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Post Info TOPIC: WG’s Book Naming Conventions


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Date: Sep 6 5:27 PM, 2017
RE: WG’s Book Naming Conventions
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Fijane wrote:

I like using "Jeremy" for the third book. For me, it has always had this symbolic meaning rather than referring to a literal character.

I agree that the title of this book is an interesting choice, whoever made it. Similar to Geoffrey Charles' birth, Jeremy's prenatal presence adds to festering frustration and misunderstanding. There is so much misunderstanding and failed communication between R&D that it's almost as if they were living in their own tower of babel. Ross returns from Bodmin deeply depressed by the humiliation of the trial, Francis' suspected betrayal, but most especially still grief-stricken over Julia's death. He speaks abstractedly about his desire to not have more children (which was unrealistic since they weren't taking any precautions). Then, as usual, Demelza doesn't tell him what she's feeling. Instead she nurses her pain and works up a grudge that lasts for months.

At the end of Ross Poldark, Ross thinks about how happy he is and wishes that he could just hold on to that moment (one of my favorite parts). We have almost the antithesis of that in Jeremy for both R&D; the early glow of the relationship is lost.  So I guess the title does give a sense of hope for the future. Just as Jeremy survived the harrowing circumstances of his birth, we hope the couple's relationship will survive. 

 

 



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Date: Sep 5 11:33 PM, 2017
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Fijane wrote:

I was referring to the problems caused by Ross saying he didn't want any more children, when D already knew she was pregnant again. She withdrew within herself because she felt that both she and the baby were unwanted. Ross noticed that somehow their previous closeness had disappeared and couldn't work out why. This continued for several months and a large portion of the book, so it was an important part of how "Jeremy" feels as a book.

This is one of my favourite (is that the right word for a painful time?) storylines, and I really love the resolution where Ross says "is this what has been on your back all this time?" and she says something like " not on my back exactly...". One of my favourite lines is "I don't care. I want your child to grow up without fear..." (Apologies if these quotes are not entirely accurate - done from memory).


 Ah yes - all is clear now. Thank you Fijane.



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Date: Sep 5 10:55 PM, 2017
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I was referring to the problems caused by Ross saying he didn't want any more children, when D already knew she was pregnant again. She withdrew within herself because she felt that both she and the baby were unwanted. Ross noticed that somehow their previous closeness had disappeared and couldn't work out why. This continued for several months and a large portion of the book, so it was an important part of how "Jeremy" feels as a book.

This is one of my favourite (is that the right word for a painful time?) storylines, and I really love the resolution where Ross says "is this what has been on your back all this time?" and she says something like " not on my back exactly...". One of my favourite lines is "I don't care. I want your child to grow up without fear..." (Apologies if these quotes are not entirely accurate - done from memory).



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Date: Sep 5 3:43 PM, 2017
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Fijane wrote:

I like using "Jeremy" for the third book. For me, it has always had this symbolic meaning rather than referring to a literal character.

Jeremy symbolises the future while Ross and Demelza are struggling through the present. He becomes D's talisman, her little co-conspiritor while she is trying to save R in the trial. Later he becomes the agent of division and misunderstanding as his presence causes D to withdraw from Ross.

In essence, he has a lot of influence on the story and permeates every part of R and D's relationship even though he is in-utero for most of the book.


 Fijane - I must have missed something when reading Jeremy. Can you say more about Jeremy "becoming the agent of division and misunderstanding as his presence causes D to withdraw from Ross?"



-- Edited by Stella Poldark on Tuesday 5th of September 2017 03:44:40 PM

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Date: Sep 5 12:07 PM, 2017
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I like using "Jeremy" for the third book. For me, it has always had this symbolic meaning rather than referring to a literal character.

Jeremy symbolises the future while Ross and Demelza are struggling through the present. He becomes D's talisman, her little co-conspiritor while she is trying to save R in the trial. Later he becomes the agent of division and misunderstanding as his presence causes D to withdraw from Ross.

In essence, he has a lot of influence on the story and permeates every part of R and D's relationship even though he is in-utero for most of the book.



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Date: Sep 1 3:10 PM, 2017
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Stella wrote:

Again, I agree with you about this title but I wonder which other character could have had the title of this book. The first four books have names of characters as their titles. What do you think Hollyhock?


 

Stella,

I so detest the Warleggans, George and Cary, that I feel they don't deserve the honor of having a book named for them. (WG sketched them so thoroughly despicable--he must have had fun with these two.smile) However, I totally appreciate the symbolic significance of the title for the type of insidious influence the Warleggans wielded. Although it's been awhile since I read this book, the more I consider Elizabeth's thoughts and feelings, the more I wish to examine her motivations and options. So, I could appreciate the book being named for her. But of course, and thankfully, WG knew what he wanted his labor of love to be called. 



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Date: Sep 1 9:50 AM, 2017
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I believe the book titles for the earlier volumes were introduced when issued for a book club.  These were enormously popular in the post war years, a book being dispatched each month.  They were all produced to a format, production-wise and had a huge circulation.  The companies had so much influence that if they chose to alter the book title, authors swallowed their protests for the chance of high sales and getting better known.

Changing of titles for different markets still happens.  I have two identical books by Bill Bryson - they each have a different title, one for the Australian edition and the other, an English version.

 

I think the first two books, RP and Demelza, could hardly be better titled.  Book 3, however, could have had a different one.  Almost from the very beginning, it is obvious that Jeremy is going to be R&Ds son.  Perhaps WG wanted to convey a sense of hope in the title, when the majority of the book is more about anxiety, despair and poverty.  Of course, it's about much more than that too, but as a stand-alone volume, it has more dark than light within the pages.  Had Jeremy been named Joshua, the reader would have had quite different expectations!

Warleggan is a good title.  Although the book covers a wide range of events, George is the person who pulls off the coup; provokes the reaction from Ross and so commences the strong thread that runs through the remainder of the books.

It is quite interesting that the succeeding books have non-eponymous titles, apart from BP.   I do not see how a character could have been picked from each book though, there are so many who have strong stories.  Like Stella, I think The Angry Tide is a brilliant title.  It depicts Ross's character well and manages to refer to that other background element forever present throughout the books, the sea.  Ross does have waves of anger, conflicting cross-currents and quieter spells.  In this book particularly, he displays many different moods. 

By the time of The Stranger From The Sea, he is 10 years older and very much more settled, both in mind and marriage.  The later titles really refer to the younger members of the Poldark family.

Having said all that, once bitten by the Poldark bug, it really wouldn't matter what the books are called - they could be Book 6, 7 or 8 - we would still read them with the same enjoyment.



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Date: Aug 31 6:55 PM, 2017
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Hollyhock - I shall reply in the text.
Hollyhock wrote:

I was reading about how upsetting it is for authors when publishers change the titles of their books. This got me wondering about WG. I don't know if he had this problem with Ward Lock but do know that here in the US Ross Poldark was retitled The Renegade, Jeremy Poldark, Venture Once More, and Warleggan, The Last Gamble. In any event, I find it interesting that WG's first four Poldark books are named for characters while the next three titles are reflective of events and emotions that drive their narratives.

These titles were given to the books when Doubleday first published them. At first they changed 'Demelza' to 'Elizabeth's Story' though I cannot think why as the book isn't about Elizabeth.

Ross and Demelza are prominent throughout their named books as we witness their wonderful development in WG's rich scenery and against his backdrop of social and economic disruption. Interestingly, Jeremy does not enter his book as a real character until nearly the end, and then minimally. Yet his prenatal presence adds to the misunderstandings that plague R&D as it presages so much of the underlying (prenatal?) turmoil that will erupt in the next book.  

I have often thought there might have been a more appropriate title for this book but Jeremy did come into being, if not visibly so, nine months before his birth.

Warleggan sheds so much light on the rise of the middle class and the way tradesmen were able to achieve wealth and status. I hope George and Cary were not typical examples of that rising class but the challenges to the landed gentry are so much better presented in Warleggan than in any history book I've read. Of course worlds more than history lessons happen in Warleggan--plots and subplots enough for two books.   

Again, I agree with you about this title but I wonder which other character could have had the title of this book. The first four books have names of characters as their titles. What do you think, Hollyhock?

The evocative titles of the next three books, The Black Moon, The Four Swans, The Angry Tide, reflect emotions and sentiments felt or expressed in the books--angst, love and betrayal, jealousy, lust, revenge. These feelings are painfully examined in the storylines of Morwenna and Drake, Dwight, Aunt Agatha, Arthur Solway, Rowella, Hugh Armitage.

The Angry Tide is my favorite example of how a book's title, a single phrase, encapsulates the narrative, and I think WG interwove it brilliantly--Verity confronts Ross about his estrangement with Demelza and at the end of their conversation Ross tells her:

'But one or two things have happened, Verity. Oh, I know they are small things - small to set beside the great - and they are best forgot on both sides, and indeed many times are forgot. But now and then you do not have all the control of your feelings that you should have - and then thoughts and feelings surge up in you like - like an angry tide. And it is hard, sometimes it is hard to control the tide.'

There are similar revelations in the TFS and TBM

WG did not title another book for a character until the final one. But then Bella was such a headstrong, vibrant personality that I can imagine her demanding of WG that he name the book for her, despite Butto's threats.smile

Your post has been thought-provoking although I had already been thinking about the title of The Angry Tide as that is the one I am currently reading. It seems an appropriate title to me and has the feel of powerful emotions and  lots of action.


 



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Date: Aug 31 3:43 PM, 2017
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I was reading about how upsetting it is for authors when publishers change the titles of their books. This got me wondering about WG. I don't know if he had this problem with Ward Lock but do know that here in the US Ross Poldark was retitled The Renegade, Jeremy Poldark, Venture Once More, and Warleggan, The Last Gamble. In any event, I find it interesting that WG's first four Poldark books are named for characters while the next three titles are reflective of events and emotions that drive their narratives.

Ross and Demelza are prominent throughout their named books as we witness their wonderful development in WG's rich scenery and against his backdrop of social and economic disruption. Interestingly, Jeremy does not enter his book as a real character until nearly the end, and then minimally. Yet his prenatal presence adds to the misunderstandings that plague R&D as it presages so much of the underlying (prenatal?) turmoil that will erupt in the next book.  

Warleggan sheds so much light on the rise of the middle class and the way tradesmen were able to achieve wealth and status. I hope George and Cary were not typical examples of that rising class but the challenges to the landed gentry are so much better presented in Warleggan than in any history book I've read. Of course worlds more than history lessons happen in Warleggan--plots and subplots enough for two books.    

The evocative titles of the next three books, The Black Moon, The Four Swans, The Angry Tide, reflect emotions and sentiments felt or expressed in the books--angst, love and betrayal, jealousy, lust, revenge. These feelings are painfully examined in the storylines of Morwenna and Drake, Dwight, Aunt Agatha, Arthur Solway, Rowella, Hugh Armitage.

The Angry Tide is my favorite example of how a book's title, a single phrase, encapsulates the narrative, and I think WG interwove it brilliantly--Verity confronts Ross about his estrangement with Demelza and at the end of their conversation Ross tells her:

'But one or two things have happened, Verity. Oh, I know they are small things - small to set beside the great - and they are best forgot on both sides, and indeed many times are forgot. But now and then you do not have all the control of your feelings that you should have - and then thoughts and feelings surge up in you like - like an angry tide. And it is hard, sometimes it is hard to control the tide.'

There are similar revelations in the TFS and TBM

WG did not title another book for a character until the final one. But then Bella was such a headstrong, vibrant personality that I can imagine her demanding of WG that he name the book for her, despite Butto's threats.smile

 



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