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Post Info TOPIC: Ever wonder what the Game Laws Ross refers to in "The Angry Tide" were all about?


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Date: Aug 5 1:17 AM, 2017
Ever wonder what the Game Laws Ross refers to in "The Angry Tide" were all about?
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While reading Ross' description of Wilberforce's inconsistencies in policy positions in "The Angry Tide (page 47)," I came upon a mention of the Game Laws as something the great man supported, but Ross presumably did not. When I Googled it, I found "The English Game Law System," an interesting article by Chester Kirby from the January 1933 edition of the American Historical Review:
 

http://www.jstor.org/stable/1838294?seq=23&loggedin=true#page_scan_tab_contents

 
 
(The article is available free at jstor.org if you sign up for its three articles free offer, which I did. It seems to be a site for university libraries, but I was too lazy to hunt up my UC Santa Barbara Alumni Association life membership ID so I tried signing in with no affiliation and it worked. I don't know whether it will work internationally, but it seems like it should. If you get a search page instead of the actual article, just type in the article's title.)
 
The article is 23 pages long but worth reading to understand how burdensome these laws were and why and just how much weight the gentry threw around in the Poldarks' day. Ross' contempt for the members of his own class becomes even more understandable. I never realized how devastating the wildlife that enjoys the protection of a gentleman's estate can be to the crops of the freehold farms nearby. Crows aren't the only birds that visit the neighbors' fields, so do pheasants. But the farmer can't shoot at the trespassing  pheasants to scare them away.
 
I doubt WG was even aware of its existence when he wrote "Ross Poldark"; otherwise he would have known he was oversentencing Jim Carter dramatically -- two years rather than the maximum of six months -- under the revised law, which was enacted not too many years before Jim's arrest.

 

 


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