What a lovely article! It certainly explains what makes Demelza such an appealing character, if as it said that she was based on his wife Jean; "She had so much more character than anyone else there, male or female."
Whatever she suffered, whatever loss came to her, she would throw it off, for it was not in her nature to go under. Although she was the woman and he a fierce and sometimes arrogant man, hers was the stronger nature because the more pliant. That did not mean she did not feel Julia's death as deeply and as bitterly, but he saw that she would recover first. It might be because he had had all the other failures and disappointments. But chiefly it was because some element had put it in her nature to be happy. She was born so and could not change. He thanked God for it. Wherever she went and however long she lived she would be the same, lavishing interest on the things she loved and contriving for their betterment, working for and bringing up her children...
More character than anyone else. It is easy to let disappointments and failures to excuse self pity but the stronger character accepts these aspects of life. They don't let the trials and tribulations of life, break them or change their basic character. This is why Demelza is the perfect yin to Ross' yang.
Just discovered a previously unknown and very interesting article about Winston Graham in the "Cornwall Live" newspaper....
March 4th 2015
"WHEN you are about to interview an author in his nineties, you don't expect him to turn up in a sports car capable of 150mph, but Winston Graham was not your average man.
His Poldark novels were not only highly readable and bestsellers, they also translated into superb light television drama, with the whole of Britain gripped every Sunday night to see the latest saga of the dashing Captain Ross Poldark, who had returned to his Cornish estate from the American Revolutionary War to find that his bride-to-be, Elizabeth, believing him dead, was about to marry his cousin Francis.
Ross's romance with the servant girl Demelza Carne and the financial uncertainties of tin mining, all played against a superb background of Cornish countryside, was compulsory viewing when the series was first broadcast in the UK between 1975 and 1977. It gained audiences of about 14 million viewers and was so successful that some vicars rescheduled or cancelled church services rather than have them clash with the transmission of the Poldark series.
I was one of those devoted Poldark fans and had an added interest in that I was covering the filming for the Western Morning News.
I spent an evening or two in local hostelries with some of the cast and crew, including a memorable night at the 1975 Padstow May Day.
I also met Winston Graham at that time, as he made occasional visits to the film set, and he gracefully took part in pictures I took of the wedding scene filmed at St Winnow Church. He had also spoken to me to compose an obituary for the paper when his wife Jean, whom he had met at Perranporth in 1926, died at their home in Sussex in 1992.
However, when we met at the Carlyon Bay Hotel in 2002, where he arrived in a new Jaguar sports car at the launch of his last novel, Bella Poldark, he was nearly 94. It was probably his last interview before his death in July, 2003.
He was accompanied by his daughter Rosamund Barteau, who had lived in St Agnes for many years.
Winston was in jovial form as he remembered his days in Cornwall.
"If I wrote it today Ross Poldark would be a captain in the SAS who had been abroad or spent a considerable number of years in Ulster and various places, and had returned with a scar wound on his face and had come back to a rather broken down farm house, probably somewhere just outside Truro, where the lanes are still narrow and no one cuts the hedges so that they are a riot of bluebells and campion and white flowers.
"He might have a small legacy from an uncle but be rather poor, and his aim in life would be to agitate for Cornwall to have more autonomy from central government in London.
"With that he would be persuading the Cornish not merely to welcome visitors, as they do now, but to be a bit more upmarket in their ambitions to attract the right sort of visitors."
I asked him whether he thought he might find Elizabeth and Demelza among the local girls, and he told me with a twinkle in his eye: "I saw one or two the other day who were quite attractive and I don't think he would have any trouble finding good-looking girls down here. One wouldn't expect him to pick up a waif from Redruth Fair, whose father beat her - that could be rather out of date."
He said he thought there was a George Warleggan among the Cornish aristocracy, but would not be drawn into who it could be.
Winston said it was Cornwall itself which prompted him to write the Poldark novels. "I moved from Lancashire with my family when I was 17 and I fell in love with the countryside immediately.
"But it took me five years to get to know the Cornish people, and the more I got to know the Cornish people the more I liked them. I found the whole atmosphere and the history exciting and romantic."
His own first meeting with Jean Williamson was in church at Perranporth when he was 18 and she was 14. Their friendship was very much fostered by her mother "who seemed to like me".
In January, 1937, he decided to go to a dance at the former Droskyn Castle Hotel (now flats) and noticed Jean had changed greatly from their first meeting: "She had so much more character than anyone else there, male or female."
Later when he was dancing with her he said: "I can't afford to marry yet, but when I can, will you marry me?"
Her smiling bright eyes met his for a few seconds, then she said: "I think I just might." "
With grateful acknowledgements
"Perfection is a full stop .... Ever the climbing but never the attaining Of the mountain top." W.G.