easy fix and over the years you just wish it was corrected.  Much like the portrait of Uncle Joshua, I'm sure it just should have been Charles.  Perhaps it's hard to change text in a book once it's published?  Perhaps we have to forgive a lot of minor errors in the tv series too (except the character changes of Ross which I can't forgive).



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The Black Moon seems to contain more discrepancies than the other books.  I suppose this is because WG wrote it so long after Warleggan and by his own admission, didn't thoroughly read the previous books before he began. (I remember the joy of hearing a new book was to be published - the wait seemed never-ending)

In Book 1 of TBM, there is a section full of contradictions.  One at least must be a compositor's error.  Here they are in chronological order.

1  (Of Elizabeth and George) This was their only meal alone.  Two years of marriage had seen subtle changes....   They had in fact only been married a little over a year.

2  (In the same section, George thinking of Elizabeth) ...It was not an accident that she had survived for nearly two years as a widow and run this big house with no help...  She was widowed in September and married George less than a year later.

3  (In the very next paragraph - George thinking of Geoffrey Charles) ...Leaving him at Trenwith in the charge of his governess and his uncle and aunt would be a gentle way of severing the tie.  This should clearly be his grandparents, the Chynoweths. 

These discrepancies are so close together, it's possible that the galley proof for all the above was one page, which may have been omitted from the set when sent to WG and he never had a chance to proof-read it. However, they should have been noticed in a later stage of production.

The two following glitches come from early in book 2, TBM.

4  (George talking to Elizabeth about Morwenna's future) ... Elizabeth stared at him...'Sir John! ...But what gave you such an idea?  A confirmed bachelor...'  When Sir John is first introduced, he is a childless widower.

5  (Before Clowance's Christening, Ross gives way to Demelza on her choice of Sam as Godparent)  ...as he had more or less given way on the matter of allowing a new preaching house to be built out of the ruins of Wheal Grace;...  This is what I think must be a printer's error, although it should have been picked up.  Wheal Grace is their cash cow and mentioned through the book as very much a going concern.

I have some sympathy with in-house proof readers.  When one is looking specifically for errors, it is not possible to follow the story.  Each word has to be scrutinised, especially then (because of mechanical methods), for font type and spelling, so rather than getting engrossed in the book itself, the story is taken in at a third remove.  Accuracy in the story is the responsibility of the author; even so glaring errors are normally checked.



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Mrs Gimlett wrote

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!


Actually, knowing Ross, he wouldn't have lost any sleep over not knowing if he was born in December or January. That was just his ploy to derail Verity's questions about his relationship with Demelza. Didn't work; Verity knew what he was up to.



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Mrs Gimlett wrote:
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


What a funny coincidence you should mention this.  People think that doesn't really happen, but it does. My father was born on Christmas Day, and he never had a real birthday party on his actual birthday in his childhood. After my parents were married, my mother decided if the British queen could have two birthdays, he could too. So our family celebration of Dad's birthday would be Christmas Day, but to the rest of the world, his birthday was Feb. 2, Groundhog's Day. (This was long before movie came out so no, he didn't choose it because it was the day that never ends.) 

This lasted a few years and then one year, my mother decided to buy his Christmas birthday cake rather than make it because our favorite bakery had this very cool Yule log cake that looked even better with "Happy Birthday" written along the log, and it was easier to place the candles -- and much easier to blow them out in one large breath. I think we had been invited to Christmas dinner at someone's house that year so we couldn't have the birthday cake and presents with dinner. Those two wrinkles gave birth to the birthday celebration Dad liked best: Cake and ice cream for breakfast and a second pile of gifts to open. From then on, his birthday was celebrated Christmas morning. He died in 1985, but until my mother died in 2010, we still celebrated him and his birthday every Christmas morning with cake and ice cream.



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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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Date: Aug 17 11:32 PM, 2017
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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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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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