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Post Info TOPIC: A Complete Change - The Settled Years?


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RE: A Complete Change - The Settled Years?
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Ross wrote:

I've often wondered what sort of input and how much influence his wife Jean could have had on WG when writing about all the main female characters in the books, because as he says in his autobiography on page 48 Book 1 near the end of chapter 3, halfway down the second paragraph....

"Perhaps this treatment from my first publisher (Ward Lock) has bred in me an egotistical belief that when I have finished the book - about which I have never consulted anyone, except my wife - then what I have written is what I wanted to write, and it is said in the way I want to say it. Full stop.

"After I married, my wife was the one confidante, willing to listen, to talk. Often she was just the listener, so that in talking it over, I could work out my own problem; sometimes she contributed a vital thought. When writing the Poldarks I often went to her for information about country ways, and she drew on memories of her Cornish farmer cousins. Sometimes she seemed to have a sort of folk memory - of things she knew by instinct rather than experience."

Also in Book 1 chapter 5 bottom of page 81/82....

"Sometimes late at night in bed I would read aloud a part of what I had written, while Jean's blue-grey eyes would mist over with the sleepiness she indignantly denied."

Interesting to imagine and picture all their discussions especially Jean's recalling memories of her Cornish farmer cousins....

_________________________________________________________________________________________

Ah, this explains Demelza's intuition, which intrigues both Ross and Jeremy. (And has mystified me as well; Meggy Dawes doesn't quite explain enough.) In TSFTS, Ross discovers her making a peppercorn bath to rid their hens of lice. Demelza explains:

"We have lice in our poultry. It doesn't at all please me."  "It's a common condition."  "Well, I'm beating up these black peppercorns. When they are small enough I shall mix 'em with warm water and wash the hens with it. It'll kill all kinds of vermin." "How do you know?" "I don't remember. It came to me this morning."  "I sometimes wonder if you've lived another life apart from being first a miner's brat and then the lady of Nampara. Else, how do you know these things?  What with curing cows of "tail-shot"; and you seem often to know as much as Dwight about the treatment of the homelier ills."

She gets a similar reaction from Jeremy in TMD when they discuss Clowance and Stephen's estrangement. Demelza says:

"When a family is close-knit, such as ours, it is terrible vulnerable. Whoever comes from outside to marry into it must be welcomed, must be made to feel a part."  "But the risk is..."  "The risk is?" "That he or she who comes from outside is interested only in the one person they wish to marry and resentful of everything that happened before they met..." "How do you think these things?" Jeremy asked. "Seeing that it could never have happened to you?" "It never happened to me," Demelza said. But I have seen it happen."

 

 



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I've often wondered what sort of input and how much influence his wife Jean could have had on WG when writing about all the main female characters in the books, because as he says in his autobiography on page 48 Book 1 near the end of chapter 3, halfway down the second paragraph....

"Perhaps this treatment from my first publisher (Ward Lock) has bred in me an egotistical belief that when I have finished the book - about which I have never consulted anyone, except my wife - then what I have written is what I wanted to write, and it is said in the way I want to say it. Full stop.

"After I married, my wife was the one confidante, willing to listen, to talk. Often she was just the listener, so that in talking it over, I could work out my own problem; sometimes she contributed a vital thought. When writing the Poldarks I often went to her for information about country ways, and she drew on memories of her Cornish farmer cousins. Sometimes she seemed to have a sort of folk memory - of things she knew by instinct rather than experience."

Also in Book 1 chapter 5 bottom of page 81/82....

"Sometimes late at night in bed I would read aloud a part of what I had written, while Jean's blue-grey eyes would mist over with the sleepiness she indignantly denied."

Interesting to imagine and picture all their discussions especially Jean's recalling memories of her Cornish farmer cousins....



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Stella and Dark Mare, thanks for the perceptive feedback.

Dark Mare--I agree that there is some reshuffling of elements between the two sets of novels. But I think the reshuffling centers more on the effects and affects of love rather than on a reshuffling of relationships. Specifically, WG seems to be exploring the nature of obsessive love and its impact on various characters/personalities.  

First we see Ross almost consumed by his love for Elizabeth, and it takes him years to find some perspective.  He attempts to deal with his loss and betrayal by constructively working the farm and mine. In the next generation we experience Jeremy's obsessive love for Cuby which is, as Demelza describes it, almost a mania. Unlike Ross, Jeremy deals with his frustration by doing some things that are totally unconstructive and out of character.

Then there is Drake's love for Morwenna (and his emotional stasis after she is lost to him), Sam's love for Emma, even the odious George's obsession with Elizabeth. Their thoughts and emotions are somewhat reflected in Ben Carter, Lord Edward, and Philip Prideaux (as they grapple with their unrequited love for Clowance) and in Music Thomas in his obsession with Katie. (I'm just fascinated and totally impressed by Music's determination to win the object of his obsession.) I think the way in which each character deals with his feelings is illuminating.

Also, I think WG shows his (obsessive?) love for Demelza by imbuing her and her daughters with this almost (for lack of a better word or term) femme fatale ability to affect men. Clowance, apparently because of her 'blond sturdiness,' leaves a trail of broken hearts across England. (I found her attraction a little unsupported.) But all three women--Demelza, Clowance, Bella--simply had to enter a room to have men fawning at their feet. As Caroline once implied of Demelza, other ladies didn't have a chance.  



-- Edited by Hollyhock on Monday 10th of April 2017 07:13:52 PM

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Dark Mare wrote:

Hollyhock,

I never made that connection either.

I've always considered Demelza's tryst with Hugh to be more about her profound sorrow over the life of someone she really cares about being cut short and a desire to do something important for the person who had given her the thing Ross never could, a courtship between equals. Hugh enabled her to experience something akin to what Elizabeth did when Ross was courting her but with something extra, the poems. (If Ross had been writing Elizabeth poetry, who knows how things would have turned out for them.) She could find it all a little too much because Hugh wasn't the love of her life. She already had found him. All of this was something apart from herself and her life, but it filled a hole she hadn't known existed in her sense of self-worth. It was more than the single day she had wanted, but it took up very little space in her life.

Sure there was sexual attraction, maybe even love, but it would never have been a threat to her devotion to Ross unless he made it one. And her anger at Ross for concealing his cemetery encounter with Elizabeth was just fear that the prediction she had made the night of their Christmas Eve reconciliation was coming true. (Why does Ross never learn? Being seen by Jud was to be expected -- the man works (and drinks) in the cemetery -- and Ross could not be unaware of how much pleasure Jud derives from hurting Demelza -- he lived in the same house with them for several years. No one -- except maybe Ruth Trenegelos -- would have been happier to tell Demelza her husband had been seen with Elizabeth. A smart man would have mentioned running into Elizabeth as soon as he could so Demelza would be armed with a "Yes, I know. Ross told me about seeing her there." if Jud said anything to her. That would have ended the conversation.)

Thanks to your observation, I now feel like I'm on firmer ground in feeling this way. You also have reinforced my belief that the stories of the second generation exist to reshuffle the stories of the first to see whether changing various elements would have altered outcomes.


 Your post and that of Hollyhock are very interesting and bring a new dimension to these aspects of the story. For the first time I think I now understand Demelza's attraction to Hugh and I agree that it was "a courtship between equals". This was probably badly needed by Demelza to restore some self confidence and self esteem which, I think, she badly needed. Also, I think that perhaps Demelza felt not needed by Ross while Hugh needed her desperately. I would question that Hugh loved Demelza.

With Stephen and Violet there also seems to be a mutual need rather than love. Perhaps Stephen needed to feel good about himself by visiting the dying Violet every Friday.

Hollyhock - this is such an interesting discovery! smile



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Hollyhock,

I never made that connection either.

I've always considered Demelza's tryst with Hugh to be more about her profound sorrow over the life of someone she really cares about being cut short and a desire to do something important for the person who had given her the thing Ross never could, a courtship between equals. Hugh enabled her to experience something akin to what Elizabeth did when Ross was courting her but with something extra, the poems. (If Ross had been writing Elizabeth poetry, who knows how things would have turned out for them.) She could find it all a little too much because Hugh wasn't the love of her life. She already had found him. All of this was something apart from herself and her life, but it filled a hole she hadn't known existed in her sense of self-worth. It was more than the single day she had wanted, but it took up very little space in her life.

Sure there was sexual attraction, maybe even love, but it would never have been a threat to her devotion to Ross unless he made it one. And her anger at Ross for concealing his cemetery encounter with Elizabeth was just fear that the prediction she had made the night of their Christmas Eve reconciliation was coming true. (Why does Ross never learn? Being seen by Jud was to be expected -- the man works (and drinks) in the cemetery -- and Ross could not be unaware of how much pleasure Jud derives from hurting Demelza -- he lived in the same house with them for several years. No one -- except maybe Ruth Trenegelos -- would have been happier to tell Demelza her husband had been seen with Elizabeth. A smart man would have mentioned running into Elizabeth as soon as he could so Demelza would be armed with a "Yes, I know. Ross told me about seeing her there." if Jud said anything to her. That would have ended the conversation.)

Thanks to your observation, I now feel like I'm on firmer ground in feeling this way. You also have reinforced my belief that the stories of the second generation exist to reshuffle the stories of the first to see whether changing various elements would have altered outcomes.



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Recently, during a long wait in an airport, I revisited a couple of the later novels (conveniently accessed from my Google ebook library). As has been observed, a fresh reading often turns up details one has forgotten or rushed through in previous readings. This time, I was struck by the remarkable similarity between two love affairs. Stephen Carrington's affection for the doomed Violet Kellow uncannily mirrors Demelza's love for Hugh Armitage.

In his own twisted way, Stephen loved Clowance, but he was also deeply drawn to Violet. In The Miller's Dance, when Violet was losing her long fight with tuberculosis, Stephen visited her weekly, despite Clowance's jealously and objections. Like Demelza with Hugh, Stephen did not try to hide his feelings for Violet. During one of his final visits, Violet is contemplating her death and tells Stephen of her regrets including, most notably, the following.

"I have never known what it is to have a man. That is not good...My face is still pretty. I examine it each morning for flaws and I find few. But my body has lost much weight since a year ago when you put your hands upon it in the church. It has-wasted. I do not suppose you could bear to touch it now."

As it shockingly dawns on Stephen that Violet is asking him to make love to her, he protests that she is too sick. His initial excuses, although stemming from somewhat different reasons, are quite reminiscent of the weak excuses Demelza made to Hugh Armitage before she gave herself to him. And like Hugh, Voilet easily counters Stephen's excuses.

"'So I am sick,' she said. 'Mortal sick, I believe. And what of it? That is precisely my meaning. I really think I rather love you, Stephen. Not much. But enough to pass for the real thing. It is an unladylike confession-even unmannerly-but I will not retract it. If I were ever to experience the sensation of having a lover, a man, I do not suppose I would ever think of choosing anyone to give me that experience better than you. Now are you shocked?"

Even the circumstances of their trysts are uncannily similar. Demelza and Hugh have their isolated beach cove; Stephen and Violet have an isolated house. When Stephen arrives for his weekly visit, he and Violet are soon, and quite uncustomarily, left alone in the house. After she makes her desires known to him, he suggests that perhaps something could be arranged for the future.

"I have no future.'  'When, then?'  'Now, of course.'  'Now? At this moment?'  'Could there be a better time? There is no one in the house, but there is a bolt on the door, if you wish to be double sure.'

To overcome his final objection she persuades, much as Hugh did, through sexual arousal. She says to Stephen:

"Then what is it? Loyalty to Clowance? Right enough. But she can never know. Or are you so embarrassed and upset that you could not make love to me today?... I believe I am totally shameless.' She pulled back the sheet. 'You see, my legs have not shrunk so much. They, I would have thought, could not be an ill sight to an interested man...Kill me if you like, I swear to you I should be entirely without regret.' He stared at her a moment longer. Then he got up and drew the curtains over."

Even though WG did not explicitly state that they slept together, the implication cannot be denied.  



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You're welcome, Hollyhock.



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Dark Mare wrote:

Actually, Paul was being treated by Dwight for what sounds like traumatic brain injury. He took a serious blow to the head from one of the navy "recruiters" in that bar fight he and Stephen got into when they were celebrating the sale of the boat Stephen had found in the newspaper.

_________________________________________________________________________________

Yes, I had forgotten that incident. Thanks for the reminder. 



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Hollyhock wrote:

I have several questions about the last five books starting with this one.   

For those of you who have read WG's autobiography, does he discuss themes in the later volumes? I'm asking because he seems to explore psychological issues more so than in the earlier ones, which I think mainly explored love and its effects/affects. I did not read Marnie but did of course see the movie and know that the heroine was grappling with mental issues, and what she perceived as a lack of motherly love.  In the later books, several characters deal with mental issues that in varying degrees affect them and others. Valentine, of course, was traumatized by George's mental abuse of him when he was a child, and suffers from a lack of fatherly love. Paul Kellow was just deranged but also blamed his ineffectual father. Though I don't think he was at all mentally ill, Music Thomas' slow development was due in part to his brothers' abuse. Agneta was challenged but quite capable of functioning had she not been abused and treated so callously by Valentine. So abuse seems to be an underlying theme. Just wondering.

By the way, I don't fault Ross for much but I do think that he was uncharacteristically cruel in telling Valentine that if he breathed a word to Demelza about him, Ross, possibly being his father he would kill him. That was also another abusive blow for Valentine.  



-- Edited by Hollyhock on Wednesday 22nd of February 2017 07:23:00 PM


Actually, Paul was being treated by Dwight for what sounds like traumatic brain injury. He took a serious blow to the head from one of the navy "recruiters" in that bar fight he and Stephen got into when they were celebrating the sale of the boat Stephen had found in the newspaper. The blow damaged the section of the brain where impulse control is housed, which means it is a physical injury to the brain, rather than a mental illness, but the result is the same. He could not control his impulses so he became a danger to society.

Before this happened, Paul was just a big bag of resentments and a bit of a jerk. He hated his father for being an alcoholic and his mother for being afraid of life and too weak to stop his father from drinking. He adored his sisters, but he raged against the disease that was killing them one by one. 



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(I moved my Valentine response over to the Valentine Warleggan thread.

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

Bella and Christopher

For me, one of the most interesting relationships in the later books is the one between Bella and Christopher. I was really afraid for Bella's safety when she first met Christopher as a 13-year old in London. I thought he might be a pervert and was worried when Demelza didn't exert more parental control over the strong-willed girl. But as is often the case, WG was having his little fun with us. Reading about Christopher's merry chase of the rabbit in the middle of a pitched battle made me think he might also have psychological issues. (That was another memorable WG story that always makes me laugh. He is a wonderful raconteur.)   

From initially disliking him, I came to admire Christopher greatly and found his love for Bella as deep and abiding as that of any of the other characters' for their loved ones. And he worked so selflessly and tirelessly for Bella's career. I thought it interesting that WG would showcase a man who, during that time period especially, would be so singularly devoted to a prospective wife's career. Christopher was willing to sacrifice almost everything for her. So I found it a little heartbreaking that Bella was unwilling to forgive him when she found that he had extracurricular activities. I think her involvement with Maurice resulted in part from her sense of betrayal. (I found this a bit reflective of the Demelza-Armitage affair.)

I also thought it a little odd that R&D would allow Christopher to escort Bella to and from London. This he did several times. They had to stay at inns along the way and did not have chaperones. 

I've often wondered about the father-daughter conversation that Ross had with Bella when he went to collect her from France.  Ross asks her if she had been intimate with both men. Bella admits that she had. Did she and Christopher share a room on one of those lurching London-Cornwall coach trips? I wouldn't put it past Bella.  



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I agree that Ross was cruel in telling Valentine he would kill him if he breathed a word, but I think we should cut him some slack. It was such a short time after Jeremy's death, and he was still deep in grief for him - people don't always behave well when they're grieving. And Valentine was being very persistent, which would really have rubbed Ross raw. Not that I entirely blame Valentine - yes, he was in many ways a nasty piece of work, but his childhood was virtually a "grow your own psychopath" kit. And finding out whether George - whom he hated - wasn't his father and that Ross, whom he probably admired, was, would have been very important to him (as any adoptee will know.)

This is in a way a mirror of the night when Valentine may have been conceived. Ross was grieving for his workers killed and injured in the mine when Elizabeth's bombshell landed on him. I think we (and Demelza, and even WG) were a bit hard on him, apparenly forgetting all about it.



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Yes, I agree Valentine was affected by his father's behaviour towards him when he was young.  However, I get the feeling Valentine used this to get sympathy and feelings of guilt, from Ross, once they had That Conversation, and occasionally from George.

He is a very manipulative young man; it could be a result of how and where he grew up, or he might have been like that anyway, regardless.

So far as I remember, WG doesn't mention much of his later books in the memoirs.  Have you ever read other work by WG?  Some of his novels are full of suspense.  Even his short stories, which I think are available on Amazon (in a book called The Japanese Girl) are quite creepy, so maybe that is why some of these themes crept into the later Poldark books.

 



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I have several questions about the last five books starting with this one.   

For those of you who have read WG's autobiography, does he discuss themes in the later volumes? I'm asking because he seems to explore psychological issues more so than in the earlier ones, which I think mainly explored love and its effects/affects. I did not read Marnie but did of course see the movie and know that the heroine was grappling with mental issues, and what she perceived as a lack of motherly love.  In the later books, several characters deal with mental issues that in varying degrees affect them and others. Valentine, of course, was traumatized by George's mental abuse of him when he was a child, and suffers from a lack of fatherly love. Paul Kellow was just deranged but also blamed his ineffectual father. Though I don't think he was at all mentally ill, Music Thomas' slow development was due in part to his brothers' abuse. Agneta was challenged but quite capable of functioning had she not been abused and treated so callously by Valentine. So abuse seems to be an underlying theme. Just wondering.

By the way, I don't fault Ross for much but I do think that he was uncharacteristically cruel in telling Valentine that if he breathed a word to anyone about him, Ross, possibly being his father he would kill him (to protect Elizabeth's virtue). That was also another abusive blow for Valentine.  



-- Edited by Hollyhock on Wednesday 22nd of February 2017 07:23:00 PM



-- Edited by Hollyhock on Monday 27th of February 2017 04:57:15 PM

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MrsMartin wrote:
Mrs Gimlett wrote:

This thread is supposed to be about the final five books.  Elizabeth seems to be taking centre stage, even though she is long gone by 1810.

What do you think of Demelza and Clowance's visit to Bowood?  I think it is quite a light-hearted diversion from all the undercurrents running around Nampara concerning Stephen.  No-one really likes him, sometimes not even Clowance. (At this stage, I feel even Jeremy and Paul Kellow don't know what to make of him)  It seems to me she is drawn to him by his unusual ways and of course, his sex appeal.  He arrives just as she is getting to that stage of growing up.  It was an attraction of opposites in a way, which Clowance found irresistible. 

So the high society of Bowood was a chance not only for Clowance to distance herself from Stephen for a while, but also for the reader to peek into the drawing rooms of the aristocracy to see how they pass their days. 

Like Clowance, I'd still prefer to have a refreshing plunge in the sea though!


 I have just reread Clowance's relationship with Edward and I believe like any young inexperience girl, she was shy and not sexually drawn to him as she was to Stephen. Stephen was the first man that Clowance felt this way about and it is only natural that this attraction for Stephen was misinterpreted as love. She didn't stop to consider what her life would be like with him, she plunged head first into a passionate relationship. Later, in Bella, when she asks for Ross and Demelza advise, after receiving a marriage proposal from Edward and from Philip. Demelza tells her that the question she should ask herself is which man would she want to be the father of her children? Very sound advise indeed! However, it is advise that Clowance wouldn't have heeded had it not been for the the disillusionment of her first marriage. 

 


Mrs. Martin -- This is exactly where I got my theory that characters in the last five books were inspired by characters from the first four books, and their lives are used to reshuffle the pairings of the first books to determine whether alternative pairings really would have worked better. Clowance is essentially a down-to-earth Elizabeth -- or maybe a blending of Elizabeth and Demelza -- who had first-refusals on the hearts of Ben Carter, Stephen Carrington, Edward Fitzmaurice, Andrew Blamey, Tom Guildford and Philip Prideaux. Stephen is Ross minus the advantages of gentle birth plus a touch of George (the ambition, the willingness to cheat to win, etc.). Like Elizabeth, Clowance mistook sexual attraction for love, but unlike Elizabeth, she didn't have parents who vetted her suitors with their own golden years in mind. Elizabeth's parents warned her off Ross for the wrong reasons, but they were right in doing so. Ross and Demelza wanted their children to make their own choices, but Clowance made a poor one before she made the right one.

Mrs. Gimlett -- Those refreshing plunges in the sea have their uses. I seem to recall that one persuaded Clowance that Edward really was the right man for her.



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Mrs Gimlett wrote:

This thread is supposed to be about the final five books.  Elizabeth seems to be taking centre stage, even though she is long gone by 1810.

What do you think of Demelza and Clowance's visit to Bowood?  I think it is quite a light-hearted diversion from all the undercurrents running around Nampara concerning Stephen.  No-one really likes him, sometimes not even Clowance. (At this stage, I feel even Jeremy and Paul Kellow don't know what to make of him)  It seems to me she is drawn to him by his unusual ways and of course, his sex appeal.  He arrives just as she is getting to that stage of growing up.  It was an attraction of opposites in a way, which Clowance found irresistible. 

So the high society of Bowood was a chance not only for Clowance to distance herself from Stephen for a while, but also for the reader to peek into the drawing rooms of the aristocracy to see how they pass their days. 

Like Clowance, I'd still prefer to have a refreshing plunge in the sea though!


 I have just reread Clowance's relationship with Edward and I believe like any young inexperience girl, she was shy and not sexually drawn to him as she was to Stephen. Stephen was the first man that Clowance felt this way about and it is only natural that this attraction for Stephen was misinterpreted as love. She didn't stop to consider what her life would be like with him, she plunged head first into a passionate relationship. Later, in Bella, when she asks for Ross and Demelza advise, after receiving a marriage proposal from Edward and from Philip. Demelza tells her that the question she should ask herself is which man would she want to be the father of her children? Very sound advise indeed! However, it is advise that Clowance wouldn't have heeded had it not been for the the disillusionment of her first marriage. 

 



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This thread is supposed to be about the final five books.  Elizabeth seems to be taking centre stage, even though she is long gone by 1810.

What do you think of Demelza and Clowance's visit to Bowood?  I think it is quite a light-hearted diversion from all the undercurrents running around Nampara concerning Stephen.  No-one really likes him, sometimes not even Clowance. (At this stage, I feel even Jeremy and Paul Kellow don't know what to make of him)  It seems to me she is drawn to him by his unusual ways and of course, his sex appeal.  He arrives just as she is getting to that stage of growing up.  It was an attraction of opposites in a way, which Clowance found irresistible. 

So the high society of Bowood was a chance not only for Clowance to distance herself from Stephen for a while, but also for the reader to peek into the drawing rooms of the aristocracy to see how they pass their days. 

Like Clowance, I'd still prefer to have a refreshing plunge in the sea though!



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LJones41 wrote:

 She ran it. Elizabeth did the same at Trenwith after Francis died, but she lacked the self-confidence to do it long term.

 

 

Considering that no one took the trouble to train Elizabeth to operate a mine or an estate, I really don't see how she "lacked the self-confidence" to run Trenwith.  How on earth was she supposed to know?  Why do so many fans keep insisting that Elizabeth behave like the ideal 20th century or early 21st century woman?  When Clowance ran Stephen's assets, she knew she was capable of doing so, because she had received lessons.  That's why.



-- Edited by LJones41 on Sunday 4th of December 2016 01:30:32 AM


 LJones41,

Take a look at "Warleggan" Book 3, Chapter 2. It details Elizabeth's four days of hell preceding George's proposal. She was making decisions, but she wasn't comfortable doing it. If George had provided her feedback on those decisions instead of seizing upon her insecurity and proposing marriage so he could lift this burden off her shoulders, she probably would have discovered that she was equal to the job. I say this because after their marriage, George was surprised by her knowledge and her skill at running Trenwith, the Truro house and Cardew. She hadn't needed a husband; she'd just needed a short-term mentor. Good thing for George that he proposed when he did. 

Francis had no real training running Grambler. His father wanted Ross to take him into Wheal Leisure and teach him, which Ross was willing to do. However, Francis balked at that plan. Grambler was already in decline when he inherited it, and he was unable to save it because he couldn't afford to buy an engine -- something his father had declined to do when there was more equity to tap in Trenwith and copper prices were higher.

Elizabeth did have the opportunity to learn how to run Trenwith, but she didn't take advantage of it. Verity was doing all the important duties of the mistress of Trenwith even after Elizabeth moved in. Elizabeth could have asked to be taught how to do all those things, but instead she filled her days embroidering bell pulls, playing with her spinning wheel and practicing her harp. Once Grambler was closed and Verity had left to marry Andrew, Elizabeth had to muddle through with a reduced income and a reduced staff. Verity and Francis were estranged so she couldn't turn to her for help. Instead she relied more on the Tabbs.

When Francis and Ross launched Wheal Grace and Francis was gone all day, she could have asked to be taught more about the business of the estate so she could fill in for Francis at Trenwith, but she didn't. (No, she could not have predicted his death, but she could have expected the mine to claim more and more of his time as work proceeded.)

When Francis died, she was thrown into the deep end. She had Ross advising her in his weekly meetings, but I wonder how much help he really could give her. Nampara was a considerably smaller property and had never been farmed the way Trenwith was. Ross knew mining more than farming. Once Geoffrey Charles' share of Wheal Grace was sold, she had no mining interests so no need to understand mining. 



-- Edited by Dark Mare on Monday 12th of December 2016 10:07:37 PM

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 She ran it. Elizabeth did the same at Trenwith after Francis died, but she lacked the self-confidence to do it long term.

 

 

Considering that no one took the trouble to train Elizabeth to operate a mine or an estate, I really don't see how she "lacked the self-confidence" to run Trenwith.  How on earth was she supposed to know?  Why do so many fans keep insisting that Elizabeth behave like the ideal 20th century or early 21st century woman?  When Clowance ran Stephen's assets, she knew she was capable of doing so, because she had received lessons.  That's why.



-- Edited by LJones41 on Sunday 4th of December 2016 01:30:32 AM

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Dark Mare wrote:

Am I alone or does anyone else see the relationships of the last five books to be reshufflings of the relationships of the first seven? Sort of Winston Graham's way of saying, "Oh yeah, you think X or Y should have played another way?" to all those readers who would take him aside at book signings and in tea shops to question his choices. "Well here are five books that reshuffle everyone's deck. Let's see how the relationships play out now."

Valentine and Selina, for example, seem to be one version of a Ross and Elizabeth marriage, and Clowance and Stephen the other. Yes, I know, Ross is a better man than either Valentine or Stephen, but they represent the two sides of his personality, the gentleman and the believer in meritocracy. Both are immoral, where Ross is more amoral, but neither is afraid of hard work if it can help him make his own way in the world. Very Ross. Selina not only looks like Elizabeth but also lets her husbands run right over her. 

 


 Did you mean "a Ross and Elizabeth marriage" or a Ross and Demelza marriage? Either way I cannot see why you say this.

Stella



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Dark Mare wrote:

Am I alone or does anyone else see the relationships of the last five books to be reshufflings of the relationships of the first seven? Sort of Winston Graham's way of saying, "Oh yeah, you think X or Y should have played another way?" to all those readers who would take him aside at book signings and in tea shops to question his choices. "Well here are five books that reshuffle everyone's deck. Let's see how the relationships play out now."

Valentine and Selina, for example, seem to be one version of a Ross and Elizabeth marriage, and Clowance and Stephen the other. Yes, I know, Ross is a better man than either Valentine or Stephen, but they represent the two sides of his personality, the gentleman and the believer in meritocracy. Both are immoral, where Ross is more amoral, but neither is afraid of hard work if it can help him make his own way in the world. Very Ross. Selina not only looks like Elizabeth but also lets her husbands run right over her. 

Clowance is the version of Elizabeth that Elizabeth wished she could be. When the going got tough financially with Francis, Elizabeth talked a good race about stepping up and helping cut their expenses by doing more of the work herself, etc., though I never saw evidence of her actually doing any work herself -- oh, wait, she did clear the table and stack the dishes in the sink on the second Poldark family Christmas Eve. Clowance learned to keep the books for Stephen's business -- at his urging, true, but she seemed to welcome the chance to become more involved (as her mother would). When Stephen died, she didn't sell the business and return home to Nampara. She ran it. Elizabeth did the same at Trenwith after Francis died, but she lacked the self-confidence to do it long term. (One of my favorite ironies is George's discovery that Elizabeth is very accomplished at running a home, dealing with tradesmen, etc. She hadn't needed him to rescue her as much as to mentor her and to congratulate her on her good decisions.)

Jeremy and Cuby are Dwight and Caroline with John Trevanion in Ray Penvenon's position and without the elopement being sabotaged by Rosina's knee and Ross' return from his meeting with Mark Daniel on the smugglers' boat.

Bella, of course, is Demelza on steroids, but who is Christopher? Surely not Hugh Armitage or Malcolm McNeil. How about Francis? 


 I have never before thought of those particular pairings as being mirrors of the earlier novels, but now I have had a think about it, I'm not sure I agree with you.

The similarities of Ross and Jeremy's lives has always jumped out at me.  However, Jeremy's criminal foray is not something Ross would ever have done.  Free-trading was different, nearly everyone in Cornwall had their finger in that pie - but I can't see Ross carrying out such an audacious crime.  Neither do I consider Ross as being amoral, or immoral come to that. Yes, he was desperate for money for many years, but he always paid his dues and kept within the law fiscally.

Valentine grew up with a great deal of turbulence in his life.  He was, as Demelza correctly observed, quite a dangerous young man.  Although he obviously loved Selina, I think he married her for two other reasons.  One, he didn't want to marry Cuby, or at least, not on George's terms; and two, Selina had money, property and the possibility of a mine to tempt him. He could have kept Selina as his mistress, but marrying her would be a way out of George's clutches, and still maintain his decadent lifestyle.  I cannot see any areas where they resemble, or mirror,  Ross and Demelza. 

Clowance and Stephen had quite a stormy sort of marriage, but not in the same way as R&D did in their early years.  Thankfully for Clowance, it was not long lasting and I wonder how things would have panned out had he not had that accident, but Clowance had still found out about his bigamy. Stephen lied his way through life, when it suited him.  Ross rarely lied, especially to Demelza.

I think the Poldark children and their contemporaries all bring something fresh into the books.  They are growing up during the Regency and think in a more modern way than many of R&Ds generation.  They are more relaxed and are comfortable with anyone (most of the time).

Apart from the cadaverous Clement Pope, the worst family, in my opinion,  was the Kellows, who bumbled through life thinking everyone owed them something.  I like to think that Paul died of some horrible fever, whilst waiting for his trial, thereby taking the knowledge of the robbery with him.  That just left Geoffrey Charles and Demelza who knew and neither of them would have breathed a word.

In the five last books, I love the way WG has written about R&D.  They frequently have inconsequential conversations, which is so true to life in a couple who have a long marriage.  He has really caught the nuances and shared experiences of them both; also with Caroline and Dwight. Over many years, the friendship of those four develops in a very authentic way and is a joy.

 



-- Edited by Mrs Gimlett on Saturday 3rd of December 2016 07:38:51 PM

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Ross Poldark wrote:

 

         Yet WG's skills are so amazing that the most memorable and brilliant contrast of all at the other end of the scale of Music Thomas mixing up the love potion with the chillblain cure for Katie is utterly hysterical and is guaranteed to make me laugh out loud every time.

Such incredible genius now sadly no longer with us and why I had to create the forum in his memory as back then he was already almost forgotten. For example just prior to the launch of his autobiography in Truro on the 25th September 2003, I rang the tourist office a couple of weeks or so beforehand asking what day was the launch of Winston Graham's autobiography and the woman replied "who's Winston Graham ?"

Unbelievable but true - I can hear her voice now.


 And what an amazing forum you have created here, Ross, and still developing!! It gives us all a lot of pleasure and education. WG is certainly not forgotten any more!!!

Stella

 



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Bella wrote:

Enjoyed the romance between Cuby and Jeremy, so beautifully written and heart breaking at the end when Jeremy dies so soon after they were married.  I know it wasn't written but I have a feeling Cuby would never have married again, certainly not for a long while. 

The letter Ross writes to Demelza telling her that Jeremy has died gets me every time, welling up now just writing this post.


Exactly, also I think she would have been quite happy to remain a widow too....

For me their love story with Jeremy's unwavering and steadfast love smitten pursuit of Cuby is for me the best by far in all the books, the letter from Ross to Demelza having the same effect on me every time as well.

However I think that the most tragic episode of all is on the road leaving the battlefield when Cuby suddenly sees Ross on the wagon amongst all the carnage of wounded and dying soldiers, and instantly sensing what's happened makes her immediate heart wrenching reactions so difficult to read every time.

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Yet WG's skills are so amazing that the most memorable and brilliant contrast of all at the other end of the scale of Music Thomas mixing up the love potion with the chillblain cure for Katie is utterly hysterical and is guaranteed to make me laugh out loud every time.

Such incredible genius now sadly no longer with us and why I had to create the forum in his memory as back then he was already almost forgotten. For example just prior to the launch of his autobiography in Truro on the 25th September 2003, I rang the tourist office a couple of weeks or so beforehand asking what day was the launch of Winston Graham's autobiography and the woman replied "who's Winston Graham ?"

Unbelievable but true - I can hear her voice now.



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Am I alone or does anyone else see the relationships of the last five books to be reshufflings of the relationships of the first seven? Sort of Winston Graham's way of saying, "Oh yeah, you think X or Y should have played another way?" to all those readers who would take him aside at book signings and in tea shops to question his choices. "Well here are five books that reshuffle everyone's deck. Let's see how the relationships play out now."

Valentine and Selina, for example, seem to be one version of a Ross and Elizabeth marriage, and Clowance and Stephen the other. Yes, I know, Ross is a better man than either Valentine or Stephen, but they represent the two sides of his personality, the gentleman and the believer in meritocracy. Both are immoral, where Ross is more amoral, but neither is afraid of hard work if it can help him make his own way in the world. Very Ross. Selina not only looks like Elizabeth but also lets her husbands run right over her. 

Clowance is the version of Elizabeth that Elizabeth wished she could be. When the going got tough financially with Francis, Elizabeth talked a good race about stepping up and helping cut their expenses by doing more of the work herself, etc., though I never saw evidence of her actually doing any work herself -- oh, wait, she did clear the table and stack the dishes in the sink on the second Poldark family Christmas Eve. Clowance learned to keep the books for Stephen's business -- at his urging, true, but she seemed to welcome the chance to become more involved (as her mother would). When Stephen died, she didn't sell the business and return home to Nampara. She ran it. Elizabeth did the same at Trenwith after Francis died, but she lacked the self-confidence to do it long term. (One of my favorite ironies is George's discovery that Elizabeth is very accomplished at running a home, dealing with tradesmen, etc. She hadn't needed him to rescue her as much as to mentor her and to congratulate her on her good decisions.)

Jeremy and Cuby are Dwight and Caroline with John Trevanion in Ray Penvenon's position and without the elopement being sabotaged by Rosina's knee and Ross' return from his meeting with Mark Daniel on the smugglers' boat.

Bella, of course, is Demelza on steroids, but who is Christopher? Surely not Hugh Armitage or Malcolm McNeil. How about Francis? 



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It has been a while since I read the last books, and I'm not as knowledgable about them as the first seven. I have that pleasure to come in a few weeks time. But I did enjoy Jeremy and Cuby, especially the way WG leads the reader from distrusting Cuby to loving her. I also really like getting to know Henry and Bella.

I found the whole Stagecoach storyline gripping - I think the description of the theft is one of the best-written parts of the series (action-wise rather than relationship based). The constant threat of discovery is also a great plotline.

These books also managed to give some of my disliked characters their comeuppance. Stephen comes to a fitting end (although I wish he hadn't been able to damage Clowance so much), George becomes less powerful and meets his match in marriage (Go, Harriet!).

For me, the weak point is nearly everything to do with Valentine and the younger characters who surround him. There is also an element of supernatural events (superstitions) that annoy me. I understand that without Valentine the books would be struggling for content, but I wish that he wasn't so wet.



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Enjoyed the romance between Cuby and Jeremy, so beautifully written and heart breaking at the end when Jeremy dies so soon after they were married.  I know it wasn't written but I have a feeling Cuby would never have married again, certainly not for a long while. 

The letter Ross writes to Demelza telling her that Jeremy has died gets me every time, welling up now just writing this post

 

 

 

 



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Mrs Gimlett wrote:

Ross and Demelza quite rightly heard alarm bells ringing when Stephen Carrington came onto the scene.

Do you think Ross should have sent him packing? 

If so, would Clowance then have married Tom, or maybe Lord Edward would have had a chance earlier on?  I rather think she needed to grow into Edward; after her experiences with Stephen, she looked at life a different way and that is why after some years, she was able to consent to marrying Edward.  Although she said she would only remarry for position or money, I don't really think that was so in the end.

I thought the 'courtship' of them both was delightful.  A pity we didn't hear more about them.

Stephen was not an endearing character in any way at all.  I can imagine in 21st Century, he would ride a noisy motorbike and frequent dodgy places.

What are your thoughts?


 Mrs G

I thought Ross and Demelza were wonderful parents, containing their own worries and feelings about Clowance's love for Stephen. It was interesting that they had the same philosophy of parenting and could stand back and allow their children to develop in their own way. Ross had the sense to know that nothing would be solved by sending Stephen Carrington packing. Clowance had to learn her own lessons. Until she did so she would not have been ready to marry anyone else. 

Stella



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Ross and Demelza quite rightly heard alarm bells ringing when Stephen Carrington came onto the scene.

Was it just a sexual attraction that Clowance found, awakening her to adulthood?  Or was it something else?  True love?  I am not sure.  She finds it very hard because he has lived a rough by the seat of his pants life whereas she has had a loving stable family always around her.  She cannot understand why he is deceitful and tells different versions of stories to different people. 

Do you think Ross should have sent him packing? 

If so, would Clowance then have married Tom, or maybe Lord Edward would have had a chance earlier on?  I rather think she needed to grow into Edward; after her experiences with Stephen, she looked at life a different way and that is why after some years, she was able to consent to marrying Edward.  Although she said she would only remarry for position or money, I don't really think that was so in the end.

I thought the 'courtship' of them both was delightful.  A pity we didn't hear more about them.

Stephen was not an endearing character in any way at all.  I can imagine in 21st Century, he would ride a noisy motorbike and frequent dodgy places.

What are your thoughts?



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I admired Music Thomas' determination to make Katie see him as a whole person and to win her affection; and Dwight's mentoring gave me yet another reason to admire him.



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Some of us have thought a complete change of direction would do us all good.  Occasionally, dwelling on the same volumes only sees us going round in circles and getting bogged down with the same sticking points.

So, starting with Stranger From the Sea, how about discussing the last five books and the lives of those living during the Regency? 

Personally, I have found over the years that these books have definitely grown on me.  There is much to be gleaned from them - many subjects to discuss, from Jeremy's deep love for Cuby to the new families who found themselves neighbours of the Poldarks.

Which moments stand out for you?  Who are you rooting for in the marriage stakes?  Does George mellow into comfortable old age?



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