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Post Info TOPIC: In "The Four Swans," what can Elizabeth mean about Ross' attitude toward Geoffrey Charles?


Graduate

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Date: Mar 22 6:13 PM, 2018
RE: In "The Four Swans," what can Elizabeth mean about Ross' attitude toward Geoffrey Charles?
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Hollyhock wrote:

 

She is referring to Ross's purchase of GC's Wheal Grace shares. Ross purchased them to ease the financial hardship at Trenwith. George tried to convince Elizabeth that Ross had swindled GC, that he knew that Grace was rich and he didn't want to share the wealth. Elizabeth didn't believe George's outrageous lie but she let it fuel her anger at Ross. When she mentions Ross's "attitude," she is referring to his fury over George's slanderous claim (Warleggan, 314), that the sale was illegal. As a trustee of Francis' estate, George had summoned Ross to Trenwith on dubious business. Once there, he accused Ross of stealing the shares.  The confrontation quickly escalated; the final straw for Ross was George calling Demelza a 'scullery maid'.  However, I think Elizabeth was more upset over Ross's anger at the insult to Demelza than over his purchase of the shares, which she knew was well meant. 

When Ross told Demelza that he had purchased the shares anonymously, Demelza said the purchase might not be in Jeremy's best interest. Ross said that Jeremy had a father who could at least potentially provide for him; GC had no one.  To keep Wheal Grace from George's greedy clutches, Ross said that when GC came of age, if he needed money he, Ross, would give it to him. Ross did.


-- Edited by Hollyhock on Thursday 22nd of March 2018 03:30:04 PM


Hollyhock, that explanation does not comply with the timeline implied of Elizabeth's statement. She said her feelings toward Ross began to sour because of his attitude toward Geoffrey Charles first, followed by her marriage to George. Neither Elizabeth nor George knew Ross was the anonymous purchaser of the boy's share in Wheal Grace until George summoned Ross to Trenwith to explain the sale after his marriage to Elizabeth. George may have had a suspicion that the funds Ross acquired at the sale of his Wheal Leisure shares had ended up in Elizabeth's pocket, but he would have had no way of verifying it. Harris Pascoe stood between Ross and his financial dealings, and he wasn't talking. And don't forget, the anonymous do-gooder (Caroline) who secretly lent Ross the money to pay off the promissory note the Warleggans had acquired was still a suspect.

But you do have me wondering whether Elizabeth meant she felt Ross had dropped Geoffrey Charles (and herself) like a hot rock once the Wheal Grace shares were sold because he stopped making his scheduled weekly visits. He shared responsibility for the running of Trenwith with her under the terms of Francis' will, but he seemed to be reticent about involving himself, possibly because he felt Elizabeth had to know the estate's business better than he did and didn't want to overstep. But I can see why she might have felt aggrieved. On the other hand, that wouldn't be an attitude toward GC, would it?

 



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Date: Mar 22 3:25 PM, 2018
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She is referring to Ross's purchase of GC's Wheal Grace shares. Ross purchased them to ease the financial hardship at Trenwith. George tried to convince Elizabeth that Ross had swindled GC, that he knew that Grace was rich and he didn't want to share the wealth. Elizabeth didn't believe George's outrageous lie but she let it fuel her anger at Ross. When she mentions Ross's "attitude," she is referring to his fury over George's slanderous claim (Warleggan, 314), that the sale was illegal. As a trustee of Francis' estate, George had summoned Ross to Trenwith on dubious business. Once there, he accused Ross of stealing the shares.  The confrontation quickly escalated; the final straw for Ross was George calling Demelza a 'scullery maid'.  However, I think Elizabeth was more upset over Ross's anger at the insult to Demelza than over his purchase of the shares, which she knew was well meant. 

When Ross told Demelza that he had purchased the shares anonymously, Demelza said the purchase might not be in Jeremy's best interest. Ross said that Jeremy had a father who could at least potentially provide for him; GC had no one.  To keep Wheal Grace from George's greedy clutches, Ross said that when GC came of age, if he needed money he, Ross, would give it to him. Ross did.

 



-- Edited by Hollyhock on Thursday 22nd of March 2018 03:30:04 PM

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Date: Mar 22 11:13 AM, 2018
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I was rereading the scene in "The Four Swans" in which George and Elizabeth are discussing their invitation to the Enys wedding. George steers the conversation toward Ross and asks Elizabeth her current feelings about him:
 
Page 24 "The Four Swans" 
"Tell me, Elizabeth, what do you think of Ross Poldark these days?"
 It was a startling question. For a year after their marriage, his name had not been mentioned. "What do I think of him, George? What do you mean, what do I think of him?" 
"What I say. Just what I say. Youve known him for what - fifteen years? You were - to state the least of it - his friend. When I first knew you you used to defend him against all criticism. When I made overtures of friendship to him and he rebuffed them, you took his side." 
She stayed at the table, nervously fingering the hem of a napkin. 
"I dont know that I took his side. But the rest of what you say is true. However . . . in the last years my feelings for him have changed. Surely you must know that. Surely after all this time. Heavens! . . ."
"Well, go on."
"My change of feelings towards him began, I think, over his attitude to Geoffrey Charles. Then when I married you, that was clearly not to his liking, and his arrogance in forcing his way into the house that Christmas and threatening us because his wife had got at cross with your gamekeeper - it seemed to me intolerable." 
 
I remembered the conversation, but not her claim that her feelings about Ross began to change because of his attitude toward Geoffrey Charles. I know she is lying about when her feelings for Ross soured, but can anyone tell me what she might be referring to in this conversation? George doesn't ask her what Ross' attitude toward Geoffrey Charles was so I assume that means we readers are supposed to know what she means. Is there is something in "Warleggan" that I've  missed that would explain it? The only thing I remember is Demelza feeling that Ross was neglecting his own son in favor of Elizabeth's. I can't imagine Elizabeth would have found that objectionable. Ideas, anyone?


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