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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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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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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...



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What follows is not a discrepancy but I'm hoping you will indulge me. In Ross Poldark, just before the seduction scene gets going Ross lights a second candle. We are not told why until The Stranger from the Sea. Can anyone remember where in The Stranger From the Sea we are given an explanation of the second candle?



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Yeah, I agree I was just having a little fun with this one. I think his correct name "Malcolm" is mentioned later in the book. 



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That's right. I'd forgotten that one.



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I think Hector was just a simple error.  WG acknowledged in his memoirs that he didn't read the previous books when he embarked on book 5.  Considering all he wrote in the intervening years, it's astonishing how much he did remember.  The odd mistake of a first name is forgivable. 

However, it should have been picked up before publication.

 

Another inconsistency through the books is The Gatehouse, where Dwight lived. 

Ross originally goes to old Horace Treneglos to ask him about it, as it is on his land.   Later it seems to creep over onto Poldark land and by the later books, Ross has assumed complete ownership of it.



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I doubt it. I think he just misremembered what first name he'd given McNeil. 

Maybe Hector McNeil was the name WG originally chose when he was writing "Warleggan," the first book in which he discloses McNeil's first name, and someone reading the manuscript reminded him there was a real Hector McNeil. And not only was Hector McNeil a real person, but when Soviet spy Guy Burgess had spirited hundreds of top secret documents out of the office of the state secretary at the Foreign Office to be photographed for the Kremlin, McNeil had been the hoodwinked state secretary and Burgess, his private secretary. (Burgess and Donald Maclean, members 1 and 2 of the Cambridge Five, defected to the Soviet Union in 1951, two years before "Warleggan" was published.) Somehow I doubt WG would have wanted to give that poor man's name to his lecherous soldier character.

However, by the time he was writing "The Four Swans" more than 20 years later, he might have forgotten about all that and remembered only the first name he had come up with. 

 

 



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So was this some inside joke W.G. was playing?  



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Dave,

Let's just accept it as a mistake. The alternative is too dreadful to contemplate: There was actually a mother who christened her son Hector Malcolm McNeil and then called him Malcolm. Given the definition of hector is "talk to someone in a bullying way," she would have essentially been inviting people to bully her son. Too cruel.

I do wonder whether the Cambridge Five spy ring was back in the news when WG was writing that sentence because there was a prominent Scottish politician named Hector McNeil who had had the misfortune of having employed one of the Soviet spies, Guy Burgess, as his private secretary. (When Burgess worked for McNeil, then Minister of State at the Foreign Office, he was leaking top secret documents to the Soviets. He would spirit them out of McNeil's office, give them to Soviet agent to photograph and then return them to the office the next day. McNeil never caught on.)

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hector_McNeil

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guy_Burgess

 



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'

Compared to the predatory conquerors she had kept at bay in the past, such as Hugh Bodrugan, Hector McNeil and John Treneglos, this was completely without risk, danger or any other hazard. But it didnt feel like it which was the trouble'.  p.85 Four Swans

Is this a mistake ? Hector?  

However I would like to think that  that incident at Werry House way back in time was so distressful and shameful to Demelza she  could never say his full name especially his first name  "Malcolm".   'As a special favour for tonight, would you consider calling me Malcolm?  p.335 Warleggan. 

 

Here is a post that I placed elsewhere. The last sentence is my interpretation to help cover the mistake. After all I don't think it would be too unreasonable for Demelza to have those thoughts. 



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Mrs Gimlett wrote:

In house editors did read proofs, but they were not expected to pick up discrepancies of the sort we are discussing.  When I was in publishing, some authors very annoyingly were prone to some re-writing at the galley proof stage.  Occasionally it improved things, most often it just annoyed the type-setters.

However things may have been different in other countries.  I am talking about 50 years ago!  Goodness knows what happens now - some books are so full of mistakes I wonder if anyone at production stage reads them at all.


That's funny. As I recall, that was the reason we stopped having reporters read page proofs before deadline. 

It is disturbing how much of the production process of each print medium has been streamlined into ineffectiveness. 

 



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Fijane wrote:

Stella, I wasn't sure of the final conclusion based on reading the comments. Mrs Gimlett said that she "seemed to remember" that he had other christian names - I took that as uncertain. Can anyone confirm that he definitely had those other names, and that would be the reason they were occasionally used?


 Fijane - I did look up one reference in The Black Moon and found that in consecutive paragraphs he was referred to as 'Osborne' and then 'William'. I have not looked for other names and am rather busy just now. I thought it was only these two that were used.

Stella



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Stella, I wasn't sure of the final conclusion based on reading the comments. Mrs Gimlett said that she "seemed to remember" that he had other christian names - I took that as uncertain. Can anyone confirm that he definitely had those other names, and that would be the reason they were occasionally used?



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Here are two more.

(1) Near the end of the Angry Tide,  when Ross is seeking yet another reconciliation with Demelza, they discuss their tempestuous relationship.

Demelza says: "Perhaps we both care too much."

Ross replies: "It's a signal failing in two people who have been married fourteen years. But I think if we can admit that, it is a long way towards understanding."

It is then near the end of 1799. Since they were married in 1787, the date is off a couple of years.  

 

(2) I seem to recall someone mentioning the changing number of Mrs. Zacky's children, but I can't find it in this thread. But in any event I think this is another example.

In Ross Poldark, when Ross has just returned home and is seeking "cheap" labor to help restore his farm, he visits the Martins. 

"There were two new faces since Ross left, making eleven in all, and Mrs. Martin was pregnant again."

Then in the Twisted Sword, Ross visits the Martins again when he is trying to recruit Martins to attend Katie and Music's wedding. He notices:

"Mrs. Zacky, who had delivered Demelza of Julia and helped at the births of Jeremy and Clowance, and who had eight children of her own, had not shriveled with the years: she was a stout, white-haired, bespectacled, flat-faced, rubicund, vigorous seventy-one."   

Of course it's possible that WG was referring to the number of children who had lived.

 

 

 



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Fijane wrote:
Stella Poldark wrote:
Fijane wrote:

Reading The Black Moon, I've just come across another small error. George is considering the pros and cons of allowing Morwenna to go back to Trenwith after her initial resistance to the marriage plans. He speculates that a bit of time and distance will do no harm (little does he know) and calls Osborne Whitworth , "William Osborne". Typo, maybe? or a little lapse in concentration?


 Fijane - can you give me the Book number and Chapter number please? I have a first edition Black Moon and would like to see if this error is in it. I remember seeing it in the Pan Macmillan edition.

Stella


Sorry about late reply, it's been a busy couple of days.

It is in Book Two, Chapter 5 - in my Pan Mac it is on page 209. The paragraph starts "The decision to let her return to Trenwith with Mr and Mrs Jonathan Chynoweth and Geoffrey Charles was taken late one evening..."

The later part: "...absence from William Osborne might make the heart grow fonder."

So, was it a mistake, or a deliberate use of two christian names?


 Fijane - if you scroll down you will see posts from others giving details of other occasions when Osborne was referred to as William. Thanks for information and I shall still check it with my first edition.

 



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Stella Poldark wrote:
Fijane wrote:

Reading The Black Moon, I've just come across another small error. George is considering the pros and cons of allowing Morwenna to go back to Trenwith after her initial resistance to the marriage plans. He speculates that a bit of time and distance will do no harm (little does he know) and calls Osborne Whitworth , "William Osborne". Typo, maybe? or a little lapse in concentration?


 Fijane - can you give me the Book number and Chapter number please? I have a first edition Black Moon and would like to see if this error is in it. I remember seeing it in the Pan Macmillan edition.

Stella


Sorry about late reply, it's been a busy couple of days.

It is in Book Two, Chapter 5 - in my Pan Mac it is on page 209. The paragraph starts "The decision to let her return to Trenwith with Mr and Mrs Jonathan Chynoweth and Geoffrey Charles was taken late one evening..."

The later part: "...absence from William Osborne might make the heart grow fonder."

So, was it a mistake, or a deliberate use of two christian names?



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In house editors did read proofs, but they were not expected to pick up discrepancies of the sort we are discussing.  When I was in publishing, some authors very annoyingly were prone to some re-writing at the galley proof stage.  Occasionally it improved things, most often it just annoyed the type-setters.

However things may have been different in other countries.  I am talking about 50 years ago!  Goodness knows what happens now - some books are so full of mistakes I wonder if anyone at production stage reads them at all.



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You're right, Mrs. Gimlett, it was at the ball. I now remember it. Thanks!

I was under the impression that there was even more redundancy in book editing than there was in newspaper and magazine editing before the recession and technology made thousands of editing jobs just disappear. I thought the author and the editors all had to read the galleys and the proofreader had to read them against the manuscript. A lot of writers hate to read their own work once it is in type -- the way actors hate to see themselves on screen -- so I'm surprised that book publishers would leave the proof checking to authors. (Newspapers certainly never did that to reporters when I was in the business.) 



-- Edited by Dark Mare on Tuesday 17th of January 2017 03:57:53 PM

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I think you will find that William Osborne occurs a few times - in Demelza for a start - at the ball Demelza and Ross attend.  Lady Whitworth is talking to Hon. Maria Agar and mentions William.

I seem to remember that William was one of his names, but he was mostly called Osborne, possibly his father had been a William and so they used his other name.

In the days when the early novels were printed galley proofs would have been sent to the author for any corrections; typographical errors were picked up by editorial staff in house.



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Hollyhock wrote:

Well, I am not going to beat this horse to death, but I stand by original observation. It should not have taken Ross and Demelza over two and a half hours to travel four miles from Nampara to Killewarren. Even if Judith was a young, untrained pony, Ross was enough of an accomplished horseman to control any possible unruliness. (I mean, not even the wildest horse would dare defy Ross Poldark for so long a time!) Comparatively, as was suggested earlier in this thread, it took them practically as long to reach Killewarren as it did their final destination, Trelissick, which was several miles on the other side of Turro. Logically and geographically speaking, this should not have been the case. Later in the books, WG has people comfortably walking between Nampara and Killewarren regularly. So, this is is clearly a discrepancy, whether the great man forgot what he wrote or later changed his mind. 



-- Edited by Hollyhock on Friday 13th of January 2017 10:35:59 PM


I think you are probably right that it was yet another error that the editors and proofreaders failed to catch and kick back to Winston Graham to fix. However, I still say it is not inconceivable that they would spend 2.5 hours on a four-mile ride if one of the mounts was a green horse for the reasons I previously listed.

I just reread the passage, and it occurred to me that they may have been expected at Killewarren at a set time, 10:30 a.m., and left before 8 a.m. just because it was a nice day and they felt like it. Maybe they spent 2.5 hours getting from point A to point B because they had nothing to keep them at home past 8 a.m., but they didn't want to arrive at Killewarren too early. Nothing says they were riding the whole time. They could have stopped to talk for a while or to let the horses graze or drink from a creek. 



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Fijane wrote:

Reading The Black Moon, I've just come across another small error. George is considering the pros and cons of allowing Morwenna to go back to Trenwith after her initial resistance to the marriage plans. He speculates that a bit of time and distance will do no harm (little does he know) and calls Osborne Whitworth , "William Osborne". Typo, maybe? or a little lapse in concentration?


 Fijane - can you give me the Book number and Chapter number please? I have a first edition Black Moon and would like to see if this error is in it. I remember seeing it in the Pan Macmillan edition.

Stella



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You found it! I was trying to remember where I saw it. 

 



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Reading The Black Moon, I've just come across another small error. George is considering the pros and cons of allowing Morwenna to go back to Trenwith after her initial resistance to the marriage plans. He speculates that a bit of time and distance will do no harm (little does he know) and calls Osborne Whitworth , "William Osborne". Typo, maybe? or a little lapse in concentration?



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Agreed, Hollyhock.  Or it could even have been a misprint.  When you consider that most people can walk about 3 miles per hour, horses, even lame ones, would have had to use a very scenic route to take as long as 2.5 hours.



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Well, I am not going to beat this horse to death, but I stand by original observation. It should not have taken Ross and Demelza over two and a half hours to travel four miles from Nampara to Killewarren. Even if Judith was a young, untrained pony, Ross was enough of an accomplished horseman to control any possible unruliness. (I mean, not even the wildest horse would dare defy Ross Poldark for so long a time!) Comparatively, as was suggested earlier in this thread, it took them practically as long to reach Killewarren as it did their final destination, Trelissick, which was several miles on the other side of Turro. Logically and geographically speaking, this should not have been the case. Later in the books, WG has people comfortably walking between Nampara and Killewarren regularly. So, this is is clearly a discrepancy, whether the great man forgot what he wrote or later changed his mind. 



-- Edited by Hollyhock on Friday 13th of January 2017 10:35:59 PM

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Fijane wrote:

I've nothing to add, but can I just say thanks for a very entertaining discussion? I'm enjoying your insights, especially as I know almost nothing about horses or travelling on them.



-- Edited by Fijane on Thursday 12th of January 2017 05:04:25 AM


 Oh, you're welcome. Glad I didn't bore you.

 



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I've nothing to add, but can I just say thanks for a very entertaining discussion? I'm enjoying your insights, especially as I know almost nothing about horses or travelling on them.



-- Edited by Fijane on Thursday 12th of January 2017 05:04:25 AM

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Hollyhock,

Four miles is and isn't no distance on horseback, depending on the time of day. Horses see better than people do after dark, but they aren't cats. Also, once the sun goes down, all matter of critters who avoid paths and roads during the day for fear of encounters with cart wheels, horses' hooves and people, begin to venture out. (I have meant to do a tally of how many times WG wrote words to the effect that [fill in the horse's name] spooked at a badger emerging from the underbrush.) Maybe I'm overly cautious, but I would not gallop a field hunter in the dark unless the moon was full; the road was wide, straight, flat and well-maintained; and there was a highwayman behind me on a horse who seemed slower than mine. (Hunters are unflappable at speed, but they can't see a hoof-size animal burrow in the dark until they are upon it.)

If she left in daylight, I imagine Caroline would canter as much of the route as she could before twilight and then slow to a collected trot or even a walk. If she ran into a footpad, she would spur her horse to a canter or even a gallop to put a good distance between her and the would-be thief and then return to a walk. So if it is four miles, the trip would take somewhere between 15 minutes and an hour.

Caroline was inclined to exaggerate for effect in her younger days, and she had what I imagine was a rather cranky patient awaiting her at home. Plus, in a conversation she had with one of the Poldark children many years later -- I think it was Jeremy at the Killewarrem party for her Aunt Sarah -- she revealed that she and Demelza were uncomfortable around each other in the early days of their acquaintance. She could have been begging off because she was still uneasy around Demelza without Ross present. A nice little social lie to get away because she didn't know Demelza well enough yet to be sure she was sincere and not just being polite -- and maybe Caroline wasn't sure she wanted to know Demelza better just yet. (She had thought so much of Ross and so little of Demelza before she really knew them.) 

 



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Dark Mare wrote:

I can think of one reason the trip from Nampara to Killewarren that day could have taken 2.5 hours: Judith.

 

Dark Mare,

Thank you for the interesting details about young horses. However, there are other 'distance' inconsistencies that can't be attributed to Judith being a 'green-broke' pony. For example, Caroline makes an impromptu visit to Nampara while Ross is in France seeking information on Dwight's status. Demelza asks Caroline to visit longer but Caroline tells her that, "Uncle Ray will already be in a relapse after missing me for so long. It will take me until I don't know what time to get home, and I must fly at once." Remember, Caroline was riding one of her favorite hunters and four miles would have been no distance at all.   

I've decided to view the distance between the two houses as fluid in the Black Moon and throughout the saga. This minor detail (although sometimes disorienting) doesn't detract from the story and even helps to highlight travel during during that time period.  I have certainly found the descriptions of the 5-day stage coach ride between Cornwall and London an educational eye opener!  

 



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I am sure the length of time taken was a mistake by WG.  Otherwise they would not have reached Trelissick (their destination) until late afternoon!  Also, there were very used to walking, and Demelza at least,  many times walked to Dwight and Caroline's house.  I think Ross used his horse more because of his ankle injury.

 



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Hollyhock wrote:

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." 

Even given the vagaries of Poldarkian geography, it is amazing how the distance shrunk over the years. 


Hollyhock

I can think of one reason the trip from Nampara to Killewarren that day could have taken 2.5 hours: Judith.

As I remember that part of the book, Ross was riding their new green-broke pony on that trip -- remember, Demelza wanted him to switch mounts with her because she thought he looked ridiculous on so a small pony? He refused because she was expecting Clowance at the time, and it was the young and green Judith's first trip of any distance, if I remember correctly.

I owned an excellent trail horse, and he and I were the escorts of choice of people taking young, green-broke horses on that first trip away from the barn. Some of those people were trainers working with client horses so I essentially got free lessons in how to handle a young horse on its first trip out of its comfort zone in exchange for my time. The most important thing I learned is that first trip must be a positive experience so leave it for a day when you have all the time in the world. It is essential to give the animal the chance to stop and stare for as long as it wants at anything and everything unfamiliar along the route -- that tends to prevent the 180-degree turn and bolt maneuver green horses are so good at. (This was perhaps Ross' reason for saying no to switching mounts. On a nimble large pony, the 180-degree turn and bolt maneuver can swing an adult riding astride right out of the saddle -- it happened to me [I suddenly found myself facing the opposite direction and standing in the left stirrup. As I quickly threw my right leg back over the saddle, I asked, "Shouldn't I be on the ground?"]. I would think someone riding sidesaddle might not be as lucky.)

Anyway, a horse walks at four miles per hour so it should take an hour to walk from Nampara to Killewarren on a trained horse. With a green horse, I would expect the trip to take an hour longer, but I might allow for it to take two hours longer. Also, Judith is a small pony so she has a shorter stride, and that would contribute to a longer riding time as well. 

This is the long way of saying that the 2.5-hour trip was probably an anomaly. I don't know whether WG spent a lot of time around horses or horse people (In his memoirs, I don't find much evidence of it, but little things in the "Poldark" books and especially in "Marnie" give me the impression that maybe he did.), but if he did, he likely would have known that Judith's first long outing would not have been rushed. But then again, why wouldn't he have explained that? When he was writing "The Black Moon," were horses still such a part of ordinary life even in major British cities that the explanation would have seemed  unnecessary?



-- Edited by Dark Mare on Thursday 5th of January 2017 05:06:50 AM

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Hollyhock wrote:

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." 

Even given the vagaries of Poldarkian geography, it is amazing how the distance shrunk over the years. 


Hollyhock

I can think of one reason the trip from Nampara to Killewarren that day could have taken 2.5 hours: Judith.

As I remember that part of the book, Ross was riding their new green-broke pony on that trip -- remember, Demelza wanted him to switch mounts with her because she thought he looked ridiculous on so a small pony? He refused because she was expecting Clowance at the time, and it was the young and green Judith's first trip of any distance, if I remember correctly.

I owned an excellent trail horse, and he and I were the escorts of choice of people taking young, green-broke horses on that first trip away from the barn. Some of those people were trainers working with client horses so I essentially got free lessons in how to handle a young horse on its first trip out of its comfort zone in exchange for my time. The most important thing I learned is that first trip must be a positive experience so leave it for a day when you have all the time in the world. It is essential to give the animal the chance to stop and stare for as long as it wants at anything and everything unfamiliar along the route -- that tends to prevent the 180-degree turn and bolt maneuver green horses are so good at. (This was perhaps Ross' reason for saying no to switching mounts. On a nimble large pony, the 180-degree turn and bolt maneuver can swing an adult riding astride right out of the saddle -- it happened to me [I suddenly found myself facing the opposite direction and standing in the left stirrup. As I quickly threw my right leg back over the saddle, I asked, "Shouldn't I be on the ground?"]. I would think someone riding sidesaddle might not be as lucky.)

Anyway, a horse walks at four miles per hour so it should take an hour to walk from Nampara to Killewarren on a trained horse. With a green horse, I would expect the trip to take an hour longer, but I might allow for it to take two hours longer. Also, Judith is a small pony so she has a shorter stride, and that would contribute to a longer riding time as well. 

This is the long way of saying that the 2.5-hour trip was probably an anomaly. I don't know whether WG spent a lot of time around horses or horse people (In his memoirs, I don't find much evidence of it, but little things in the "Poldark" books and especially in "Marnie" give me the impression that maybe he did.), but if he did, he likely would have known that Judith's first long outing would not have been rushed. But then again, why wouldn't he have explained it? When he was writing "The Black Moon," were horses still such a part of ordinary life even in major British cities that the explanation would have seemed  unnecessary?



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Ah - I see.  I am sure you are right.  For someone who kept such meticulous research notes, it is surprising WG slipped up in other areas. 

However, no-one's perfect,  not even the great man.

As for the missing couple of hours between Nampara and Killewarren on that summer morning - we don't know what they got up to on the way...!



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Mrs Gimlett wrote:

Isn't a bayonet just a type of sword on the end of a gun?  If you google 'bayonet' there is an image of an 18th Century bayonet - it looks just like a short sword.



-- Edited by Mrs Gimlett on Tuesday 3rd of January 2017 05:47:36 PM


Except the sword thrust occurred in Pennsylvania and the bayonet cut occurred in New York, where Ross was sent after he was injured in Virginia. I can't imagine that Ross ever set foot in Pennsylvania, given that the most logical route for moving troops between eastern Virginia, where the James River fighting occurred, and New York was by sea. (Indeed, that seems to be the way most British troops were moved during the Revolutionary War.) The Atlantic Ocean doesn't actually touch Pennsylvania; Philadelphia is a port only because the Delaware River connects it to the Atlantic. 

WG supposedly didn't reread the previous books whenever he started a new one. I suspect he just forgot what he had previously written. 



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Examples of a bayonet....smile

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=bayonets+american+revolution&client=firefox-b-ab&biw=1093&bih=475&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjsu-TTz6bRAhWJrRoKHVPsDxcQ_AUIBigB



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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." 

Even given the vagaries of Poldarkian geography, it is amazing how the distance shrunk over the years.  

 



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Isn't a bayonet just a type of sword on the end of a gun?  If you google 'bayonet' there is an image of an 18th Century bayonet - it looks just like a short sword.



-- Edited by Mrs Gimlett on Tuesday 3rd of January 2017 05:47:36 PM

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How and where did Ross acquire his distinctive scar?
 
Was it a bayonet cut received in New York? (Page 51, "Ross Poldark"):
 
Ross forced himself to talk of his experiences in America  ... of those hectic first three months under Lord Cornwallis, when almost all the fighting he had seen had taken place; ... the sudden attack by the French while they were crossing the James River (Virginia); ... of a musket ball in the ankle and his being drafted to New York as a result; ... of a bayonet cut in the face during a local skirmish while the articles of the preliminary peace were being signed."
 
Or from a chance sword thrust in Pennsylvania? (Page 318, "Warleggan"):

"I dont know ..." His scar was very noticeable this morning. Often it was as if that chance sword-thrust in Pennsylvania remained with him and had become a symbol of the nonconformity of his nature, the unabiding renegade.
 
 
 


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In "Warleggan," Sir Hugh's birthday party was May 18, 1793, nine days after the night of infamy. One might expect Demelza to still remember that seven months later, when she was confessing her encounter with Capt. McNeil, but she didn't -- or the author and his editors didn't.

 

"... I must tell you, before we go any further, that on my last visit to the Bodrugans I had an adventure though it did not end in quite the same way as yours. I went you will know the sort of mood I went in to that ball. It was but four days after you had gone to Elizabeth. I should dearly have liked to revenge myself on you in the only way I could. And as it came about, the opportunity was there. Malcolm McNeil was there."

 

 



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I always imagined him much older. Creepy.



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I think I read somewhere that it was "the big 5-0."



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Just for interest, I've just read the ball where Demelza intends to revenge herself with MacNeil. The ball/party is to celebrate Sir Hugh's birthday - he states something like he wouldn't normally bother but this one probably needed marking. I would presume it was what we call a "noughtie" birthday.



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Here's a more straightforward one:

In Book 1 of "The Stranger From the Sea," Jeremy, Paul Kellow and Ben Carter find two seemingly dead men on a raft adrift in the sea during one of their "fishing trips" aboard Nampara Girl, the Poldark family's boat. Once they have brought the bodies back to Nampara, they discover one of the men, Stephen Carrington, is still alive. Demelza, with subsequent help from Dr. Enys, sets to work to keep him that way. 
 
However, on Page 444 of "The Loving Cup," when Demelza tries to explain to Ben why she and Ross didn't try to prevent the wedding of Clowance and Stephen Carrington, she says, "Perhaps we should have forbidden her to have any dealings with an unknown man who was washed up on our beach, and who soon proved himself to be unreliable."
 
This has to be an error because Ben was one of the three who had rescued Stephen and he knew what actually had happened -- a young man does not forget rescuing the man who would later become his nemesis -- and Demelza had met the boat that brought the two men to shore. 

 

 
 
 


-- Edited by Dark Mare on Sunday 1st of January 2017 09:44:06 AM

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Stella Poldark wrote:
Mrs Gimlett wrote:
Mrs Gimlett wrote:

At the end of book 2 in Ross P, when Tom Carne arrives at Nampara and asks Demelza to go back to Illugan, he says ...'You're but sixteen yet...' and she replies 'Seventeen last week'.  There are other mentions throughout all the books that Demelza was born sometime in May.  In the family tree which appears in the front of the books, she was born in 1770.  It is also acknowledged that she is ten years Ross' junior.

 


 As you say Stella, we have strayed from the original topic, but Demelza tells her father she was 17 only a week or so before his visit, which was, as we know on 31st May. 

Ultimately it doesn't matter - we know she was very young. 

Clowance does make a reference - something to the effect of 'I believe you were not yet 18 when you married Papa' (from memory), when her own marriage is being discussed.  So I think we can all agree she was 17, but her actual birthday, like Ross', we shall never know. 

Come to think of it, wedding anniversaries are not recognised except in passing either.

 


 So, Mrs G, perhaps we haven't strayed from the topic after all. This is another example of discrepancies throughout the book. :)

Stella



-- Edited by Stella Poldark on Friday 30th of December 2016 08:05:53 PM


 Jim's trial was on the 30th May. That evening when Ross is back at Nampara and there is the issue of the dress, Ross says to Demelza

"No doubt your intentions were good. Get off to bed at once and we will say no more of it." Demelza replies "I'm seventeen. I been seventeen two weeks."

Then we come to the wedding on 24th June  and WG writes "The register shows that the bride gave her age as eighteen, which was an anticipation of fact by about three-quarters of a year."

This would mean her birthday was in March. So there is the discrepancy though WG's wording "by about" suggests to could still be May.

Stella

 

 



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Mrs Gimlett wrote:
Mrs Gimlett wrote:

At the end of book 2 in Ross P, when Tom Carne arrives at Nampara and asks Demelza to go back to Illugan, he says ...'You're but sixteen yet...' and she replies 'Seventeen last week'.  There are other mentions throughout all the books that Demelza was born sometime in May.  In the family tree which appears in the front of the books, she was born in 1770.  It is also acknowledged that she is ten years Ross' junior.

 


 As you say Stella, we have strayed from the original topic, but Demelza tells her father she was 17 only a week or so before his visit, which was, as we know on 31st May. 

Ultimately it doesn't matter - we know she was very young. 

Clowance does make a reference - something to the effect of 'I believe you were not yet 18 when you married Papa' (from memory), when her own marriage is being discussed.  So I think we can all agree she was 17, but her actual birthday, like Ross', we shall never know. 

Come to think of it, wedding anniversaries are not recognised except in passing either.

 


 So, Mrs G, perhaps we haven't strayed from the topic after all. This is another example of discrepancies throughout the book. :)

Stella



-- Edited by Stella Poldark on Friday 30th of December 2016 08:05:53 PM

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Mrs Gimlett wrote:

At the end of book 2 in Ross P, when Tom Carne arrives at Nampara and asks Demelza to go back to Illugan, he says ...'You're but sixteen yet...' and she replies 'Seventeen last week'.  There are other mentions throughout all the books that Demelza was born sometime in May.  In the family tree which appears in the front of the books, she was born in 1770.  It is also acknowledged that she is ten years Ross' junior.

 


 As you say Stella, we have strayed from the original topic, but Demelza tells her father she was 17 only a week or so before his visit, which was, as we know on 31st May. 

Ultimately it doesn't matter - we know she was very young. 

Clowance does make a reference - something to the effect of 'I believe you were not yet 18 when you married Papa' (from memory), when her own marriage is being discussed.  So I think we can all agree she was 17, but her actual birthday, like Ross', we shall never know. 

Come to think of it, wedding anniversaries are not recognised except in passing either.

 



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Although we have digressed from this topic I have now found some evidence of Demelza's approximate birth date. The following quote is from 'Ross poldark' as he and Demelza were on their back to Nampara after Christmas at Trenwith.

"But at this evening hour of Christmas Day, seventeen hundred and eighty-seven, he was not concerned with the future, only with the present. He thought again: if I could only grasp this moment now, hold it tight so that it could not escape. If I could only say Stop! I have all I ever want. I am not hungry or thirsty or lustful or envious. I am not perplexed or weary or ambitious or remorseful. Demelza is nearly eighteen and I am twenty-seven and we have found 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. Just ahead, in the immediate future, there is waiting an open door and a warm house, comfortable chairs and quietness and companionship. This is all I ask of God. Let me hold it. Let me hold it!

Also WG tells us that Demelza gave her age as 18 on her wedding day - June 24 1787. He writes that that was an anticipation of the fact by three quarters of a year. So that's nine months. So if we count forward nine months, that's March. So it seems that Demelza's birthday was sometime in March.

Stella

 -- Edited by Stella Poldark on Friday 30th of December 2016 05:14:28 PM



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Mrs Gimlett wrote:

I don't think the 'lower classes' of the time bothered at all about birthdays, Stella.  Even Ross wasn't sure when he was born.  If you recall he asks Verity when he was born and they decide he is about 18 months younger than her.

In the landed gentry, and those of importance I think birthdays were much more relevant.  Caroline knows exactly when she comes into her inheritance, on her 21st birthday, and others who are in line for money, land and property would similarly know their ages, along with their expectations.

It seems present giving and celebrations in general were not a large part of WGs 18th/19th century world, which I believe accurately reflects the age.  Gifts are only mentioned a few times - George lavishing gifts on Geoffrey Charles to buy his approbation; Ross buying presents for the household to celebrate his good fortune after weeks of anxiety. He does mention some Christmas gifts, but I believe regular gift-buying was popularised in Victorian times, along with cards, trees and other commercialisation. Demelza never seems to expect anything in the way of a present. 

The inhabitants of WGs Poldark world just seemed pleased with more simple things - a day off, the chance to have a few beers and relax.  When you think how hard the life of miners was, any chance to down tools for a space would have been a present in itself.


 The link I have now added to my previous post gives an outline of the history of celebrating birthdays. You are right that birthdays or birth dates were important only to the landed gentry for legal matters. It seems the Pagans celebrated birthdays so the Christians felt they could not.

Stella



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I don't think the 'lower classes' of the time bothered at all about birthdays, Stella.  Even Ross wasn't sure when he was born.  If you recall he asks Verity when he was born and they decide he is about 18 months younger than her.

In the landed gentry, and those of importance I think birthdays were much more relevant.  Caroline knows exactly when she comes into her inheritance, on her 21st birthday, and others who are in line for money, land and property would similarly know their ages, along with their expectations.

It seems present giving and celebrations in general were not a large part of WGs 18th/19th century world, which I believe accurately reflects the age.  Gifts are only mentioned a few times - George lavishing gifts on Geoffrey Charles to buy his approbation; Ross buying presents for the household to celebrate his good fortune after weeks of anxiety. He does mention some Christmas gifts, but I believe regular gift-buying was popularised in Victorian times, along with cards, trees and other commercialisation. Demelza never seems to expect anything in the way of a present. 

The inhabitants of WGs Poldark world just seemed pleased with more simple things - a day off, the chance to have a few beers and relax.  When you think how hard the life of miners was, any chance to down tools for a space would have been a present in itself.



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Mrs Gimlett wrote:

At the end of book 2 in Ross P, when Tom Carne arrives at Nampara and asks Demelza to go back to Illugan, he says ...'You're but sixteen yet...' and she replies 'Seventeen last week'.  There are other mentions throughout all the books that Demelza was born sometime in May.  In the family tree which appears in the front of the books, she was born in 1770.  It is also acknowledged that she is ten years Ross' junior.

I think she told Agatha she was 18 because that was the age she gave the parson at the time of their marriage, only a few months before.

Many people didn't know their exact age then.  It wasn't really important in the way the attainment of a particular age is today.  Family bibles and church registers were (for the majority) the only accurate records (and often they were not precise, names were spelt variously and dates sometimes incorrect). 

Remember the reference to the Poldark bible by George, when talking to Agatha, which became his undoing.


 There is no mention that I can recall of anyone's birthday being celebrated in any way, even among gentle folk. I wonder when the celebration of birthdays started to be something everyone did. I will see if I can find out.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/11/history-of-birthdays_n_4227366.html  Forgive my digression with this link. If anyone is interested in the origins of celebrating birthdays this article explains in outline.



-- Edited by Stella Poldark on Friday 30th of December 2016 01:08:09 PM

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