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Post Info TOPIC: Hatched, Matched and Dispatched


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Date: Aug 3 8:01 PM, 2017
RE: Hatched, Matched and Dispatched
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Hollyhock wrote:

Mrs Gimlett wrote:

Hugh also needed to go because all the while he was in the background, the whole story was tainted. He was like a blight, wrapping himself around Demelza's feelings in a despicable way. If he hadn't died, Ross would never have become an MP, so the books could not have developed as they did unless he met his end.

I see this a little differently. Ross had already decided to sit for the election before HA died. Upon seeing Demelza's reaction to Hugh on his sick bed, Ross believed that she was in love with Hugh and lost to him. Whether she was or was not is irrelevant; it is what Ross believed. So he decided then and there that he needed to get away from her and the heartbreaking situation. Lord Falmouth's proposition came at a very convenient time. Even if Hugh hadn't died, his recovery would have taken a long time. So the parliament seat needed to be won and as Lord Falmouth said, Ross was the best man to win it.

So I don't think WG killed Hugh off so that Ross could fulfill his greater destiny. I think he did it because as long as Hugh lived he would hold some enthrallment for Demelza. She would always be involved with him; if not physically, emotionally and spiritually. It would have been more satisfactory for Hugh to live and for Demelza to make it clear to both men that Ross was her choice, not just the last man standing.  But WG didn't always give a happy ever after solution. As it was, Hugh remained as big a blight in death as he did in life.


 Hollyhock, I agree Ross had decided to stand in the election before Hugh's death, but only on that visit, when Hugh was so ill. He hadn't gone to Tregothnan with any idea of it.  However, he did not know whether he would be elected to Parliament or if George would prevail. It was a decision made for the wrong reasons, on the spur of the moment. He perhaps also thought a period away from Demelza would give them each time to think, to come to terms with what happened and to decide their future.  In any other circumstances Ross would have rejected Falmouth's offer, so I think Hugh did die in order for Ross to fill the candidacy. If Hugh had lived, would the duel ever have taken place with Monk Adderley?  Once again, each event hangs on another...

After the Seal Hole Cove event, I think Demelza had made her choice. She would not stray again.  The very fact that Ross and Demelza discussed Hugh and his infatuation and her strong feelings,  seem at odds with what happened afterwards.  Even on his return to Nampara after the election, they are close and quite clearly still have deep love for each other.  Those last few pages of TFS are one of my favourite pieces.  They enter a new phase in their relationship, which sadly is put on hold when he departs for London.



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Date: Aug 3 7:25 PM, 2017
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Hollyhock wrote:

Mrs Gimlett wrote:

Hugh also needed to go because all the while he was in the background, the whole story was tainted. He was like a blight, wrapping himself around Demelza's feelings in a despicable way. If he hadn't died, Ross would never have become an MP, so the books could not have developed as they did unless he met his end.

I see this a little differently. Ross had already decided to sit for the election before HA died. Upon seeing Demelza's reaction to Hugh on his sick bed, Ross believed that she was in love with Hugh and lost to him. Whether she was or was not is irrelevant; it is what Ross believed. So he decided then and there that he needed to get away from her and the heartbreaking situation. Lord Falmouth's proposition came at a very convenient time. Even if Hugh hadn't died, his recovery would have taken a long time. So the parliament seat needed to be won and as Lord Falmouth said, Ross was the best man to win it.

So I don't think WG killed Hugh off so that Ross could fulfill his greater destiny. I think he did it because as long as Hugh lived he would hold some enthrallment for Demelza. She would always be involved with him; if not physically, emotionally and spiritually. It would have been more satisfactory for Hugh to live and for Demelza to make it clear to both men that Ross was her choice, not just the last man standing.  But WG didn't always give a happy ever after solution. As it was, Hugh remained as big a blight in death as he did in life.


Hollyhock and Mrs G. - I was glad that HA was dispatched, he needed to be, but not happy about the timing because of the 'loose ends' he left behind. For example, Demelza did not have a chance to decide whether or not to stop the relationship if (or when) Hugh had asked for more. Had she gone past that 'one day with him' stage? Once Ross knew the extent of her feelings and read the poem he was determined to win back her heart. However, soon after that, Hugh died and Ross felt he was hopelessly fighting a 'shade.' So basically he gave up and stayed away from Demelza both physically (in London) and mentally.

In 'The Angry Tide,' I didn't recognise the Demelza I knew and admired before her infatuation with Hugh. Despite what Caroline said to Ross about her on their way home from London, most of Demelza's actions and words in TAT provoked Ross rather than pacified him. They may have been unintentional provocations, but came out of being wrapped up in her own frustrations and having too little empathy for Ross. 

For me, the 'old' Demelza did return in 'The Stranger from the Sea' but I wondered if Elizabeth hadn't died would a real reconciliation have ever happened?

 

Mrs. G. - Your excellent imagery describing HA as a blight on Demelza's emotions made me think about the magnolia plant he brought as present and how WG used it so powerfully later on as symbol of that blight.

In 'The Stranger from the Sea,' Ross had just been to Tregothnan and seen the magnolias, planted 15 years ago, rising over 15 feet high. Hugh's plant in their garden had barely grown at all, seemingly blighted - not dying, but not really living either.

Demelza says:-

'This poor thing has never been happy here. And it has had a sad winter. I don't think it is ever going to do any good. The soil is wrong.'

They stood looking at the plant. This was quite a casual discussion between them, with only the faintest shadow of Hugh Armitage left.

Perhaps it should go back,' said Demelza. 'Where? To Tregothnan?' 'A plant that neither dies nor prospers . . . It is out of its element.' 'No, keep it.' Demelza looked up at him and smiled. The sun made her eyes glint. 'Why?' 'Why keep it? Well . . . it has become part of our lives.' A reminder of past error, his as well as hers, but he did not say as much. It was implicit. And without rancour.

There is an irony that Demelza could easily part with the magnolia but Ross could not.

 



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Date: Aug 3 7:05 PM, 2017
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Mrs Gimlett wrote:

Hugh also needed to go because all the while he was in the background, the whole story was tainted. He was like a blight, wrapping himself around Demelza's feelings in a despicable way. If he hadn't died, Ross would never have become an MP, so the books could not have developed as they did unless he met his end.

I see this a little differently. Ross had already decided to sit for the election before HA died. Upon seeing Demelza's reaction to Hugh on his sick bed, Ross believed that she was in love with Hugh and lost to him. Whether she was or was not is irrelevant; it is what Ross believed. So he decided then and there that he needed to get away from her and the heartbreaking situation. Lord Falmouth's proposition came at a very convenient time. Even if Hugh hadn't died, his recovery would have taken a long time. So the parliament seat needed to be won and as Lord Falmouth said, Ross was the best man to win it.

So I don't think WG killed Hugh off so that Ross could fulfill his greater destiny. I think he did it because as long as Hugh lived he would hold some enthrallment for Demelza. She would always be involved with him; if not physically, emotionally and spiritually. It would have been more satisfactory for Hugh to live and for Demelza to make it clear to both men that Ross was her choice, not just the last man standing.  But WG didn't always give a happy ever after solution. As it was, Hugh remained as big a blight in death as he did in life.



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Date: Aug 3 8:31 AM, 2017
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Mrs Gimlett wrote:

Perhaps Elizabeth had to be despatched to progress the books. 

I must confess I have never looked on her demise as suicide.  She took the medicine in a very agitated state of mind but did know what she was doing.  George was being obnoxious (again) and it was that time in her pregnancy that Dr Anselm suggested would be most advantageous in producing a premature baby.  She was desperate for things to settle down and  to have George's suspicions laid to rest.  I'm sure she didn't think it was dangerous to the degree of death. By the time she was at death's door, it was too late to treat her, even if she had confessed to taking that potion. 

Incidentally, we used to have a midwife who posted on here and she mentioned that ergot (the mould that grows on rye and one of the ingredients mentioned) is still used in obstetrics and gynaecology.

If Elizabeth had survived, Valentine would have grown up differently and Geoffrey Charles would not have gone into the army, so the succeeding books would have been very different.  Also, we wouldn't have been introduced to the delightful Harriet, who could practically make George do tricks!

I think also the triangle had been played out as much as possible, so without repetition and more angst, WG probably decided enough was enough and ended it.

 

Hugh also needed to go because all the while he was in the background, the whole story was tainted.  He was like a blight, wrapping himself around Demelza's feelings in a despicable way. If he hadn't died, Ross would never have become an MP, so the books could not have developed as they did unless he met his end. 

How often, in the books, do you read a small isolated sentence which comes to have huge significance further on?  WG gave out little clues, with the reader being barely aware of them, but each event hung on the hook of another.  Therefore, I am inclined to think that all the strands in the stories were necessary because eventually they form a satisfying whole.


Unless ... Does anyone remember a party attended by both Hugh Armitage and Elizabeth Warleggan? Did Hugh ever met Elizabeth? If he had lived, maybe he could have become George's problem. Suddenly the Warleggans are No. 1 on the guest list at Tregothnan and George is being pulled into conferences with the host while everyone else is having fun, especially Mistress Warleggan and the handsome young poet who is Lord Falmouth's nephew. The Poldarks and the Enyses sit on the sidelines making bets how long it will take George to catch on and will he care if he starts getting invited to dine with the Godolphins.

Then we might find out whether Lord Falmouth had ever realized his nephew was causing trouble in the Poldarks' marriage. (I always found that thread rather difficult to fathom. How could Ross compartmentalize enough to be able to agree to be Lord Falmouth's man at Westminster after being figuratively  cuckolded [spiritual adultery, I think he called it] by the man's nephew? [Remember, he doesn't know for sure what happened on the beach.] Or did Ross hate George more than he loved Demelza as well as Elizabeth?) 



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Date: Aug 3 5:20 AM, 2017
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I think that Hugh needed to go at that time because his physical ailments were an important part of Demelza's capitulation to him. Her pity for his loss of sight softened her heart to him, and if he hadn't died she might have felt that her pity was misplaced (ie that he had played on her sympathy). WG's decision to have him die was a way of partly justifying Demelza's attitude to him. It also allowed WG to continue to have Ross uncertain about what really happened.



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Date: Aug 2 7:56 PM, 2017
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Perhaps Elizabeth had to be despatched to progress the books. 

I must confess I have never looked on her demise as suicide.  She took the medicine in a very agitated state of mind but did know what she was doing.  George was being obnoxious (again) and it was that time in her pregnancy that Dr Anselm suggested would be most advantageous in producing a premature baby.  She was desperate for things to settle down and  to have George's suspicions laid to rest.  I'm sure she didn't think it was dangerous to the degree of death. By the time she was at death's door, it was too late to treat her, even if she had confessed to taking that potion. 

Incidentally, we used to have a midwife who posted on here and she mentioned that ergot (the mould that grows on rye and one of the ingredients mentioned) is still used in obstetrics and gynaecology.

If Elizabeth had survived, Valentine would have grown up differently and Geoffrey Charles would not have gone into the army, so the succeeding books would have been very different.  Also, we wouldn't have been introduced to the delightful Harriet, who could practically make George do tricks!

I think also the triangle had been played out as much as possible, so without repetition and more angst, WG probably decided enough was enough and ended it.

 

Hugh also needed to go because all the while he was in the background, the whole story was tainted.  He was like a blight, wrapping himself around Demelza's feelings in a despicable way. If he hadn't died, Ross would never have become an MP, so the books could not have developed as they did unless he met his end. 

How often, in the books, do you read a small isolated sentence which comes to have huge significance further on?  WG gave out little clues, with the reader being barely aware of them, but each event hung on the hook of another.  Therefore, I am inclined to think that all the strands in the stories were necessary because eventually they form a satisfying whole.



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faith101 wrote:

I believe WG killed Elizabeth off because the triangle would have never ended. In my mind, and I could be wrong, Ross would have eventually rekindled some romance with Elizabeth had she lived. To me, although he loved Demelza, it is as if some of his heartfelt speeches was him trying to convince himself that the thrill was gone with Elizabeth.


 Is it mere coincidence that the last meetings of Ross with Elizabeth (after her death) and Demelza with Hugh were both in horrific circumstances? Demelza had to cover her face when she saw the state of Hugh and Ross was almost sick with the smell of gangrene when he entered Elizabeth's bedroom.

Your point about the never ending triangle is interesting. For Demelza at least, a fragment of it lived on in Valentine. I felt that Hugh's death came too soon and was too convenient for both Demelza and WG. I suppose that if both Hugh and Elizabeth had lived longer there may have been some over complicated double triangle (if such a term exists) which even the strongest relationship couldn't survive.

 



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Date: Aug 2 3:50 AM, 2017
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Your post is spot on Darkmare! I will have to reread the books to evaluate if Lizzie decided to end it all...If I was married to George perhaps I would have considered the same thing. I believe WG killed Elizabeth off because the triangle would have never ended. In my mind, and I could be wrong, Ross would have eventually rekindled some romance with Elizabeth had she lived. To me, although he loved Demelza, it is as if some of his heartfelt speeches was him trying to convince himself that the thrill was gone with Elizabeth.



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Date: Aug 1 5:57 AM, 2017
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faith101 wrote:

Elizabeth deserved a different fate & should have lived! George should have attempted suicide after he lost all the fortune his family quickly built with Ross saving him. Valentine & Jeremy deserved a different fate. 


As much as I love Jeremy, I have to say his death at Waterloo is the only right choice because of the stagecoach affair. George was going to find out eventually and whenever he did, he would have Paul, Stephen and Jeremy (or whoever of them was left)  prosecuted. Better Ross and Demelza are the parents (and Cuby the widow) of a fallen war hero than a thief who died at the end of a rope. Jeremy atoned for his sin in Belgium, but George would never see it that way.

Someone somewhere wrote that Elizabeth actually committed suicide. I couldn't figure out where that idea came from until I reread the section on her visit to the celebrity quack in London. He was insistent that she immediately tell the attending doctor that she had taken something to induce labor if anything started to go wrong during or after the birth. And yet she told neither Dwight nor Dr. Behenna what she had done.  (Heck, the quack even gave her a reason to do it -- a 7th-month delivery is easier on the mother.) Rather than save her own life and her children's childhoods, she stuck to Ross' stupid "fake a premature birth so George will stop denying Valentine is his son" plan. I can't really buy that -- Elizabeth has always stuck me as a queen of denial -- but she did have reason to want out of her life. 

I rather wish George had died in that watery pit and Francis had been rescued from the mine by a dog (Garrick rather than Pollux -- or was it Castor?) Though considering how much George hated dogs, it was fitting that one should save his worthless life. 



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Elizabeth deserved a different fate & should have lived! George should have attempted suicide after he lost all the fortune his family quickly built with Ross saving him. Valentine & Jeremy deserved a different fate. 



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There's a thread somewhere else here, where many people gave ideas of how the proposal happened. It is a great read, and I like most of the ideas expressed.

Being a romantic, I hope it happened something like this. The night after the blue dress and Elizabeth's visit, Demelza shyly appears at his door again, and he draws her in to the room, feeling the desire again despite having resolved not to repeat the incident. After that, he shows expectation that she will be there. She never explains about her father, but hesitatingly says something about always wanting to be there for him (Ross). Ross thinks deeply about the situation he has fallen into, and is surprised at himself. He is also annoyed at himself for fulfilling the gossip. (I tend to think that the gossip worked on his subconscious, encouraging him to see Demelza more as a woman). He thinks about Elizabeth being gone, about the companionship that he has found in Demelza, and makes the decision.

From that point, I would like to think that Ross raised the possibility one night in bed. "I think it would be a good thing if we were married". Demelza would protest, suggesting that the present arrangement was all she wanted, and that he couldn't marry that far beneath him. But he would continue talking, sort of asking her, but gradually overriding her doubts, and at the same time strengthening his own conviction. The next morning he would say "I will make the arrangements?" and she would just nod, having no further arguments to give, and not really wanting to anyway. She would then go somewhere private and marvel at the turn of events, knowing he did not love her, but that she did and could never be taken away from Nampara and Ross again.

 



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Date: Jul 10 11:42 PM, 2017
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I agree with Stella.

I have always wondered whether Demelza told Ross about her father's command that she return home before -- or even after -- he told her he wanted to marry her. If he knew Tom Carne would be returning in a few days to claim his daughter and she didn't want to leave, then there would be no need for a formal proposal. He could just tell her that if they got married, she wouldn't have to leave



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Date: Jul 10 11:12 PM, 2017
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Mrs Gimlett wrote:

Fijane, 

How do you think Ross told Demelza of his plan to marry her?  Did he just say to her, 'in three weeks time, we are going to the church to get married'?  Or do you think he actually discussed it with her?

I agree it was the only way their wedding could have been written.  He was quite cynical about it and certain it would cause a scandal in the locality.  However, like most actions, once it is done, people quite quickly get used to it and accept it.

How different from the other Poldark arrangements.


 Mrs G - I have often tried to imagine how much of a part Ross gave Demelza in the decision to marry. My first thought was that he simply said that they should marry and he would arrange it. Yet this doesn't quite fit Ross's behaviour towards her in the months leading up to the seduction. He treated her with more respect than this. I think he would probably have given her the chance to refuse him.



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Date: Jul 10 9:10 AM, 2017
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Fijane, 

How do you think Ross told Demelza of his plan to marry her?  Did he just say to her, 'in three weeks time, we are going to the church to get married'?  Or do you think he actually discussed it with her?

I agree it was the only way their wedding could have been written.  He was quite cynical about it and certain it would cause a scandal in the locality.  However, like most actions, once it is done, people quite quickly get used to it and accept it.

How different from the other Poldark arrangements.



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Date: Jul 7 6:47 PM, 2017
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Fijane--I appreciate your observations about the series and the books; they pull things together so well.

I had not thought of it before but you are right. WG did do deaths better than he did births. His depiction of Ossie's death was one of those cathartic 'Yes!-he-finally-got-what-he-deserves-moments.' I was looking forward to a similar pleasure when George took his tumble in the mine shaft, darn it.

In terms of dramatic effect, Kerin Daniel's death was memorable. It was unexpected and sad. Likewise, one of the saddest marriages was that of Kerin and Mark's. Witnessing Mark's realization that his wife was unfaithful was heartbreaking. He was such a gentle giant.

But the death that affected me most was Julia's. And here I confess my images are a combination of both the book and the series. Ross holding the dying baby on tv and saying that he would stay with her to the end brought to life the suffering that he endured in the book and made it clear why his pain never dulled.  

As I've often said, one of my favorite courtships was that of Music and Katie's.  Watching their long, comical, against-all-odds attachment develop is WG at his most convincing, hilarious best.  

 



-- Edited by Hollyhock on Friday 7th of July 2017 07:14:52 PM

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Date: Jul 6 10:42 PM, 2017
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It seems to me that in general, WG did "deaths" much better than births. After the drama of Julia's birth, which in essence was the drama of the storm rather than the actual birth, I find Jeremy, Clowance's and Henry's to be anticlimactic. I suppose as a mother, I want to have much more focus in the room, rather than on the men downstairs, but I suppose that is more true to the attitudes of the time.

Joshua's death bed at the start is very well drawn, and Aunt Agatha's is the ultimate in being in someone's head at the end.

My "favourite" death is Ossie's, not only because it facilitated the happy ending I wanted, but because it was so beautifully undignified. Obviously, Francis' is the saddest, mainly because of the way the time is portrayed - Elizabeth looked up at the clock, it was nearly 8 o'clock - just heartbreaking.

I love the way Ross and Demelza's marriage is written. On first reading, one might want to hear a lot more, and feel that it was too sparse. But the writing reflects the atmosphere of Ross's decision - it was impetuous, and slightly shameful, and nobody's business but their own. To have written extensive details about who, what, where and why, would have detracted from all the reasons why they married. I don't feel I am putting this into words very well, though.

That's a start, I will keep thinking about it.

 



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Date: Jul 6 9:44 AM, 2017
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Many births marriages and deaths take place through the 12 books.

Which example of each do you find most/least satisfactory?  Which do you consider the least likely?  Which is the most deserving?  Are there any of these events which are incidental rather than integral to the overall story?

Is there anyone who deserved a different fate/partner? 

 

 

When one of my children first read RP she was very surprised at turning the page and finding that Ross and Demelza married.  This was many years ago and she knew nothing of the story beforehand. Probably, most readers coming across the books now roughly know what will happen.

 

 



-- Edited by Mrs Gimlett on Thursday 6th of July 2017 12:20:48 PM

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