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Post Info TOPIC: An in-depth look at Book 1 - Ross Poldark


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Date: Dec 11 10:34 AM, 2017
RE: An in-depth look at Book 1 - Ross Poldark
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I remember finding it a little odd that both Francis and George fell in love with the girl Ross loved. It was almost as if they needed the "Ross Seal of Approval" to find someone or something worth pursuing. 



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Date: Dec 9 6:35 AM, 2017
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I have always interpreted the second remark in the same way that Dark Mare has described. Francis is trying to tell Ross (in a coded sort of way) that what both of them thought marriage to Elizabeth would be like, was an illusion. He didn't want to be openly disloyal to Elizabeth, but he also didn't want Ross to continue with his dreams of that idyll. In some ways, this comment restored some camaraderie to their relationship by diffusing a little of the jealousy.



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Date: Dec 8 11:41 PM, 2017
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Dark Mare wrote:

It could have been editorial intervention. If the first edition omitted the "of me" in the sentence "He and his cousin own more than half of me already" (the way it is in subsequent editions) as it is written above, I can see where an editor would have had questions. The way it is written here, the other half isn't referring to Francis (or by extension, Elizabeth) at all. It is referring to the other half of Cornwall. Those questions could have given WG some food for thought, especially if he was writing "Demelza" at the time. A Warleggan cousin, Matthew Sanson, figures prominently there.

Dark Mare-a typo on my part--"of me" is included in the sentence. I agree that Francis would probably not be happy even if he were as successful as Geroge because he would eventually perceive that Elizabeth's range of emotions was limited. Thanks



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Date: Dec 8 8:53 PM, 2017
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Hollyhock wrote:

Next, his cryptic remark to Ross:

"We envy some other person for something he has got and we have not, although in truth it may be that he really hasn't it. Do I make myself clear?  No I thought not. Let us go and see George." p. 336

Is he referring to Ross' distress over losing Elizabeth?  Or, is he saying that George erroneously believes that he, Francis, has Elizabeth's love and devotion?  Or, since he and Ross are discussing George, might Francis be questioning the validity of his own envy of George's success and confidence. 

Any thoughts?


Debbie Horsfield interpreted that as Francis essentially telling Ross that marriage to Elizabeth isn't the picnic he thinks it must be, and by adding "and we do," she drove home that point. I love that scene in the series, but I think you probably are right about what Francis really meant. He assumes having George's success would make him happy, just as Ross assumes being married to Elizabeth would make him happy, but Francis now knows marriage to Elizabeth is not the pleasure Ross thinks it must be so maybe George's kind of success would make him (Francis) no happier than life with Elizabeth has. 



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Date: Dec 8 8:19 PM, 2017
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Hollyhock wrote:

 

From the Ward Lock edition, p335

"George Warleggan," said Francis. "Great man. He'll own half Cornwall before he's done. He and his cousin own more than half already." He laughed. "The other half he wants but can't have. Some things just won't go on the table." 

"His cousin?" 

"Cary Warleggan, the banker."

"A pretty name. I've heard him called moneylender."

In the later editions and books, Cary is elevated to uncle.  I wonder if WG changed his mind and decided it would be more interesting to make Cary an uncle or if some editorial intervention led to this status update. ... Any thoughts?


It could have been editorial intervention. If the first edition omitted the "of me" in the sentence "He and his cousin own more than half of me already" (the way it is in subsequent editions) as it is written above, I can see where an editor would have had questions. The way it is written here, the other half isn't referring to Francis (or by extension, Elizabeth) at all. It is referring to the other half of Cornwall. Those questions could have given WG some food for thought, especially if he was writing "Demelza" at the time. A Warleggan cousin, Matthew Sanson, figures prominently there.



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Date: Dec 8 4:28 PM, 2017
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Hollyhock wrote:

Part of this comment could be posted under "Discrepancies" but I think this is a better match since this topic is meant to be an in-depth discussion of Book 1, all editions.   

Near the end of Ross Poldark, Ross and Demelza join the Trenwith Poldarks for dinner. After dinner, Ruth and John Treneglos and George W arrive unexpectedly. When Mrs. Tabb informs Francis of their arrival he and Ross have the following exchange.

From the Ward Lock edition, p335

"George Warleggan," said Francis. "Great man. He'll own half Cornwall before he's done. He and his cousin own more than half already." He laughed. "The other half he wants but can't have. Some things just won't go on the table." 

"His cousin?" 

"Cary Warleggan, the banker."

"A pretty name. I've heard him called moneylender."

In the later editions and books, Cary is elevated to uncle.  I wonder if WG changed his mind and decided it would be more interesting to make Cary an uncle or if some editorial intervention led to this status update. I've also wondered about two comments that Francis makes. First, his remark that "some things just won't go on the table" for George. I used to think he sounded cynical and his remark was somehow related to Elizabeth. I now believe he's being flippant about George's frustrated attempts to be accepted by the gentry. 

Next, his cryptic remark to Ross:

"We envy some other person for something he has got and we have not, although in truth it may be that he really hasn't it. Do I make myself clear?  No I thought not. Let us go and see George." p. 336

Is he referring to Ross' distress over losing Elizabeth?  Or, is he saying that George erroneously believes that he, Francis, has Elizabeth's love and devotion?  Or, since he and Ross are discussing George, might Francis be questioning the validity of his own envy of George's success and confidence. 

Any thoughts?


 Hollyhock - I have for a very long time wondered about these words from Francis. I have thought it might be that Francis is telling Ross that he doesn't have Elizabeth's love any more but Ross does. But this makes no sense as Francis seems happy for Ross that he has married Demelza and appears to be very happy with her. Why would he want to complicate the situation by throwing in such a remark? I would very much like to hear from others about their interpretations of this. I find there are many things that are not at all clear in the books and I think WG was mischievous in deliberately forcing the reader to ponder long and hard on the meaning or significance of many things but not giving us much help.



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Date: Dec 8 3:18 PM, 2017
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Part of this comment could be posted under "Discrepancies" but I think this is a better match since this topic is meant to be an in-depth discussion of Book 1, all editions.   

Near the end of Ross Poldark, Ross and Demelza join the Trenwith Poldarks for dinner. After dinner, Ruth and John Treneglos and George W arrive unexpectedly. When Mrs. Tabb informs Francis of their arrival he and Ross have the following exchange.

From the Ward Lock edition, p335

"George Warleggan," said Francis. "Great man. He'll own half Cornwall before he's done. He and his cousin own more than half already." He laughed. "The other half he wants but can't have. Some things just won't go on the table." 

"His cousin?" 

"Cary Warleggan, the banker."

"A pretty name. I've heard him called moneylender."

In the later editions and books, Cary is elevated to uncle.  I wonder if WG changed his mind and decided it would be more interesting to make Cary an uncle or if some editorial intervention led to this status update. I've also wondered about two comments that Francis makes. First, his remark that "some things just won't go on the table" for George. I used to think he sounded cynical and his remark was somehow related to Elizabeth. I now believe he's being flippant about George's frustrated attempts to be accepted by the gentry. 

Next, his cryptic remark to Ross:

"We envy some other person for something he has got and we have not, although in truth it may be that he really hasn't it. Do I make myself clear?  No I thought not. Let us go and see George." p. 336

Is he referring to Ross' distress over losing Elizabeth?  Or, is he saying that George erroneously believes that he, Francis, has Elizabeth's love and devotion?  Or, since he and Ross are discussing George, might Francis be questioning the validity of his own envy of George's success and confidence. 

Any thoughts?



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Date: Aug 4 11:06 PM, 2017
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Thanks Mrs Gimlett. I came to the books through the 70s series and have been reading them ever since. I feel as though I know them almost by heart now. The first seven anyway.

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Date: Aug 4 9:20 PM, 2017
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A fresh reading of the Prologue is always insightful. It links Joshua and Ross so poignantly. I wonder if, given Joshua's legendary philandering, a man like him would have left a slew of illegitimate children throughout the county. Everyone agreed that no woman--married or single, gentle or rough born--was safe from him when he was on the prowl.

Going from the Prologue to Ross's return to Truro, it's easy to see some of the nobler traits that the young man inherited from his father. When Ross visits Notary Pearce and asks him who has been administering Joshua's affairs, Pearce tells him that there had been little left to administer.

"A slow smile crept over Ross's mouth; it made him look younger, less intractable."

I loved Ross from that moment on; it spoke volumes about his character.   



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Date: Aug 4 8:38 AM, 2017
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Welcome to our forum, Beguilingeyes.  Plenty here for you to join in with.  How did you come to the books, through the 70s series, or were you a WG fan before that?

We look forward to hearing your views on all things Poldark.

Mrs G



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Date: Aug 4 6:47 AM, 2017
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Mrs Gimlett and Fijane, I urge you to revisit the 70s series. The first four episodes are, admittedly, diabolical but it get much better after that and the scenes around Ross's trial and Francis's death are very well done. Series two (books 4-7) is much more better and follows the books exactly. Winston was the on set and is in a couple of scenes as an extra.

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Date: Jul 9 8:35 PM, 2017
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Then there's Joshua in the Prologue telling Charles he'd mislaid Ross' letter in which Ross was lucky to have escaped the Yorktown siege, in addition asking Choake if he had seen anything of the Chynoweths after getting a suspiciously evasive answer earlier from Charles....



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No I don't think Jud could read, but he would have taken a letter to either the parson or Zacky Martin for it to be read to him.

Similarly, in the first edition, as below, it mentions that Elizabeth and Ross had some type of correspondence going on while he was in America.  If her letters went astray and he sent nothing for a while, perhaps that is when they thought he may have been killed.

They don't think much of Ross' survival skills by the sound of it!



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Date: Jul 8 4:38 PM, 2017
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Brightgirl, how lovely!

It's wonderful to have this one solved!! Of course now I'm wondering if the indolent Jud could actually read.

Thank you,

Holly



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Date: Jul 8 6:05 AM, 2017
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Hi Hollyhock

I just purchased a first edition of the book and started reading it today and I believe I may have a possible answer to your question about why Ross expected Jud to meet him at the Red Lion Inn.

(page 44)

The book states "Over his meal he took out her (Elizabeth's) letters. He opened the last, written six months ago. Reading with the knowledge he now had, there were hints of a slackening interest. Perhaps she had written later to tell him the truth and the letter had missed him or been lost. Letters were always being lost.     Against his better judgment he was inclined to believe that the Paynters had not had his letter from Winchester.

So it seems Ross wrote to Jud to meet him but possibly Jud did  not receive the letter.



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Date: Jul 7 6:58 PM, 2017
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One of the things that I had forgotten was that Mrs. Teague was a distant cousin to the Poldarks. She sat at that same table, across from the Henshawe's, before it was removed for the cockfight (p. 52).

Perhaps this was covered in the first edition? When Ross returns home and disembarks from the coach that he shared with Halse, he goes to the the Red Lion Inn. He tells the landlord that Jud was to have met him there and that the arrangement was quite definite. With whom had Ross made this arrangement?  It was not with Pearce. Ross clearly had not written to any of the Poldarks. Bit of a mystery?

In terms of how the series is affecting images--Aidan will always be Ross for me. Not so much because of his physical attractiveness; Aidan is much more handsome than WG's description of Ross. But because he seems to capture and portray the essence of the character as WG paints him--his facial expressions, his moodiness, his restlessness, his loneliness and sadness. And his voice. His is the voice that I hear when I think of Ross giving orders around the farm and in the mine and when he talks with Dwight and Pascoe and Darkie. 

 

 



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Date: Jul 7 9:16 AM, 2017
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I realise, of course, that reading the line I instanced below, about the table being carried out, wouldn't mean anything to someone reading the book for the first time.  It's only with the knowledge of all the books that it becomes an anomaly, or at least an interesting observation.

Fijane, I never saw the 1970s series until about 4 or 5 years ago, when a friend played me the first few episodes.  Like you, I got very turned off it when Ross went to the fair and Demelza was introduced.  Then I wanted no more of it.  However, if you are lucky enough to have a first edition, WGs description of Ross is almost as if he is describing Robin Ellis.  One thing that did strike me about those first episodes, was how dominant a figure Robin was, because he was roughly the same height as WG imagined.  Aidan Turner, on the other hand, does not stand out in that way.  That is off-topic, but only marginally! 

I love the world my imagination has conjured just from reading.  Nothing can beat it.  biggrin

 



-- Edited by Mrs Gimlett on Friday 4th of August 2017 08:32:45 AM

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Date: Jul 6 10:57 PM, 2017
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Interesting question as having read the first 11 books not knowing there had been a film in the 70s I've never had an image and still haven't of anyone. However when I was reading "Meeting Demelza" I immediately pictured Angharad Rees and WG alone walking along the path with Nampara in the distance and the sea behind, and I think Demelza saying that Ross will be home soon for his tea. Yet Ross was still just a name nothing more.

In passing I can't remember if there was a Garrick or not in the first series....confuse



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Date: Jul 6 10:28 PM, 2017
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I have re-read the whole series since the show started, and I find that the characters look like the actors in the new show but still "behave" as they always have in all my previous readings.

I did not get beyond about four eps of the 1975 series, so my characters have never looked like those actors.

Thank goodness our imaginations are loyal.



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Date: Jul 6 9:35 AM, 2017
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I have recently been reading the first edition of Ross Poldark, in an attempt to get back into the proper Poldark world.  One thing that has always fascinated me is when you read something for the enth time and see new things.

In the description of Francis and Elizabeth's wedding, when Ross is at his lowest ebb, a cockfight takes place.

This is what it says:

When the great feast was over at last the big table was carried out and the exhausted guests sat round in a circle to watch a cockfight.

The big table was carried out.  Much later in the books, it was always unmoveable.  Too big to even be carried anywhere, just placed on end when Geoffrey Charles held his party, after he had uprooted it from the flags.

I had never noticed that before.

As a result of that, I would like to suggest we all re-read RP and see what other surprises are unearthed.

Despite all my criticism about the TV series, when I pick up a book, all the images conjured up by WG return and my own vision of each character remains as it always has been.  I find it second nature to discard all I have seen on TV, thank goodness. How do others 'see' Ross in their minds? 

I have to admit, my image of him is very like Robin Ellis, but formed before any TV series - he just happened to fit WGs first edition description to a T.



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