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Post Info TOPIC: Old fashioned Remedies & Elizabeth's mistake


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Old fashioned Remedies & Elizabeth's mistake
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Sorry but there would have been no story.

WG set out to write a love triangle. That is what he did, brilliantly.




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Dark Mare wrote:


Oh there would have been a story. It just would have been a very different story. 

In "missing" Chapter 6 (only in the first edition) Elizabeth longs to play a more central and maybe even heroic role in the life of the family. If she can't be first in saying exactly the right thing, she says nothing and inwardly resents the person who does. Remember how disappointed she is when Verity is first to praise Francis for the outcome of the Grambler investors' meeting?Married to Ross, she would have had that opportunity to test her mettle as she didn't at Trenwith until Charles, Verity and Francis were no longer around to appreciate her. Would she be able to become the heroine she imagined herself to be or would she eventually lose heart and go running back to Cusgarne? Or would Ross become so consumed with guilt over the poverty he had plunged her into that he came to resent her and ultimately drove her home to her parents? And would George be waiting in the wings to pick up the pieces? As I said, a much different story. One book and done. No 12-volume saga.

P.S. Can this discussion be broken off as a new topic? There may be people who would be interested in adding their two cents who don't know it's going on because of the topic title "Old-fashioned remedies" 



-- Edited by Dark Mare on Thursday 19th of October 2017 08:29:21 PM

Dark Mare - I have thought several times about the scenario of Elizabeth marrying Ross and the kind of life they might have had together. Every time I have come to the same conclusion - that Elizabeth would have left Ross and that would have been the end of the story. She would have been unhappy and unable to live that kind of life. So I suggest it could only be a very short story and a very boring one.


 






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Mrs Gimlett wrote:

 

One further point - if Ross and Elizabeth had married, they would be no story...



-- Edited by Mrs Gimlett on Wednesday 18th of October 2017 07:51:11 PM


Oh there would have been a story. It just would have been a very different story. 

In "missing" Chapter 6 (only in the first edition) Elizabeth longs to play a more central and maybe even heroic role in the life of the family. If she can't be first in saying exactly the right thing, she says nothing and inwardly resents the person who does. Remember how disappointed she is when Verity is first to praise Francis for the outcome of the Grambler investors' meeting?Married to Ross, she would have had that opportunity to test her mettle as she didn't at Trenwith until Charles, Verity and Francis were no longer around to appreciate her. Would she be able to become the heroine she imagined herself to be or would she eventually lose heart and go running back to Cusgarne? Or would Ross become so consumed with guilt over the poverty he had plunged her into that he came to resent her and ultimately drove her home to her parents? And would George be waiting in the wings to pick up the pieces? As I said, a much different story. One book and done. No 12-volume saga.

P.S. Can this discussion be broken off as a new topic? There may be people who would be interested in adding their two cents who don't know it's going on because of the topic title "Old-fashioned remedies" 



-- Edited by Dark Mare on Thursday 19th of October 2017 08:29:21 PM






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Mrs Gimlett, you're absolutely right. Demelza jumped at the chance to escape her dismal existence. When I wrote that kidnapping bit I was chuckling, imagining Ross' growing realization that his impetuous "adoption" might have "troublesome results." I imagined him thinking, here I am, again, in hot water. But he would never have kidnapped Demelza, or anyone else for that matter. As Mrs. Teague later agreed, Demelza knew her own mind, even at that age.






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Hollyhock

I agree for the most part with what you say. Particularly so where Dark Mare suggests Ross could have spoken out at the wedding in order to stop it.  As you say, he had no legitimate reason to do that and wouldn't have anyway.  If he couldn't win Elizabeth by her 'free' choice, he wasn't going to coerce her.

What some of us find difficult to comprehend is what life was like in the late 18th Century.  Girls especially were very much used as pawns in a marriage.  I don't think Elizabeth would have had much luck if she had told her parents she would rather marry Ross.  There would have pointed out all his faults, poverty and embellished the shadier bits of his past until she was worn down. 

As it was, she decided Francis was the one for her, without any wrangling needed. 

I get the feeling that if she had married Ross, she would have fallen out of love with him too.  She would never have managed to do all that Demelza did at Nampara and Ross couldn't afford staff.  Jud and Prudie were 'working' for nothing, you will recall, to make up for the mess they had made before Ross' arrival. 

I do somewhat object to you referring to Demelza as being kidnapped.  No so at all; she went with Ross of her own free will. 

One further point - if Ross and Elizabeth had married, they would be no story...



-- Edited by Mrs Gimlett on Wednesday 18th of October 2017 07:51:11 PM



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Interesting conversation. I agree that it always comes back to Elizabeth; she is the catalyst.  But I disagree that she was indecisive. She was quite decisive about what she wanted; it's just that her decisions never gave her the results she desired, the grass always looking greener...and all that.

That confrontation she had with Ross on the morning he went to ask Charles about the consequences of kidnapping Demelza tells all. Elizabeth's only regret was not that she failed to remain faithful to Ross, but that she could no longer manipulate his feelings quite like she wanted (tears or no). At the time, Elizabeth was happy that she had married Francis. He was the heir apparent and seemed flush with money and prestige. Ross had little in comparison.

But I'm not sure Elizabeth deserves as much censure as she gets. She was a product of her time and marrying well was more important than marrying for love. Even Verity turned her back on Captain Blamey, the love of her life, because of family expectations. (I actually find Verity's actions more exasperating than Elizabeth's. What did she have to lose by running away with the good captain, infamous or not?) Ross understood family dictates very well, so he sacrificed his desires for what he thought would be Elizabeth's happiness and success. He could never have imagined her laboring in the Nampara fields, her being so fragile and all.

I agree with all that Mrs Gimlett and Stella say about Ross. He never wavered in his abiding love for Elizabeth. He was never indecisive about his feelings for her. The problem was that his belief in the strength and bonds of loyalty clouded his vision, as it always would. He thought she was as loyal to him as he was to her and so was emotionally paralyzed when he found her engaged, happily, to Francis. He had no chance to confront Elizabeth before her marriage, even had he wanted to. Unlike in the tv series, she wasn't wandering about the cliffs and pondering her prospects. After the engagement party, her parents whisked her back to the family seat. Ross had no father to advise him to storm the castle, so to speak, as he later advised Jeremy. But Ross had already accepted Elizabeth's betrayal of the heart and tried to move on with his life, even though Elizabeth would always own a part of him. 

 






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Dark Mare wrote "

P.S. To Stella Poldark and Mrs. Gimlett: Even if Ross didn't have a chance to see Elizabeth alone before her wedding day, there was one opportunity for him to prevent the marriage and that was at the wedding. When his cousin the minister said "speak now or forever hold your peace," Ross could have said something, but he didn't. Yes, I know no one ever does, but he already had a reputation for being reckless so what did he have to lose? Elizabeth and Francis would know that he couldn't forgive them for a long time."

I'm not sure what you think the reason might be for Ross to stand up in church at the wedding and object. Even if there were just cause or impediment why Elizabeth and Francis should not be joined in matrimony, Ross would be the last person to do this. If Elizabeth didn't want him he would never challenge that. It says in the book that there was no formal agreement between Ross and Elizabeth so Ross would have no grounds for a challenge. Even if there had been a formal agreement Ross would never have used this as he would have wanted Elizabeth as his wife only if that is what she wished.

 




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Stella Poldark wrote:
Mrs Gimlett wrote:

Quite what all this has to do with old fashioned remedies, I am trying to work out!

 


 I wondered about that too but the discussion was interesting and I didn't want to it to stop.


 This is the perfect place to raise a question: Who makes the decision to create a new topic when a discussion has strayed off the original topic but is still generating interesting comments? If commenters notice this is happening, should they: A.) alert that person by message that a discussion has wandered off topic but the new topic is generating enough posts to make it worth continuing as a new topic; B.) wait for her/him to come to that conclusion and create the new topic; or C.) take the initiative and create the new topic, cutting and pasting the relevant posts from the original topic into a new topic field and inserting a message in the old topic that this discussion has moved to the new topic? (Please tell me it's not C.)

 

 

P.S. To Stella Poldark and Mrs. Gimlett: Even if Ross didn't have a chance to see Elizabeth alone before her wedding day, there was one opportunity for him to prevent the marriage and that was at the wedding. When his cousin the minister said "speak now or forever hold your peace," Ross could have said something, but he didn't. Yes, I know no one ever does, but he already had a reputation for being reckless so what did he have to lose? Elizabeth and Francis would know that he couldn't forgive them for a long time.



-- Edited by Dark Mare on Tuesday 17th of October 2017 04:27:14 AM




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Mrs Gimlett wrote:

Quite what all this has to do with old fashioned remedies, I am trying to work out!

 


 I wondered about that too but the discussion was interesting and I didn't want to it to stop.




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Quite what all this has to do with old fashioned remedies, I am trying to work out!



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Mrs Gimlett wrote:
Dark Mare wrote:

I know WG makes Elizabeth out to be indecisive, but the more I think about the first time she was called upon to make a major life decision, the more I wonder whether I would have been any more able to figure out the right thing to do. Could she be sure Ross still wanted to marry her?

Ross and Elizabeth wrote to each other while he was abroad.  Then the letters became less frequent, or lost along the way.  Francis was there, in Cornwall and Ross, for all she knew, was thousands of miles away.  He had written to Jud, but most likely he was too drunk to take the letter somewhere to be read to him, so he was also unaware of Ross' arrival.  There had never been a 'formal' arrangement between E & R - it was a boy/girl pledge they had made to each other.  Her parents didn't approve of Joshua and his family anyway.  Trenwith to them must have seemed a much better bet; an elegant historic manor house with the added attraction of money being made (at that time).  Elizabeth would have been much taken with it too and given the right encouragement from mum and dad would have found no difficulty in transferring her allegiance to Francis.  He was personable, heir to all he surveyed and was, to begin with, attentive to her. We know she was swayed by material considerations, otherwise she would never have married George.

Not really. After the encounter at Trenwith the night he returned from America, he didn't go to see her to ask for an explanation and remind her of the prior claim. Instead, he denied to Verity that he had any claim. And yet we know from the Prologue that his father tried to meet with Jonathan Chynoweth to discuss a marriage between their children so his father clearly thought he had some kind of understanding with Elizabeth. And Jonathan Chynoweth knew there was some interest there because Joshua Poldark had reached out to him.

Joshua did speak to Jonathan Chynoweth about R&E, but he had said wait until Ross came home.  He wanted to stall any commitment because he was against a marriage between them. 

Elizabeth must have believed there was a claim, but if he had died in America, as she had been given to believe, that claim would have become moot.

Charles knew very well Ross was alive and safe, because Joshua told him.  That was only a few months before Ross left America.  However, during that time Charles cunningly connived at fixing up Francis with Elizabeth, which is why he was so cagey when Joshua mentioned Elizabeth. The only ones who spread a rumour about Ross being dead were Jud and Prudie.

When Elizabeth later told Ross that she hadn't believed he was dead, I wonder whether she really had been that certain he wasn't dead. Could it have been just wishful thinking or was she really that skeptical a person when she was still a teenager? Did she press her father to contact the army to inquire whether Ross was alive or dead? We don't know. Would she have gotten anywhere with her parents if she had tried? Joan Chynoweth wanted her daughter to marry Francis, not Ross, and she ruled the roost at Cusgarne so it seems unlikely that her husband would have been willing to rock the boat.

Once Ross saw what disarray his home and his financial affairs were in, would he have felt right about holding her to her promise to him if it had not been supplanted by her promise to Francis? Did he have the nerve to cross his own family? I don't think so. Ross was very fond of his uncle and apparently was unaware how little Charles thought of him. We know only because we were privy to what Charles was saying and thinking about Ross the last time he saw Joshua. 

I don't think Ross was that fond of Charles.  He tolerated him, but had no special relationship or love for him.  Francis he was fond of and of course Verity, but Charles was just their father, and his father's brother.  The fact the brothers never got on wouldn't have escaped Ross' notice, nor endeared him to a closer relationship with his uncle.  He may not have approved of his father's behaviour, but Ross was always very loyal.

I think the one who was truly indecisive was Ross. He chose to be a good sport and then changed his mind after the vows had been exchanged. Elizabeth let him give her a hard time at her wedding and the next time he visited Trenwith when she could have told him he had had two weeks to ask her to call off the wedding but he never did. What was she to think other than he was relieved that circumstances had released from his promise? That would have shut him up.

Ross to my mind wasn't indecisive.  He accepted the marriage because he imagined Elizabeth loved Francis.  His feelings hadn't changed, but he strove to master those feelings to see her happy.  Why throw a spanner in the works?  He could see both the families were keen for it to happen.  Ross was far more mature than both Francis and Elizabeth and he wouldn't have behaved like a petulant schoolboy to try to get his way.   In those days, it wasn't so easy to 're-arrange' things and even harder for Ross to be able to see Elizabeth on her own and try to break down her defences, had he felt that was the way forward.  When he arrived at Nampara anyway, he probably hadn't the heart to do anything much.  Seeing that would be enough to dampen anyone's ardour.



-- Edited by Dark Mare on Monday 16th of October 2017 03:17:08 PM


 


 I should like to add one more thing to this discussion. It is about the most recent letter that Elizabeth had sent to Ross. When he returned to Nampara and re-read her letter he saw that the tone was different, conveying less interest on her part. If Ross ever had even a fleeting thought of seeking out Elizabeth after that night, this would surely have made his decision clear. Her had to accept that Elizabeth and Francis would marry.



-- Edited by Mrs Gimlett on Monday 16th of October 2017 10:00:53 PM




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Dark Mare wrote:

I know WG makes Elizabeth out to be indecisive, but the more I think about the first time she was called upon to make a major life decision, the more I wonder whether I would have been any more able to figure out the right thing to do. Could she be sure Ross still wanted to marry her?

Ross and Elizabeth wrote to each other while he was abroad.  Then the letters became less frequent, or lost along the way.  Francis was there, in Cornwall and Ross, for all she knew, was thousands of miles away.  He had written to Jud, but most likely he was too drunk to take the letter to be read to him, so he was also unaware of Ross' arrival.  There had never been a 'formal' arrangement between E & R - it was a boy/girl pledge they had made to each other.  Her parents didn't approve of Joshua and his family anyway.  Trenwith to them must have seemed a much better bet; an elegant historic manor house with the added attraction of money being made (at that time).  Elizabeth would have been much taken with it too and given the right encouragement from mum and dad would have found no difficulty in transferring her allegiance to Francis.  He was personable, heir to all he surveyed and was, to begin with, attentive to her.

Not really. After the encounter at Trenwith the night he returned from America, he didn't go to see her to ask for an explanation and remind her of the prior claim. Instead, he denied to Verity that he had any claim. And yet we know from the Prologue that his father tried to meet with Jonathan Chynoweth to discuss a marriage between their children so his father clearly thought he had some kind of understanding with Elizabeth. And Jonathan Chynoweth knew there was some interest there because Joshua Poldark had reached out to him.

Joshua did speak to Jonathan Chynoweth about R&E, but he had said wait until Ross came home.  He wanted to stall any commitment because he was against a marriage between them. 

Elizabeth must have believed there was a claim, but if he had died in America, as she had been given to believe, that claim would have become moot.

Charles knew very well Ross was alive and safe, because Joshua told him.  That was only a few months before Ross left America.  However, during that time Charles cunningly connived at fixing up Francis with Elizabeth, which is why he was so cagey when Joshua mentioned Elizabeth. The only ones who spread a rumour about Ross being dead were Jud and Prudie.

When Elizabeth later told Ross that she hadn't believed he was dead, I wonder whether she really had been that certain he wasn't dead. Could it have been just wishful thinking or was she really that skeptical a person when she was still a teenager? Did she press her father to contact the army to inquire whether Ross was alive or dead? We don't know. Would she have gotten anywhere with her parents if she had tried? Joan Chynoweth wanted her daughter to marry Francis, not Ross, and she ruled the roost at Cusgarne so it seems unlikely that her husband would have been willing to rock the boat.

Once Ross saw what disarray his home and his financial affairs were in, would he have felt right about holding her to her promise to him if it had not been supplanted by her promise to Francis? Did he have the nerve to cross his own family? I don't think so. Ross was very fond of his uncle and apparently was unaware how little Charles thought of him. We know only because we were privy to what Charles was saying and thinking about Ross the last time he saw Joshua. 

I don't think Ross was that fond of Charles.  He tolerated him, but had no special relationship or love for him.  Francis he was fond of and of course Verity, but Charles was just their father, and his father's brother.  The fact the brothers never got on wouldn't have escaped Ross' notice, nor endeared him to a closer relationship with his uncle.  He may not have approved of his father's behaviour, but Ross was always very loyal.

I think the one who was truly indecisive was Ross. He chose to be a good sport and then changed his mind after the vows had been exchanged. Elizabeth let him give her a hard time at her wedding and the next time he visited Trenwith when she could have told him he had had two weeks to ask her to call off the wedding but he never did. What was she to think other than he was relieved that circumstances had released from his promise? That would have shut him up.

Ross to my mind wasn't indecisive.  He accepted the marriage because he imagined Elizabeth loved Francis.  His feelings hadn't changed, but he strove to master those feelings to see her happy.  Why throw a spanner in the works?  He could see both the families were keen for it to happen.  Ross was far more mature than both Francis and Elizabeth and he wouldn't have behaved like a petulant schoolboy to try to get his way.   In those days, it wasn't so easy to 're-arrange' things and even harder for Ross to be able to see Elizabeth on her own and try to break down her defences, had he felt that was the way forward.  When he arrived at Nampara anyway, he probably hadn't the heart to do anything much.  Seeing that would be enough to dampen anyone's ardour.



-- Edited by Dark Mare on Monday 16th of October 2017 03:17:08 PM


 






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Dark Mare wrote:

I know WG makes Elizabeth out to be indecisive, but the more I think about the first time she was called upon to make a major life decision, the more I wonder whether I would have been any more able to figure out the right thing to do. Could she be sure Ross still wanted to marry her? Not really. After the encounter at Trenwith the night he returned from America, he didn't go to see her to ask for an explanation and remind her of the prior claim. Instead, he denied to Verity that he had any claim. And yet we know from the Prologue that his father tried to meet with Jonathan Chynoweth to discuss a marriage between their children so his father clearly thought he had some kind of understanding with Elizabeth. And Jonathan Chynoweth knew there was some interest there because Joshua Poldark had reached out to him. Elizabeth must have believed there was a claim, but if he had died in America, as she had been given to believe, that claim would have become moot.

When Elizabeth later told Ross that she hadn't believed he was dead, I wonder whether she really had been that certain he wasn't dead. Could it have been just wishful thinking or was she really that skeptical a person when she was still a teenager? Did she press her father to contact the army to inquire whether Ross was alive or dead? We don't know. Would she have gotten anywhere with her parents if she had tried? Joan Chynoweth wanted her daughter to marry Francis, not Ross, and she ruled the roost at Cusgarne so it seems unlikely that her husband would have been willing to rock the boat.

Once Ross saw what disarray his home and his financial affairs were in, would he have felt right about holding her to her promise to him if it had not been supplanted by her promise to Francis? Did he have the nerve to cross his own family? I don't think so. Ross was very fond of his uncle and apparently was unaware how little Charles thought of him. We know only because we were privy to what Charles was saying and thinking about Ross the last time he saw Joshua. 

I think the one who was truly indecisive was Ross. He chose to be a good sport and then changed his mind after the vows had been exchanged. Elizabeth let him give her a hard time at her wedding and the next time he visited Trenwith when she could have told him he had had two weeks to ask her to call off the wedding but he never did. What was she to think other than he was relieved that circumstances had released from his promise? That would have shut him up.



-- Edited by Dark Mare on Monday 16th of October 2017 03:17:08 PM


 Dark Mare - I think that Ross' display of being so happy to see Elizabeth when he went to Trenwith on his return from the US should have been sufficient evidence of his feelings towards her being unchanged. True he didn't visit her but she must have seen his reaction to the news that she was to marry Francis. I think Elizabeth wanted a comfortable home and all the trappings she thought the Trenwith Poldarks could provide. She succeeded in keeping Ross on a string though and almost caught him after Francis died. I think she is indecisive because she forces others to make decisions for her - her parents, Ross and George - almost Demelza too.




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Mrs Gimlett wrote:

Stella,

What I am thinking of is this:

Elizabeth's indecision we are aware of from very early on.  She couldn't decide between Francis and Ross.  Her parents naturally wanted the best for her and expected that Francis and Trenwith would offer her that; also they weren't keen on Ross!  She could have changed her mind once Ross returned - it would have caused mayhem, but was possible.

However, being keen to abide by the family's wishes, and probably seduced by the charms of the big house and relative prosperity, she married Francis.

Of course, we know she really favoured Ross and the story continues as we all have read many times. 

May the 9th was THE EVENING - again she was undecided.  Elizabeth knew Ross would visit at some point and although he chose a time when some of the household were in bed, she could have prevented what happened.  She had only to call out, scream even, but she didn't, and thus set in train the cause of the discontent between herself and George through much of their married life and shattered Ross' (relative) peace of mind.  Valentine's existence was like a pebble dropped into a pond, creating wider and wider problems to all manner of characters for the remainder of the books. 

Without Elizabeth making those choices at certain times in her life, the whole series would have developed in a quite different way.  So, do you think she was the catalyst for events throughout the entire series?

As Moorland Rambler says, WG initially conceived the first four books as one long story, eventually adding three more to conclude with Elizabeth's demise, which makes her appear as the linchpin. However, as events turned out, even though WG continued to write the story, it was the shadow of Elizabeth in the form of Valentine that pervaded the lives of both Warleggans and Poldarks.  Despite this, Ross and Demelza are really centre-stage and what we read is their love story. Had Demelza died in childbirth, I think the books would have come to an abrupt end.

Comments please...



-- Edited by Mrs Gimlett on Monday 18th of September 2017 07:33:32 PM


 Mrs G - Now I see what you mean about Elizabeth being the catalyst in terms of the decisions she made. Somehow she seemed to control several people's lives - Ross, Demelza and George. After her death Valentine replaced her in a way. WG created a very clever scenario with his triangles. She really is a dark character.






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I know WG makes Elizabeth out to be indecisive, but the more I think about the first time she was called upon to make a major life decision, the more I wonder whether I would have been any more able to figure out the right thing to do. Could she be sure Ross still wanted to marry her? Not really. After the encounter at Trenwith the night he returned from America, he didn't go to see her to ask for an explanation and remind her of the prior claim. Instead, he denied to Verity that he had any claim. And yet we know from the Prologue that his father tried to meet with Jonathan Chynoweth to discuss a marriage between their children so his father clearly thought he had some kind of understanding with Elizabeth. And Jonathan Chynoweth knew there was some interest there because Joshua Poldark had reached out to him. Elizabeth must have believed there was a claim, but if he had died in America, as she had been given to believe, that claim would have become moot.

When Elizabeth later told Ross that she hadn't believed he was dead, I wonder whether she really had been that certain he wasn't dead. Could it have been just wishful thinking or was she really that skeptical a person when she was still a teenager? Did she press her father to contact the army to inquire whether Ross was alive or dead? We don't know. Would she have gotten anywhere with her parents if she had tried? Joan Chynoweth wanted her daughter to marry Francis, not Ross, and she ruled the roost at Cusgarne so it seems unlikely that her husband would have been willing to rock the boat.

Once Ross saw what disarray his home and his financial affairs were in, would he have felt right about holding her to her promise to him if it had not been supplanted by her promise to Francis? Did he have the nerve to cross his own family? I don't think so. Ross was very fond of his uncle and apparently was unaware how little Charles thought of him. We know only because we were privy to what Charles was saying and thinking about Ross the last time he saw Joshua. 

I think the one who was truly indecisive was Ross. He chose to be a good sport and then changed his mind after the vows had been exchanged. Elizabeth let him give her a hard time at her wedding and the next time he visited Trenwith when she could have told him he had had two weeks to ask her to call off the wedding but he never did. What was she to think other than he was relieved that circumstances had released from his promise? That would have shut him up.



-- Edited by Dark Mare on Monday 16th of October 2017 03:17:08 PM




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Stella,

What I am thinking of is this:

Elizabeth's indecision we are aware of from very early on.  She couldn't decide between Francis and Ross.  Her parents naturally wanted the best for her and expected that Francis and Trenwith would offer her that; also they weren't keen on Ross!  She could have changed her mind once Ross returned - it would have caused mayhem, but was possible.

However, being keen to abide by the family's wishes, and probably seduced by the charms of the big house and relative prosperity, she married Francis.

Of course, we know she really favoured Ross and the story continues as we all have read many times. 

May the 9th was THE EVENING - again she was undecided.  Elizabeth knew Ross would visit at some point and although he chose a time when some of the household were in bed, she could have prevented what happened.  She had only to call out, scream even, but she didn't, and thus set in train the cause of the discontent between herself and George through much of their married life and shattered Ross' (relative) peace of mind.  Valentine's existence was like a pebble dropped into a pond, creating wider and wider problems to all manner of characters for the remainder of the books. 

Without Elizabeth making those choices at certain times in her life, the whole series would have developed in a quite different way.  So, do you think she was the catalyst for events throughout the entire series?

As Moorland Rambler says, WG initially conceived the first four books as one long story, eventually adding three more to conclude with Elizabeth's demise, which makes her appear as the linchpin. However, as events turned out, even though WG continued to write the story, it was the shadow of Elizabeth in the form of Valentine that pervaded the lives of both Warleggans and Poldarks.  Despite this, Ross and Demelza are really centre-stage and what we read is their love story. Had Demelza died in childbirth, I think the books would have come to an abrupt end.

Comments please...



-- Edited by Mrs Gimlett on Monday 18th of September 2017 07:33:32 PM




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Date: Sep 18 4:46 PM, 2017
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Mrs. Gimlett - Do you think the following extract from WG's autobiography 'Memoirs of a Private Man' adds weight to your suggestion that Elizabeth was the catalyst for the whole series?

(WG is being strongly encouraged to write more TV episodes after the success of the original Poldark TV series)

" I'm perfectly willing to contribute the next thirteen or sixteen episodes free. But where are they coming from? The story - my story - ends with the death of Elizabeth. There is no more.' 'Think it over,' he said gently. 'We'll gladly lend you a couple of scriptwriters to help you through your blockage.' I said: 'Dear Graeme, it isn't a blockage, it's an endage.' As indeed it was. The death of Elizabeth brought the whole conception full circle. There was nothing to add. And even if there were still plenty of loose ends from which new ideas would develop (as I found in due course) they couldn't be forced, they couldn't be contrived, fitted together like a Meccano frame. Whatever quality or lack of it the Poldark novels possess, they are organic, they have to grow; forcing them would have distorted history and the doings of a family, both of which were too dear to my heart."

 



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Date: Sep 18 3:39 PM, 2017
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Mrs Gimlett wrote:

Out of all the potions and nostrums mentioned in the books, one of the most effective  must surely be that little bottle of cloudy liquid procured by Elizabeth from the oily Doctor Franz Anselm.  It did what he said it would, as a result of meticulous research by WG, who mentioned the mixture included mould from rye - ergot - a substance still used in midwifery to stop post-natal bleeding.

Unfortunately, besides being efficacious in bringing about a seven month child, it also killed the mother. 

We know Dwight took home that bottle and had a taste of the contents.  I wonder if he correctly divined the ingredient which did the damage?  He increasingly carried out research during the early nineteenth century.  Perhaps he was able to make use of his knowledge about that container, to the advantage of others. 

In many ways, Elizabeth taking the dose from Anselm was as important to the story as May 9th 1792. 

With her indecision in the early books and those two events, does this make Elizabeth the catalyst of the entire series? 


 Mrs G - I have just finished my third reading of The Angry Tide and noticed this time that Dr Anselm was not a qualified doctor. It seems to me that he probably gave Elizabeth too much of that potion and that less would still have achieved the purpose without killing her.

I feel I need some more of your thoughts about Elizabeth's indecision in the early books, May 9th 1792 and taking the potion before commenting on her being the catalyst of the entire series.



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Date: Sep 18 10:36 AM, 2017
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Out of all the potions and nostrums mentioned in the books, one of the most effective  must surely be that little bottle of cloudy liquid procured by Elizabeth from the oily Doctor Franz Anselm.  It did what he said it would, as a result of meticulous research by WG, who mentioned the mixture included mould from rye - ergot - a substance still used in midwifery to stop post-natal bleeding.

Unfortunately, besides being efficacious in bringing about a seven month child, it also killed the mother. 

We know Dwight took home that bottle and had a taste of the contents.  I wonder if he correctly divined the ingredient which did the damage?  He increasingly carried out research during the early nineteenth century.  Perhaps he was able to make use of his knowledge about that container, to the advantage of others. 

In many ways, Elizabeth taking the dose from Anselm was as important to the story as May 9th 1792. 

With her indecision in the early books and those two events, does this make Elizabeth the catalyst of the entire series? 



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Date: Jun 13 5:13 PM, 2017
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Not sure how efficacious Widow Crow's remedies might or might not have been, but she mentioned some intriguing possibilities to Music Thomas at the Michaelmas Fair, where he'd gone to buy some chilblain potion for his brother Art who wanted to give it as a present to Aunt Edie Permewan whom he was courting.

I always think the following is one of the funniest scenes in all the books when she says it's a very special cold potion made up of frog spittle, frog sperm, frog juice, frog's eggs all mixed in with resin and balsam to bind it together, telling him you lay it cool upon the chilblains and they'll disappear - just like magic. Music eventually buys it and puts it in his pocket.

Then the old woman having shrewdly guessed that Music was also in love with a girl, who she added could be very difficult and changeable at such special times, quickly suggested he also ought to buy a special love potion she had and get her to drink it all at one go which would be no problem as it had no taste. Specially brewed with the hearts of apple birds and grey birds together with horse-adder and wort, he must make absolutely sure that he was standing beside her for as soon as it had gone down her eyes would light upon him and she would love him till her dying day.

Then the marvellous final scene when by mistake he gives Katie Carter the chilblain potion to drink still makes me laugh every time I read it.

Best of all Music still didn't admit that he might've made a mistake until about three months later towards Christmas time when he finally accepted it was his fault after all, as it seemed perfectly reasonable to him that two weeks after first using the mixture on her feet Edie Permewan should at last give way to Art Thomas's blandishments and agree to marry him.

Such hilarious and wonderfully imaginative writing....biggrin

The Loving Cup, Book 1, Chapter 13, Part three.




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Date: Jun 12 7:47 PM, 2017
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Demelza crushed peppercorns to wash the hens and remove their parasites.  There are a number of home remedies mentioned in the books.  No doubt they came from Jean Graham, who also wrote and published a Poldark cook book. 

Which remedies do you think were the most efficacious?  My very old grandmother used to say 'bash it with a Bible' to cure any kind of lump on the skin, be it a bite, a ganglion or a swollen gland! We smiled indulgently and did our own thing.

 



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