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Post Info TOPIC: Scenes we wish WG had followed up on


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Date: Jun 14 3:00 AM, 2018
RE: Scenes we wish WG had followed up on
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Hello Ross!†biggrin



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Date: Jun 14 2:18 AM, 2018
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Smollett wrote:

†One thing I'm very glad he didn't write more on, or take further (and here's that old chestnut again) is the attraction between Ross & Caroline. Now wouldn't that have been messy!!



-- Edited by Smollett on Wednesday 13th of June 2018 04:39:01 AM


†Actually, that could have been a fun series by itself. If Uncle Ray thought Dwight was unsuitable, imagine what would have happened if Ross Poldark had come courting. And Ross might have reconsidered not wanting to marry a girl with her own money had he known rich girls who were like Caroline were out there. †Of course, Dwight, Demelza and Elizabeth could not be in the picture, but George could. I can imagine Caroline insisting on eloping to Gretna Green just for the fun of it.†



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Date: Jun 13 2:31 PM, 2018
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Hi Smollett good to hear from you again....

Ross†



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"Perfection is a full stop .... Ever the climbing but never the attaining Of the mountain top." W.G.



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Date: Jun 13 4:36 AM, 2018
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Oh My! It seems that the aspects that rile us most are unchanging. Even before the recent production of Poldark was made/broadcast, the same book events caused consternation and debate. Infidelity; willing, possibly unwilling, and all shades in between. I guess social influencers know this & its these topics that are used to engineer public opinion... Ask yourselves what sticks most in our mind about certain people, from 'Not tonight Josephine..." to' I did not have sexual relations with that women'... what is more likely to arouse public sympathy/ distain.. Julian Assange leaking details of† horrific war crimes or fabricated tales of his sexual misdemeanors... Writers know this too.

I expect that any of us, in attempting to create a saga of such magnity as Poldark would compose each character and storyline differently, but a common thread would be present in all, the loyalty and loving behaviour of our heroes towards each other & the obstacles they confront in this quest.

I, like everyone who treasures the novels, embrace the community WG created for us and I feel that its unfortunate that TV representations of the work can't include more of them. But that's understandable given the medium. I do however, to address the actual topic, lol, wish WG had written a wee bit more of Verity.

One thing I'm very glad he didn't write more on, or take further (and here's that old chestnut again) is the attraction between Ross & Caroline. Now wouldn't that have been messy!!



-- Edited by Smollett on Wednesday 13th of June 2018 04:39:01 AM

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Stella Poldark wrote:


†Pollie - I should Just like to say that I have never experienced Moorland Rambler as you say you do and I find YOUR tone rather bullying which, of course, in my opinion anyway, weakens your arguments. Can you be a little less personal in your posts please as it detracts from any enjoyment that I might be allowed to have when reading the posts.


Wow. 'Bullying' tones or getting personal are strong words for me, as is a feeling of not enjoying reading the posts because of my contributions. I am quite uncomfortable with that and am sorry that you feel this way or if indeed anyone else did (in particular Moorland Rambler). I enjoy a good debate and I believe I focus on challenging points and suggestions made about the topics discussed rather than the personalities. After all I do not know anyone personally. Maybe it is because I am made of thick skin that† don't mind a back and forth on controversial topic but I appreciate I can be passionate and others may not have that same nature, so I will take a step back rather than affect anyone's enjoyment.††



-- Edited by Pollie on Tuesday 12th of June 2018 10:53:59 PM

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Moorland Rambler,

Thanks for your kind description. Sorry to be so long in getting back to you. Let's just say life interfered. †To make this less unwieldy, I have answered your post point by point in the body of your post. Your text is in bold and my replies are in italics.

Dark Mare - Your well argued and interesting defence of Demelza's adultery seems to have omitted the consideration of one vital element, which I believe is the main cause of the couple's emotionally tepid existence for many years after her affair with Hugh. I also think it is the reason why she didn't apologise and why she didn't admit to her adulterous behaviour. It also probably contributed to the tainted later lives of two of her children.

That vital element is the level of deceit that Demelza employed in order to carry out her affair with Hugh. Her cleverness was that she employed half truths which always put Ross off his guard. She was seemingly up front with Ross about Hugh's attraction, but at important moments she either concealed the truth or lied to Ross brazenly. This treachery was far in excess of anything done by Ross and what is more, it continued after Hugh's death.

Really? Far in excess of signing a promissory note for £1,000 with a 40% interest payment due at the end of one year and failing to tell your wife about it until two weeks before the payment was due? Or selling the only income-generating asset you own and giving £600 to your cousin's widow without telling your wife? And doing this when you are already on the verge of going to debtors' prison? Or how about running for Parliament without bothering to tell your wife you are doing so or that you have no intention of taking your family with you if you win? You are just going to pack a bag and go, leaving her to add replacing you on the farm and at the mine to her already significant number of responsibilities.

Ross didn't have to be deceitful about Elizabeth because Demelza was too proud to ask questions so we don't know how forthright or forthcoming he would have been, but these three instances suggest he would not have been either. If Demelza had already been asleep when he got home May 9th, are you sure he would have awakened her to tell her he was going to Trenwith? I'm not. (I do think he might have left a note in case she woke up before he got back so she would know he had made it home from Truro and had gone out again.) And if he got home from Trenwith before she woke up, do you think he would have told her he'd spent the night there? I doubt it because it took him a year to summon up the courage to tell Demelza about his encounter with Elizabeth in the graveyard, and even then, he declined to tell her what they had talked about (George's doubts about Valentine's parentage). Demelza, of course, had known about the encounter for about 10 months by then because Jud had seen them and told her about it the next time he saw her.†

If she told him what she had done and he had wanted to know why she did it, she would have to tell him how much of her straying could be laid at his feet. His concealing the meeting in the churchyard, of course, but other things that shouldn't have influenced her, but they did. For example, Ross' suggestion that she was drawn to Hugh because she had loved only one man and she had been so young when she fell in love with him should not have stayed with Demelza, but it did. And his prediction that her wish to spend one day with Hugh just enjoying each other's company would not be enough to satisfy him and possibly her.

To comprehend the sheer enormity of Demelza's deceitfulness, here is a list of some of her deceptions.

1. She agrees to receive clandestine love letters/poems (When does Ross do this?)

She did†not†agree to clandestine love letters. She said he could write letters Ross could also read. She also did not give him permission to send the poems. He sent the first one without her permission.†

2. She hides the poems where her husband will never find them.

She kept them in her stocking drawer in the bedroom they shared (supposedly one of the first places burglars look for money). It is something her husband probably never had call to open, but it was hardly a secret cache.†

3. She is cool and distant during the time that Hugh is away at sea, but pretending everything is fine.

Cool and distant? I'm rereading that section now and all I find is domesticity -- swimming with the children and acquiring the first Ebb and Flow. She is reminded of Hugh when she spots seals swimming by, and she is touched, flattered, etc., by his pledge of undying love. Is she supposed to hate him for caring for her? She is experiencing what Elizabeth did from Ross after she married Francis, and it seems to frustrate her and make her uncomfortable, but she had never gotten this kind of attention from Ross so she was warmed by it. If Ross had expressed his love more romantically and shown more consistency in his attention to her, Demelza might not have been such an easily plucked plum. If he had been treating her the way he once treated Elizabeth, she would not have been impressed by Hugh. There seems to be a hole in Ross' feelings for Demelza. He loves her, respects her, finds her a pleasing companion in life and in bed, but he doesn't seem to feel truly devoted to her. It is as if he would rather she needed him than wanted him and resents her competence. Meanwhile, she is loath ever to need him because that would make her more of a burden to him, which she believes he would resent.†

4. She tells Ross she couldn't 'refuse' when Hugh asked to go and see the seals. (He hadn't yet told her he was going blind so in fact there was no reason and it was highly improper of her to go out alone with him.)

The invitation was extended, and she felt it would be rude not to honor it even though the rest of the party had stayed home. I suspect I would have felt the same way. When she agreed, they were up at the house, and she did not know the groom would not be going with them. When she found out, she probably didn't want to make a scene in front of the groom, her children and the servant. She trusted Hugh and maybe she sensed he had something he wanted to tell her that he didn't want the groom to overhear, which he did. Me, I would have said no, but not because I knew what to expect from him. I would have been concerned about his ability to see well enough to navigate in the dark cave on the basis of the vision problem I already knew about. That and the fact that I'd never actually been inside the cave yet. (Saved by practicality.)†

5. When Ross asks her if Hugh still loves her (This is three days after her adultery) she says 'I don't know.' And she is only 'grieved for him, as you'd naturally expect.'

What is she supposed to say, "No, I bedded him, and he found me as disappointing as you found Elizabeth."? Ross never confided what happened when he went to see Elizabeth every week after Francis died. The night the May 9th ice started to thaw, he told Demelza that he believed there was an etiquette in adultery and a man doesn't discuss one woman with another woman even if that woman happens to be the man's own wife. Demelza never asked him to talk about Elizabeth because she didn't want to know. Why wouldn't she feel she too should follow the etiquette he spelled out? After all, when she confessed her encounter with McNeil, Ross got so wrapped up in being angry that he wasn't even listening to what she was telling him.†

6. When Ross can't go to Tregothnan and says 'I suspect it is you that Armitage really wants to see again,' she says 'I don't know,' and pretends that she doesn't want to go.

Then again, maybe she really didn't want to go, fearing she might find something like the disturbing scene that greeted her the final time she saw Hugh.†

7. When he asks her about her feelings for Hugh she says, 'I don't know myself and that is the honest truth' (just a few weeks after rolling about on the beach with him) yet then goes on to say that Caroline will prevent her from straying with him!

I thought that line was a little tongue in cheek. Then again, her internal monologue essentially said she didn't know why she did what she did.

8. Her inability to remain composed when confronted with Hugh on his deathbed is the final exposure of her deceit to Ross, no wonder he is angry.

She was shocked. It was a grotesque scene, and the person covered in leeches was someone she cared about. Plus, the last time she saw him wasn't that long ago, and he hadn't looked very sick. I can't imagine she has a lot of experience visiting sickrooms so she hasn't mastered being chipper and unaffected by a face covered with leeches.†

9. Finding the poem when it slips out of her dress is another exposure of the deceit that has been practised for over fifteen months and still it continues in Tregothnan when Hugh is dying.

Ross had no idea there were other poems. Why wouldn't a dying poet write a poem to say farewell to a person he cared about?†

10. After Hugh's death she still won't tell Ross how she feels about Hugh, she cries instead. She knows that crying is a sure fire way to soften Ross and divert his attention.

She'd been crying since she heard the news. That's why she left the house and went to Caroline's. Ross actually asked her why she had to leave after she got the news and said she could have talked to him about it.†Except he wasn't home, and she didn't know when he'd be back.†Why she didn't remind him of that, I don't know.†She left because she knew her tears would upset the children, and Clowance demonstrated that she was right by bursting into tears when she saw her mother's tears. Given that Ross had seen Jeremy do the same thing the first time he saw Demelza cry, one would think he wouldn't need to have that explained. The day to explain death to a child is not a day when you are overcome by grief.†

And maybe it is a little insensitive to be asking her such questions the day she found out the man had died. Even if he were just a friend, should she have to put up with that? I don't think so. Hugh would still be dead the next day or next week. Ask her then. Does Demelza ask Ross how he feels about Elizabeth now the morning after she died? No, she is too busy trying to pull him out of the emotional cavern he dug for himself in his night of grieving.†

11. When Ross comes back from London she tells him 'It's over' but she is still getting out her lover's poems regularly, thus continuing to deceive him and possibly herself.

It is over. The man is dead. The poems would have taken on a life of their own after Hugh died. They were something to treasure in their own right because they were written for her. How many miners' daughters get to be muses?

Most ilicit affairs have to employ similar levels of deceit but I never expected it of Demelza. Her reasons for not apologising and continuing to deceive Ross about having sex with Hugh were probably more than just about losing her material gains. Maybe she was just thoroughly ashamed of the deceit she had employed but couldn't own it. She had a habit of pushing unpalatable things under the carpet. Nevertheless she should have apologised and Ross would have forgiven her.

Are you sure of that? I'm not. Ross isn't happy unless he has a grudge to gnaw on, and once he was in Parliament, he didn't really have George to feud with in the same way. He would never divorce Demelza because she could countersue and drag the whole Valentine mess out into the open. (No, she wouldn't do it while Elizabeth was alive, but afterwards, who knows? And once Elizabeth was dead, I don't think George would care about a scandal. He would finally get the truth. And if he got the whole truth, that Elizabeth was not the most willing of participants, he would gladly drag Ross through the mud. "Not just murder, but rape too? All that's†left are bank robbery and treason. Well, give him time.")†

By not apologising and not being honest, a man was killed ...†

I seem to recall Demelza frequently referring to her involvement and her remorse/regret at hurting Ross. She just didn't tell Ross she had slept with him once. Presumably Ross never asked. She knew about May 9th because she was there when he left and when he came home. She knew the truth by just looking at him, and he knew she knew. There was no confession and no apology for seven and a half months. And he never apologized for being unfaithful in spirit on and off for the whole of their marriage up to that point. Even after he knew how painful that was, he never apologized to her for the uncertainty she lived with for three years (Christmas Eve 1790 until Christmas Eve 1793).†

I don't think Demelza was the real cause of the duel. Adderley chose his next target the night he met Ross at Trenwith. Why else did Ross feel the hairs on the back of his neck stand up? (I believe they call it foreshadowing.) George's bet at the Parliament reception in London just gave him the means to his end. Did George realize that? No, but I'd be surprised if he didn't recognize it was possible, even likely, that a duel would occur. George caused Adderley's death by betting a man who needed money £100 he couldn't seduce the wife of a man he'd already decided he'd like to duel. George's efforts to get Ross arrested were the work of a guilty conscience.†

Demelza's behavior toward Adderley wouldn't have mattered. He was determined to have his way with her so he could collect the money and so Ross would challenge him to a duel, which Adderley, the survivor of numerous duels, expected to win. Poor Demelza was determined not to do anything to provoke him because of the buttons on the coat he was wearing the night they met -- they displayed locks of the hair of the last man he dueled. She should have told Ross about the buttons that first night and reminded him of what he'd told her the night he met Adderley. If Ross had known she was actually afraid that Adderley was looking for a way to get him into a duel, things might have turned out differently.†

... and Demelza was estranged from her husband for many years ...

He was in Parliament, which meant he was gone for months at a time. And he was involved in diplomatic missions, which meant more time away. I do think he was running away, but I don't think it was only from his wife and children. He was also running away from Elizabeth's memory and Valentine too. And maybe he was running away from Cornwall too. Something in "Ross Poldark" gave me the impression that he wouldn't have minded staying in America if he hadn't had Elizabeth waiting for him back in England. (But as I remember my history, the only British soldiers allowed to stay in America after the Revolutionary War were the ones who had deserted and joined the American side, and that would have been unthinkable for Ross.)

...†Her children did not escape without immunity. Is it mere coincidence that the two children, Jeremy and Clowance, having been exposed to such emotional turmoil in their formative years, should make such errors of judgement which would make a misery of much of their lives? ...†

Clowance fell in love with a scruffier, lower-class (and older) version of her father as a young man, and Jeremy fell in love with a higher-born version of Elizabeth (expected to marry money to bail her family out of their financial troubles). I don't think their parents' martial problems had anything to do with that.†
I do think Ross being away so much was not good for his children. They built him up into this larger-than-life figure -- probably with inadvertent help from their mother, the Enyses, the Martins and who knows who else -- who showed up from time to time to impress them with tales of his adventures. Jeremy was so awed by Ross that he hid his interest in steam engines from him because when he was young, his father had said they were dangerous and he should stay away from them. They were also the next technological leap forward in the Industrial Revolution so an ambitious young man like Jeremy couldn't be blamed for being unwilling to let go of his dreams. He kept his work secret from the family because he didn't feel comfortable enough with his own father to ask him to reconsider his opinion once he was older.†
... And what about the unusually long gap between the birth of Clowance and that of Bella? Just coincidence? No wonder she looked back on it in later life as that 'dire event.'

Ross was elected to Parliament in 1797 so he was in London for much of the year from then on, and when he was home, he was seeing to his interests in Looe and running around trying to sort out banks and civil unrest. Later, he was also traveling as part of diplomatic missions.

Plus, Ross was uncomfortable with Demelza having babies after Julia died and Demelza nearly did. Why is not well explained in the text of the books, but the Poldark and Carne family trees make things a tad clearer. Seven children were born in Ross' generation of Poldarks (two to Joshua and Grace and five to Charles and Verity Sr.), but only three of them survived to adulthood. Tom and Demelza Carne also produced seven children, and all of them lived to adulthood despite growing up in dire poverty and being motherless for five years of their childhood. (One did die later, however.) All three mothers died young. †So Ross was perhaps more influenced by his own family's history than anything else. The three younger brothers Verity and Francis had and then lost As well as his own.



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Well done for quoting from the first edition, Hollyhock.

it seems to me that many who post here get confused between the books and the TV series. †Of course, if the adaptation was anything like the books this would not happen as much, but Mammoth are not content to use the wonderful material available to them.

The other problem is that we in the 21st century find it difficult to account for certain behaviour which in the 18th Century was taken for granted and accepted as perfectly normal.

I know the books were written only 70 years ago, but WG thoroughly researched and immersed himself in the period before ever putting pen to paper. †We also have to remember he was born over 100 years ago into a Victorian family, not so very far removed from the period about which he writes.



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Hollyhock wrote:

Dark Mare, on the contrary; I am quite familiar with the conversation. My reference to Ross' statement is from Ward Lock, 1st edition. In the later editions his statement is incomplete and open to interpretation. Here is the WL quote:

"Before I found you," he said, "when I came home from America things looked black for me. You know why, because I had hoped to marry Elizabeth and returned to find her with other plans. That winter it was Verity alone who saved me from breaking up. No doubt I was a fool to take it so to heart; nothing is really worth that; but I could not fight it at the time, and Verity came and kept me going. Three and four times a week all through that winter she came. I can't ever forget that. She gave me something to hold on to; that is hard to repay."Ross Poldark, Ward Lock, 1st ed., 2nd reprint, 1946, p. 287

As we have learned on this wonderful site there are varying differences in various editions, but I base my opinions about his state of mine on this one, and I do not believe Ross ever contemplated suicide. Just not in his temperament.

I'm sorry but I honestly cannot see the slightest similarity in this situation and a dog learning a new trick. I don't think Ross was being manipulative or underhanded or deceitful. He simply and honestly wanted his new bride, whom he loved and was proud of, to meet his cousin, whom he adored and thought of as a sister. I thought it was sweet that he wanted the two of them to be friends. Ross was never ashamed that Demelza was once his scullery maid and wanted her to meet the most beloved member of his family. Demelza's initial resistance to Verity was understandable but my admiration for Verity grew as she showed her determination to stick-out Demelza's freeze and win her over. Verity's words to Demelza showed her sweetness and lovely character, and proved that Ross had been right in his estimation of her.† Ross never, in the 30+ years they were married, tried to maliciously manipulate Demelza or have her do anything that he did not or would not do himself. Ross was not George. He wanted Demelza to love Verity as he himself did, not further complicate family relations, as she did. But Demelza did what she did out of love for Verity, and Ross did what he did† out of love for them both.††


Perhaps I should have just quoted Ralph Hill, the American three-day event trainer: "Be careful what you teach your horse because he will always find a way to use it against you." As Rhett did. My point is simple: Ross made too much of this obligation to Verity for Demelza not to take it to heart and later to seize upon it as a way to exceed what she had been asked to do (her standard procedure) to make amends for letting her fear make her so difficult during the first part of Verity's visit. She recognized that Verity was heartsick and Dr. Choake was not the physician to cure that.†

It doesn't matter whether Ross ever was ashamed of Demelza or not; it mattered that Demelza thought he was ashamed of her or maybe he should be ashamed of her. He either neglected to or was unable to say or do the thing she needed to hear or see to get her to believe that he fully believed she truly deserved to be where she was. (I do wonder about him sometimes. Every time he is upset with her, he thinks about how he raised her from the gutter and sometimes he even seems to wish he hadn't bothered. What I don't remember ever seeing was him congratulating himself on how handsomely that gamble on her had paid off even before they married. And one other thing, how many times did he wonder about her having a liaison with another man †whenever she did something he didn't understand? It started in "Jeremy Poldark," I think. The first that comes to mind was Sir John Trevaunance. And Ross was thinking she must have "met someone" in Bodmin when she was being evasive about her time there.)

i agree with you completely about how much Demelza and Ross both loved Verity. The difference was Ross knew how much Francis and Elizabeth relied on Verity to keep things civil at Trenwith, and Demelza didn't -- or she recognized that sometimes a prolonged uneasy peace can be worse than a fight. And Demelza knew that Verity still loved Andrew and always would. Verity had a right to live the life she wanted even if her father and brother thought differently. The two of them had so mismanaged the family finances that Verity's inheritance, her stake in Grambler, was worthless. Why should she remain dependent on Francis when he treated her so shabbily?†



-- Edited by Dark Mare on Monday 11th of June 2018 12:09:18 AM

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Dark Mare wrote:

Hollyhock, I gather you don't remember when he told Demelza about this. He was trying to persuade her to agree to having Verity come for a visit so he was laying it all on a bit thick. Everything he said about himself and Verity was more or less true, but he made it all sound a little more dire to get the answer he wanted. He had neglected Verity and felt guilty about it, and he wanted Demelza to learn how to be a lady and he needed a gentlewoman to teach her what he couldn't. So he deputized Demelza to solve his Verity problem and Verity to solve his Demelza problem. What could possibly go wrong?

(It really was rotten of him to conveniently forget he was the one who asked Demelza to fix Verity's broken heart. She had balked at first because she was intimidated by the Trenwith Poldarks, but Ross wore her down. Once she discovered how kind Verity was, she felt guilty and threw her heart into the assignment. She decided the only way to accomplish what Ross had asked her to do was to get Verity and Andrew back together. She tried three times to enlist him to help by reaching out to Andrew before she gave up and did it herself. I suppose Francis was technically right about it all being Ross' fault. He unleashed Demelza and failed to supervise her, which was why he knew nothing about the matchmaking and the elopement. [This story always makes me think of my dad teaching his dog, Rhett, to bring in the morning paper. It took two days and lots of dog biscuits to get him to do it flawlessly. The third day, Rhett brought in the paper and got one biscuit. The next day, he deposited every newspaper on the street on our porch, expecting to get the same haul of biscuits he'd gotten on days 1 and 2. Day 5, Dad went back to getting the paper himself.])†

____________________________________________________________

Dark Mare, on the contrary; I am quite familiar with the conversation. My reference to Ross' statement is from Ward Lock, 1st edition. In the later editions his statement is incomplete and open to interpretation. Here is the WL quote:

"Before I found you," he said, "when I came home from America things looked black for me. You know why, because I had hoped to marry Elizabeth and returned to find her with other plans. That winter it was Verity alone who saved me from breaking up. No doubt I was a fool to take it so to heart; nothing is really worth that; but I could not fight it at the time, and Verity came and kept me going. Three and four times a week all through that winter she came. I can't ever forget that. She gave me something to hold on to; that is hard to repay."Ross Poldark, Ward Lock, 1st ed., 2nd reprint, 1946, p. 287

As we have learned on this wonderful site there are varying differences in various editions, but I base my opinions about his state of mine on this one, and I do not believe Ross ever contemplated suicide. Just not in his temperament.

I'm sorry but I honestly cannot see the slightest similarity in this situation and a dog learning a new trick. I don't think Ross was being manipulative or underhanded or deceitful. He simply and honestly wanted his new bride, whom he loved and was proud of, to meet his cousin, whom he adored and thought of as a sister. I thought it was sweet that he wanted the two of them to be friends. Ross was never ashamed that Demelza was once his scullery maid and wanted her to meet the most beloved member of his family. Demelza's initial resistance to Verity was understandable but my admiration for Verity grew as she showed her determination to stick-out Demelza's freeze and win her over. Verity's words to Demelza showed her sweetness and lovely character, and proved that Ross had been right in his estimation of her.† Ross never, in the 30+ years they were married, tried to maliciously manipulate Demelza or have her do anything that he did not or would not do himself. Ross was not George. He wanted Demelza to love Verity as he himself did, not further complicate family relations, as she did. But Demelza did what she did out of love for Verity, and Ross did what he did† out of love for them both.††



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Hollyhock wrote:

Dark Mare--your statement that Ross led Demelza to believe that he nearly killed himself over Elizabeth's betrayal reminded me of how hopelessly he still loved Elizabeth during the time that Demelza seduced him. Although his comment to Demelza was incomplete and open to interpretation, it shows the depth of his misery. However, I don't think that Ross would ever have attempted suicide. Unlike Francis, suicide just wasn't in his Ross' temperament. Before he jumped off a cliff or cocked a dueling pistol, he would have rejoined the army and took his chances there. Instead, Ross tried to drown his misery in alcohol. Realizing how useless and pathetic that was, he resorted to work, restoring Nampara and opening Leisure. Then, watching him fall in love with Demelza was a joy.____________________________________________________________________

Hollyhock, I gather you don't remember when he told Demelza about this. He was trying to persuade her to agree to having Verity come for a visit so he was laying it all on a bit thick. Everything he said about himself and Verity was more or less true, but he made it all sound a little more dire to get the answer he wanted. He had neglected Verity and felt guilty about it, and he wanted Demelza to learn how to be a lady and he needed a gentlewoman to teach her what he couldn't. So he deputized Demelza to solve his Verity problem and Verity to solve his Demelza problem. What could possibly go wrong?

(It really was rotten of him to conveniently forget he was the one who asked Demelza to fix Verity's broken heart. She had balked at first because she was intimidated by the Trenwith Poldarks, but Ross wore her down. Once she discovered how kind Verity was, she felt guilty and threw her heart into the assignment. She decided the only way to accomplish what Ross had asked her to do was to get Verity and Andrew back together. She tried three times to enlist him to help by reaching out to Andrew before she gave up and did it herself. I suppose Francis was technically right about it all being Ross' fault. He unleashed Demelza and failed to supervise her, which was why he knew nothing about the matchmaking and the elopement. [This story always makes me think of my dad teaching his dog, Rhett, to bring in the morning paper. It took two days and lots of dog biscuits to get him to do it flawlessly. The third day, Rhett brought in the paper and got one biscuit. The next day, he deposited every newspaper on the street on our porch, expecting to get the same haul of biscuits he'd gotten on days 1 and 2. Day 5, Dad went back to getting the paper himself.])†



-- Edited by Dark Mare on Saturday 9th of June 2018 06:30:31 AM

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Pollie wrote:
Moorland Rambler wrote:

Pollie - I have never sought to compare the two adulteries because my view is that they are as different as chalk and cheese and I stand by everything I have written. I have never condoned Ross' actions which I believe we're wholly reprehensible. Ross was justifiably punished by Demelza for his night of passion and if she had decided to leave him I would have applauded her. At that point I truly admired her and almost everything she did, including the reversal of her decision to sleep with the soldier in an act of revenge. She had maintained a virtuous truth by trying to do everything that she believed was right - always with the best intentions.

When she committed adultery with Hugh Armitage, she knew it was wrong but she did it anyway. She tried to justify her actions in her midnight musings, but couldn't. WG gives us plenty of clues in the text to show us the HA was a predator who quite easily ensnared Demelza like he had done with so many other women before. She was deluded into believing he loved her, but for both of them, the driving force was lust. Once he had achieved his aim he could proudly state 'I'm lucky enough to have attained a lot'..glancing at Demelza.....'I shall make the best now of what is in store.'†

She gave in too easily with a weakness unrecognisable from the Demelza in previous books. In doing so she wronged Ross with a catalogue of deceits, but worse still she wronged herself by destroying her own virtuous truth, something which she acknowledged during her midnight musings.

She wouldn't have told him about the adultery because she said herself that if he found out 'her life with him might be laid waste.' In other words all the material things she had gained would have been lost. This was confirmed in TAT when she left him in the lurch in London arriving home to ''everything - except Ross - that she cared most about in the world.'

My criticisms of Demelza's adultery comes from disappointment that her own values and standards were cut to pieces and has nothing to do with comparisons with her husband's misdemeanours. I haven't even touched on the hypocrisy she exhibited in expecting everything to go on as normal after her tryst, when she herself had given Ross such a justifiably hard time when he came home from Elizabeth's. Ross should have thrown her out, at least for a while, but he loved her too much to do that.


I just find that whilst you say you dont compare the two adulteries and that Ross' own was reprehensible that does not match the tone of your writings here and before.†

You talk of Demelza's catalogue of deceit and do not respond (even if to just to explain why you might discount) the catalogue of deceit from Ross over the years. So certainly the impression is you give light lip service to denounce them but essentially are quite dismissive of his where you are not with Demelza's deciet. That's one of the key issue I take with your position.

You say critically that Demelza tried to 'justify' her adultery. I do not think she did. She did what most guilty party's would do and reflected on it exploring how she could have done this. What her reasons were. Justification is essentially saying what one did was okay because of such and such. Demelza never did this and I think you inadvertently support this point when you later say that she herself admitted destroying her own virtuous truth. How could she do that yet at the same time feel her act was justified? How could she do this yet say to Ross I have failed you? Is that not an admission of wrong doing rather than someone who feels that act was justified?† And I note so far you made no comment on this admission she let Ross down. I suspect because it would not serve your points.†

I suspect that you would declare this was not in any event a full and clear admission in any case and you raised that she worried that confirming the adultery would mean that everything was laid to waste. so we know that was a fear of hers but I see that you take this further ( and in doing so almost villanise her character through a perecption that her worry was about a material loss. Unless I am mistaken. If not I do think this is indicative of your determination to look at her now with the worst posssible eyes and ignore anything that would allow a more softer and I would say balanced assessment. Really? Are we now saying that Demelza who we have known through 6/7 books and more in book years is a highly materialistic wife whose only concern in separating from her husband is not her husband, their love, their children and life together but rather the house, her belonging and the objects in the house. Really? Of all the key women in the book she is of the least materialistic. The woman who would sow her old dresses from Ross' old shirts and muck in with the maids when he constantly told her to enjoy being mistress of the house. The woman who cried with gratitude when he bought her a pretty comb? I would say and I'm fairly confident that by 'everything' she really meant their lives/world together and heir children. If she were so concerned about your version of 'everything' let us not forget that she offered to leave Nampara after Ross' own adultery and therefore would not have done so. She said she could get work easy. WG also tells us that she sometimes regretted not going after he asked her to stay because she could not bear the atmosphere in the house .†

You say that Demelza gave Ross a hard time after his adultery but I think Ross hits the nail on the head when he pondered what was harder "to be sinned against rather than sinning". That reminds me that we are all human and have the capacity to be hypocritical. One might react harshly against another when they have been let down by them only to find themselves being the one doing the letting down at a later date and begging to be forgiven and not treated too harshly. However even with that I dont even think Demelza dealt with him that harshly. If you remember they did not communicate well there. Can you remember that Ross moved out of their bedroom immediately. Demelza unlike most disgruntled wives did not ask him too and in fact saw that as evidence that he found her distasteful after having Elizabeth and for a time she was sure he was planning to run away with her. They did not talk it out and Ross chose to spend more time out of the home in the mine. WG says they both avoided each. There was no one sided campaign of silence from Demelza. She was hardly mean to him during that estrangement and even suggested that he go to Elisabeth so he could stop her marrying George. Even though he did not, he did not answer her and throughout that 7 months until the "abiding love is for you" declaration did not really show her that he wanted her over Elizabeth. I thought she was quite civilised towards him after the adultery and in comparison having had the experience of the person who had been the sinner before he was civilised to her after her adultery. Maybe his previous role as the sinner caused him to be more understanding as the sinned against.

You are disappointed that Demelza cut her values and principles to shreds in her adultery and she was decietful and my issue with this is that whilst disagreeing with the levl of deciet or the context you put on it I also do not get the same impression that you apply the same level of disappointment to Ross's adultery and some of his other decietful behaviour as set out by myself and in detail by dark mare. It seems you hold Demelza to a higher standard which i think is unfair in the same way I think it is when modern society are less critical and almost non plussed when men cheat but annialate (sp) a woman who does the same.†

As for your comments on Hugh Armitage, he is accountable for that not Demelza. Her perception of him was not yours. But I do wonder what you mean about 'clues' that he was predator who had done this to women before. What are these clues?


†Pollie - I should Just like to say that I have never experienced Moorland Rambler as you say you do and I find YOUR tone rather bullying which, of course, in my opinion anyway, weakens your arguments. Can you be a little less personal in your posts please as it detracts from any enjoyment that I might be allowed to have when reading the posts.



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Dark Mare wrote:

Perhaps if Ross hadn't been in existential-crisis mode, Demelza would have spoken of their relationship. I have always thought that behind a desire to heal the rift between the families, there was a secret fear, and it was what really drove her to go to Trenwith to help when the household was stricken with putrid throat. That secret fear was if Elizabeth should die, Ross would never recover from it. If Demelza didn't lose him literally (He'd once given her to believe that he had nearly killed himself after Elizabeth married Francis), she would lose him figuratively and spend the rest of her life loving a hollow man whose heart lay buried with the love of his life.

Now she actually faced that thing she had feared so long ago. She focused on what he was saying, not what he likely was feeling, because she was afraid he was losing perspective, the thing that had kept him going the last time. She was telling him one loss, even an unthinkable one, does not mean all is lost.†

________________________________________________________________________________________________

Dark Mare--your statement that Ross led Demelza to believe that he nearly killed himself over Elizabeth's betrayal reminded me of how hopelessly he still loved Elizabeth during the time that Demelza seduced him. Although his comment to Demelza was incomplete and open to interpretation, it shows the depth of his misery. However, I don't think that Ross would ever have attempted suicide. Unlike Francis, suicide just wasn't in his Ross' temperament. Before he jumped off a cliff or cocked a dueling pistol, he would have rejoined the army and took his chances there. Instead, Ross tried to drown his misery in alcohol. Realizing how useless and pathetic that was, he resorted to work, restoring Nampara and opening Leisure. Then, watching him fall in love with Demelza was a joy.

Regarding other posts below, I agree that Ross and Demelza were both insensitive. Both made devastating mistakes in their relationship (although I think some of the 'deceptions' attributed to Ross are a stretch). However, for me the crux of the matter has always been that Ross apologized--not for sleeping with Elizabeth--but for hurting Demelza. Unfortunately, Demelza never returned the obligation. When you hurt someone, especially someone you love, you apologize. Only then can real healing begin. Ross' apology, however Demelza viewed it, was sincere and was what in the end allowed her to move on. Given her reputed sensitivity, insight, and sense of fair play, it's extraordinary that Demelza never thought to tell Ross she was sorry--not for sleeping with HA--but for hurting him.††

I agree that both Ross and Demelza seemed to step out of character to commit adultery. (But maybe that's the way it works.) When Ross visited Elizabeth, he was still reeling from baby Julia's death, Francis' drowning, the collapse of his mine, the deaths of his miners, the humiliation of the Bodmin trial, the threat of bankruptcy...He was an emotional wreck. Then, the thought of George 'acquiring' Elizabeth and her complicity in the acquisition pushed him over the edge. Even so, what he did was inexcusable, and I still find it hard to believe that he would have reacted as described.I too suffered along with Demelza and applauded her strength and actions.

Then, to re-balance the relationship and have Demelza appear less than a martyr, Hugh Armitage slithers in. Unlike Elizabeth, he is one-dimensional, transparent, and his entire purpose in life seems to be to seduce Demelza, which he does in short order. Still, given her character, it's hard to believe that Demelza would traipse off and have a tryst with a man she barely knew. So, instead of being the agent that helps re-balance the relationship, Hugh skews it even further, and this time Demelza comes up short. Hugh not only entices her into infidelity but seems to corrupt her moral center; she becomes uncharacteristically self-absorbed, dismissive of Ross's feelings, and dishonest, not only to Ross but to herself as well. Demelza's infidelity is as shocking and inexcusable as Ross'. Except, unlike Ross, she never redeems herself by apologizing or showing remorse for the pain she caused.

Following the storyline, I agree that Ross' feelings for Elizabeth were long-term and complicated. Conversely, before their tryst, Demelza's feelings for HA were new and less complicated; he quite simply aroused and excited her. She did have some empathy for him but mainly found him heart-thumping attractive and wanted the experience of sleeping with him. Despite her 'loud' protests that she loved Ross and was happy in her marriage, Hugh swept her off her feet. After their encounter, I think she found herself even more involved than she cared to admit. This became apparent in her abject despair at his death.

Interestingly, Ross' act of adultery seemed to have 'cured' him of his desire for Elizabeth. Demelza wondered if sleeping with Hugh had cured her but decided she was unchanged. I think her experience was the reverse of Ross'. Ross fell out of love with Elizabeth, Demelza fell in love with Hugh. So much so that she felt the need to tell Ross that, during her visit to Tregothnan with Dwight and Caroline, Caroline would make sure she didn't stray with Hugh. So, when questioned about her feelings for Hugh, Demelza dissimulated--not only to Ross but to herself as well. Had the story taken a different turn and Hugh had lived, I wonder if Demelza would have been able to decline any further rendezvous? I like to think so but maybe even WG didn't know and so killed Hugh off instead. Good riddance.



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Moorland Rambler wrote:

Pollie - I have never sought to compare the two adulteries because my view is that they are as different as chalk and cheese and I stand by everything I have written. I have never condoned Ross' actions which I believe we're wholly reprehensible. Ross was justifiably punished by Demelza for his night of passion and if she had decided to leave him I would have applauded her. At that point I truly admired her and almost everything she did, including the reversal of her decision to sleep with the soldier in an act of revenge. She had maintained a virtuous truth by trying to do everything that she believed was right - always with the best intentions.

When she committed adultery with Hugh Armitage, she knew it was wrong but she did it anyway. She tried to justify her actions in her midnight musings, but couldn't. WG gives us plenty of clues in the text to show us the HA was a predator who quite easily ensnared Demelza like he had done with so many other women before. She was deluded into believing he loved her, but for both of them, the driving force was lust. Once he had achieved his aim he could proudly state 'I'm lucky enough to have attained a lot'..glancing at Demelza.....'I shall make the best now of what is in store.'†

She gave in too easily with a weakness unrecognisable from the Demelza in previous books. In doing so she wronged Ross with a catalogue of deceits, but worse still she wronged herself by destroying her own virtuous truth, something which she acknowledged during her midnight musings.

She wouldn't have told him about the adultery because she said herself that if he found out 'her life with him might be laid waste.' In other words all the material things she had gained would have been lost. This was confirmed in TAT when she left him in the lurch in London arriving home to ''everything - except Ross - that she cared most about in the world.'

My criticisms of Demelza's adultery comes from disappointment that her own values and standards were cut to pieces and has nothing to do with comparisons with her husband's misdemeanours. I haven't even touched on the hypocrisy she exhibited in expecting everything to go on as normal after her tryst, when she herself had given Ross such a justifiably hard time when he came home from Elizabeth's. Ross should have thrown her out, at least for a while, but he loved her too much to do that.


I just find that whilst you say you dont compare the two adulteries and that Ross' own was reprehensible that does not match the tone of your writings here and before.†

You talk of Demelza's catalogue of deceit and do not respond (even if to just to explain why you might discount) the catalogue of deceit from Ross over the years. So certainly the impression is you give light lip service to denounce them but essentially are quite dismissive of his where you are not with Demelza's deciet. That's one of the key issue I take with your position.

You say critically that Demelza tried to 'justify' her adultery. I do not think she did. She did what most guilty party's would do and reflected on it exploring how she could have done this. What her reasons were. Justification is essentially saying what one did was okay because of such and such. Demelza never did this and I think you inadvertently support this point when you later say that she herself admitted destroying her own virtuous truth. How could she do that yet at the same time feel her act was justified? How could she do this yet say to Ross I have failed you? Is that not an admission of wrong doing rather than someone who feels that act was justified?† And I note so far you made no comment on this admission she let Ross down. I suspect because it would not serve your points.†

I suspect that you would declare this was not in any event a full and clear admission in any case and you raised that she worried that confirming the adultery would mean that everything was laid to waste. so we know that was a fear of hers but I see that you take this further ( and in doing so almost villanise her character through a perecption that her worry was about a material loss. Unless I am mistaken. If not I do think this is indicative of your determination to look at her now with the worst posssible eyes and ignore anything that would allow a more softer and I would say balanced assessment. Really? Are we now saying that Demelza who we have known through 6/7 books and more in book years is a highly materialistic wife whose only concern in separating from her husband is not her husband, their love, their children and life together but rather the house, her belonging and the objects in the house. Really? Of all the key women in the book she is of the least materialistic. The woman who would sow her old dresses from Ross' old shirts and muck in with the maids when he constantly told her to enjoy being mistress of the house. The woman who cried with gratitude when he bought her a pretty comb? I would say and I'm fairly confident that by 'everything' she really meant their lives/world together and heir children. If she were so concerned about your version of 'everything' let us not forget that she offered to leave Nampara after Ross' own adultery and therefore would not have done so. She said she could get work easy. WG also tells us that she sometimes regretted not going after he asked her to stay because she could not bear the atmosphere in the house .†

You say that Demelza gave Ross a hard time after his adultery but I think Ross hits the nail on the head when he pondered what was harder "to be sinned against rather than sinning". That reminds me that we are all human and have the capacity to be hypocritical. One might react harshly against another when they have been let down by them only to find themselves being the one doing the letting down at a later date and begging to be forgiven and not treated too harshly. However even with that I dont even think Demelza dealt with him that harshly. If you remember they did not communicate well there. Can you remember that Ross moved out of their bedroom immediately. Demelza unlike most disgruntled wives did not ask him too and in fact saw that as evidence that he found her distasteful after having Elizabeth and for a time she was sure he was planning to run away with her. They did not talk it out and Ross chose to spend more time out of the home in the mine. WG says they both avoided each. There was no one sided campaign of silence from Demelza. She was hardly mean to him during that estrangement and even suggested that he go to Elisabeth so he could stop her marrying George. Even though he did not, he did not answer her and throughout that 7 months until the "abiding love is for you" declaration did not really show her that he wanted her over Elizabeth. I thought she was quite civilised towards him after the adultery and in comparison having had the experience of the person who had been the sinner before he was civilised to her after her adultery. Maybe his previous role as the sinner caused him to be more understanding as the sinned against.

You are disappointed that Demelza cut her values and principles to shreds in her adultery and she was decietful and my issue with this is that whilst disagreeing with the levl of deciet or the context you put on it I also do not get the same impression that you apply the same level of disappointment to Ross's adultery and some of his other decietful behaviour as set out by myself and in detail by dark mare. It seems you hold Demelza to a higher standard which i think is unfair in the same way I think it is when modern society are less critical and almost non plussed when men cheat but annialate (sp) a woman who does the same.†

As for your comments on Hugh Armitage, he is accountable for that not Demelza. Her perception of him was not yours. But I do wonder what you mean about 'clues' that he was predator who had done this to women before. What are these clues?



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Pollie - I have never sought to compare the two adulteries because my view is that they are as different as chalk and cheese and I stand by everything I have written. I have never condoned Ross' actions which I believe we're wholly reprehensible. Ross was justifiably punished by Demelza for his night of passion and if she had decided to leave him I would have applauded her. At that point I truly admired her and almost everything she did, including the reversal of her decision to sleep with the soldier in an act of revenge. She had maintained a virtuous truth by trying to do everything that she believed was right - always with the best intentions.

When she committed adultery with Hugh Armitage, she knew it was wrong but she did it anyway. She tried to justify her actions in her midnight musings, but couldn't. WG gives us plenty of clues in the text to show us the HA was a predator who quite easily ensnared Demelza like he had done with so many other women before. She was deluded into believing he loved her, but for both of them, the driving force was lust. Once he had achieved his aim he could proudly state 'I'm lucky enough to have attained a lot'..glancing at Demelza.....'I shall make the best now of what is in store.'†

She gave in too easily with a weakness unrecognisable from the Demelza in previous books. In doing so she wronged Ross with a catalogue of deceits, but worse still she wronged herself by destroying her own virtuous truth, something which she acknowledged during her midnight musings.

She wouldn't have told him about the adultery because she said herself that if he found out 'her life with him might be laid waste.' In other words all the material things she had gained would have been lost. This was confirmed in TAT when she left him in the lurch in London arriving home to ''everything - except Ross - that she cared most about in the world.'

My criticisms of Demelza's adultery comes from disappointment that her own values and standards were cut to pieces and has nothing to do with comparisons with her husband's misdemeanours. I haven't even touched on the hypocrisy she exhibited in expecting everything to go on as normal after her tryst, when she herself had given Ross such a justifiably hard time when he came home from Elizabeth's. Ross should have thrown her out, at least for a while, but he loved her too much to do that.



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Moorland Rambler wrote:

Pollie - I agree that Ross did have his deceitful moments but we will have to agree to differ about the levels of deceit.

Did Ross do anything to match the deceitfulness of Demelza sleeping with a lover and keeping it quiet for the rest of her life?

I don't think you can compare the long standing, deep rooted complex relationship that Ross had with Elizabeth with the fleeting, shallow, affair that Demelza had with Hugh. Elizabeth had been an important part of Ross' life for almost twenty years and Demelza was aware of that when she married him. Demelza was in Hugh's presence for not much more than twenty hours during the eighteen months of their acquaintance.

I think that everything is about personal perception and outlook. You say that the two relationships cannot be compared and so Ross' deceit should be regarded as the lesser of the two. However love and romance is all subjective. You can have the most shallow relationship with someone over a number of years and another person can meet the love of their life and know this to be the case after spending just a day.with them.It's about the power of how they felt not the length of their relationship. Besides Demelza had been wooed by many men before including McNeil who she thought at one time was the only man she knew that came close to Ross but still she was not that bothered about him. I think you do a disservice to how Hugh managed to 'move' Demelza and treat her/woo her in ways that Ross had never done. Therefore your comparison that the relationships are not like for like in terms of the duration to me is not a persuasive point and I think it give a poor 'pass' to one person to argue their deceit is less deceitful because of this and that variable when in fact deceit is deceit.†

From that fateful morning when Demelza agreed to see Hugh before he went away to join his ship, she initiated the betrayal of the man she purported to love. She had deceived Ross before but they were for what she thought were noble reasons. This time time her deceit was wholly selfish. Her resistance to Hugh's insistence that he sends her secret love letters/poems was feeble. If she really didn't want Hugh to send them why didn't she show them to Ross when they arrived and laugh them off with him? We know why.†

Your use of words give away your biases (as mine probably do). For instance that Demelza 'initiated' the betrayal when she joined Hugh that fateful morning. But she did not initiate it. Hugh asked "cant we go today" or words to that effect. The text states that prior to that Demelza did try to give the impression that Ross was not too far away or might not be away all day. WG writes that she gave some excuses about not going but they did not hold up against Hugh's objections.†

If her resistance was feeble then it was because she was torn and conflicted. One could say that it is a credit to her that she tried to resist against this quite persistant man rather than just being up for an affair without any guilt. Compare that to Ross' outright flirting with Elizabeth that night Demelza waited up for him. What's more decietful? So I agree when you question "if she really did not want" those letters. Part of her did, another part knew it was wrong. She was wrestling with this inner conflict. She would not show them to Ross with all this inner conflict and knowing that he would ensure that they could not be friends anymore. Indeed WG did note that Demelza was hopeful that after their sex Hugh would ease off a bit and they could remain friends.† Ross similarly did not tell Demelza that Elizabeth admitted she loved him. Surely if he did his own freedom to continue his contact with Elizabeth including his weekly 'business' meetings with her after Francis dies would have be less easy for him to do nonchalantly.†

I think Ross showed some insight when he spoke to Dwight about the state of his marriage and in saying that he essentially thought Demelza was like a flower blown in the wind. He was right that Hugh put immense pressure on her and like a innocent she buckled under this. We already know that Rose and Demelza had other unrecorded conversations where she spoke about her vulnerabilities with Hugh to Ross. So I think it a stretch to label her wholly deceitful.

That started her on a journey of lies, half truths and mis-information designed to divert Ross from the true meaning of her affair with Hugh. She might have been confused about her real feelings but she had already gone way beyond mere 'friendship' when Ross asked her those questions about their relationship. That was why he was so shocked and angry when Demelza reacted as she did when she saw Hugh on his deathbed.

Demelza herself acknowledged how low she had sunk, ironically at the end of her midnight musings trying to justify her adultery. She realised that she had thrown away trust and loyalty and they were 'gone forever.'

Of the criticism that Demelza never told Ross about sleeping with Hugh, Ross never asked and I don't know if she would have lied to him if he did ask outright. Also I got the sense that she was close to a confession when she repeated to Ross twice that "I have failed you" or words to that effect. To me that seemed 2/3rd of the way to a confession and Ross could have taken the baton and asked her what exactly did go on with her and Hugh. He chose not to and I feel that he partly did not want to have this confirmation and this framed their management of this issue thereafter and gave Demelza a subconcious permission not to make this confession.†

You're clearly critical of Demelza in (as you believe) attempting justify her adultery but I get the sense that you are dismissive of Ross' attitude to his own including that his only regret was the hurt it caused Demelza. She too regrets the hurt hers caused him. I don't agree that Demelza's reflection on her adultery criticised so harshly but Ross' lack of regret (save for the hurt it caused D) is not criticised in the same way?††

I actually think that Dark Mare did a good job in referencing some of the parallels in both Ross and Demelza's infidelity and behaviours around this issue.



-- Edited by Moorland Rambler on Wednesday 6th of June 2018 11:49:21 AM



-- Edited by Moorland Rambler on Wednesday 6th of June 2018 11:50:35 AM


†Thanks for your reply I thought I would just comment in bold.



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You're welcome



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Dark Mare wrote:


†Pollie, thanks for the kind words, and I echo your reply to Moorland Ranger. (One little quibble, though, Ross bought the share of Wheal Grace from Elizabeth. He sold his stake in Wheal Leisure to get the money.)


†Ah! Thank you for that.†



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Pollie wrote:

Dark Mare, thank you so much for your analysis. I read it with a cup of tea. Some very interesting and thought provoking points raised and also in reply by Moorland Rambler.

I would like to address this notion that Demelza was the more deceptive of the two o at least thats he was particular deceitful against Ross.

I think some of the points of deception are quite hard.†

Whilst she did end up receiving Hugh's letters she did tell Hugh not to send her letters and indeed there was some attempt by her to discourage Hugh from her even after their beach escapade.

I know that it would be horrible for Ross to have found out she was receiving and keeping letters from Hugh but at the same time whilst agreeing with anger, upset and a feeling of betraying is justified in this by the wronged partner, I have some empathy for a woman or a man wanting to have them as a keep sake. Not as a confirmation of a still burning love for the author but simply to gape in awe that one could be the inspiration for such words and declarations. I think WG tells of Demelza feeling that way about Hugh's writings.†

I think Demelza was still honest when she said she did not know how she felt about Hugh. Years later in her inner monologues we learn that he was glad to be free of the pressure of divided loyalties. WG does not declare which way she would have gone if Hugh had survived. So it seems that apart from feeling very moved by him we are not told if he would have been able to win her heart of if she wold have wanted this.

Moorland Rambler you also criticise Demelza for not blatantly answering back to Ross that Yes Hugh was still in love with her but instead answering vaguely that he did not know. But what about the party when Elizabeth told Ross she loved him? That night Demelza asked him what had Elizabeth been saying to him and he fobbed her off and held on to that admission by Elizabeth thereafter.†

He told too told Demelza he did not Love Elizabeth (albeit under slight duress when Demelza asked him whilst in labour pains with Julia) and what about the night at Trenwith when he is annoyed Demelza waited up for him whie he was flirting with Elizabeth downstairs and feeling her electricity but reporting to Demelza that he was just helping tidy up.†

What about Ross' failure to tell Demelza that he has secretly sold Francis' £600 share in the mine back to Elizabeth despite their own financial hardship at the time?

Again Ross did not tell Demelza of meeting Elizabeth at Agatha's grave until he felt vunerability from her thing with Hugh. One can question his decision to lead Elizabeth to believe he still loved her and had chosen to stay with his wife to avoid the drama of breaking up homes but Ross intended and actual retelling of this meeting was not completely honest there either. He left all that out.

Ultimately these scenarios that we have both referred to on both Ross' and Demelza's side are around uncomfortable and complex relationship issues. I don't think either of them should be judged too harshly for them or be considered wholly deceptive for trying to side step these awkward questions and scenarios. However if you find Demelza wholly deceitful then you must also find Ross to be.


†Pollie, thanks for the kind words, and I echo your reply to Moorland Ranger. (One little quibble, though, Ross bought the share of Wheal Grace from Elizabeth. He sold his stake in Wheal Leisure to get the money.)



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Moorland Rambler wrote:

Pollie - I agree that Ross did have his deceitful moments but we will have to agree to differ about the levels of deceit.

Did Ross do anything to match the deceitfulness of Demelza sleeping with a lover and keeping it quiet for the rest of her life?

I don't think you can compare the long standing, deep rooted complex relationship that Ross had with Elizabeth with the fleeting, shallow, affair that Demelza had with Hugh. Elizabeth had been an important part of Ross' life for almost twenty years and Demelza was aware of that when she married him. Demelza was in Hugh's presence for not much more than twenty hours during the eighteen months of their acquaintance.

From that fateful morning when Demelza agreed to see Hugh before he went away to join his ship, she initiated the betrayal of the man she purported to love. She had deceived Ross before but they were for what she thought were noble reasons. This time time her deceit was wholly selfish. Her resistance to Hugh's insistence that he sends her secret love letters/poems was feeble. If she really didn't want Hugh to send them why didn't she show them to Ross when they arrived and laugh them off with him? We know why.†

That started her on a journey of lies, half truths and mis-information designed to divert Ross from the true meaning of her affair with Hugh. She might have been confused about her real feelings but she had already gone way beyond mere 'friendship' when Ross asked her those questions about their relationship. That was why he was so shocked and angry when Demelza reacted as she did when she saw Hugh on his deathbed.

Demelza herself acknowledged how low she had sunk, ironically at the end of her midnight musings trying to justify her adultery. She realised that she had thrown away trust and loyalty and they were 'gone forever.'


I know you were speaking to Pollie, but I couldn't let this pass. Yes, he did two deceitful things that were worse than concealing a one-night stand forever because each imperiled his family's security. 1.) He borrowed £1,000 at 40 percent and kept quiet about it for a year and finally mentioned it a week before the first loan payment (£400) was due. 2.) He sold his shares in Wheal Leisure -- the only income-producing asset they had -- and gave the money to Elizabeth, concealing this repayment of "a debt of honor" until after Trencrom's payments ended. Each time, Demelza was not informed until he was facing debtors' prison. True, it doesn't involve fidelity, but dishonesty about money can be even more devastating.†



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Moorland Rambler wrote:

Dark Mare - I don't think it's unfair of me to suggest that Demelza should seize an opportunity to reassure Ross of her love and devotion to him and her regret for having hurt him so much. Anyone with an ounce of empathy and understanding would have realised that was her chance. She could have come closer to him but, despite her philosophical musings, they remained in the emotional wilderness. She had a responsibility to comfort him but didn't take it on despite it being an opportunity to make up for her irresponsible behaviour in London.


Perhaps if Ross hadn't been in existential-crisis mode, Demelza would have spoken of their relationship. I have always thought that behind a desire to heal the rift between the families, there was a secret fear, and it was what really drove her to go to Trenwith to help when the household was stricken with putrid throat. That secret fear was if Elizabeth should die, Ross would never recover from it. If Demelza didn't lose him literally (He'd once given her to believe that he had nearly killed himself after Elizabeth married Francis), she would lose him figuratively and spend the rest of her life loving a hollow man whose heart lay buried with the love of his life.

Now she actually faced that thing she had feared so long ago. She focused on what he was saying, not what he likely was feeling, because she was afraid he was losing perspective, the thing that had kept him going the last time. She was telling him one loss, even an unthinkable one, does not mean all is lost.†



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Pollie - I agree that Ross did have his deceitful moments but we will have to agree to differ about the levels of deceit.

Did Ross do anything to match the deceitfulness of Demelza sleeping with a lover and keeping it quiet for the rest of her life?

I don't think you can compare the long standing, deep rooted complex relationship that Ross had with Elizabeth with the fleeting, shallow, affair that Demelza had with Hugh. Elizabeth had been an important part of Ross' life for almost twenty years and Demelza was aware of that when she married him. Demelza was in Hugh's presence for not much more than twenty hours during the eighteen months of their acquaintance.

From that fateful morning when Demelza agreed to see Hugh before he went away to join his ship, she initiated the betrayal of the man she purported to love. She had deceived Ross before but they were for what she thought were noble reasons. This time time her deceit was wholly selfish. Her resistance to Hugh's insistence that he sends her secret love letters/poems was feeble. If she really didn't want Hugh to send them why didn't she show them to Ross when they arrived and laugh them off with him? We know why.†

That started her on a journey of lies, half truths and mis-information designed to divert Ross from the true meaning of her affair with Hugh. She might have been confused about her real feelings but she had already gone way beyond mere 'friendship' when Ross asked her those questions about their relationship. That was why he was so shocked and angry when Demelza reacted as she did when she saw Hugh on his deathbed.

Demelza herself acknowledged how low she had sunk, ironically at the end of her midnight musings trying to justify her adultery. She realised that she had thrown away trust and loyalty and they were 'gone forever.'



-- Edited by Moorland Rambler on Wednesday 6th of June 2018 11:49:21 AM



-- Edited by Moorland Rambler on Wednesday 6th of June 2018 11:50:35 AM

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Dark Mare, thank you so much for your analysis. I read it with a cup of tea. Some very interesting and thought provoking points raised and also in reply by Moorland Rambler.

I would like to address this notion that Demelza was the more deceptive of the two o at least thats he was particular deceitful against Ross.

I think some of the points of deception are quite hard.†

Whilst she did end up receiving Hugh's letters she did tell Hugh not to send her letters and indeed there was some attempt by her to discourage Hugh from her even after their beach escapade.

I know that it would be horrible for Ross to have found out she was receiving and keeping letters from Hugh but at the same time whilst agreeing with anger, upset and a feeling of betraying is justified in this by the wronged partner, I have some empathy for a woman or a man wanting to have them as a keep sake. Not as a confirmation of a still burning love for the author but simply to gape in awe that one could be the inspiration for such words and declarations. I think WG tells of Demelza feeling that way about Hugh's writings.†

I think Demelza was still honest when she said she did not know how she felt about Hugh. Years later in her inner monologues we learn that he was glad to be free of the pressure of divided loyalties. WG does not declare which way she would have gone if Hugh had survived. So it seems that apart from feeling very moved by him we are not told if he would have been able to win her heart of if she wold have wanted this.

Moorland Rambler you also criticise Demelza for not blatantly answering back to Ross that Yes Hugh was still in love with her but instead answering vaguely that he did not know. But what about the party when Elizabeth told Ross she loved him? That night Demelza asked him what had Elizabeth been saying to him and he fobbed her off and held on to that admission by Elizabeth thereafter.†

He told too told Demelza he did not Love Elizabeth (albeit under slight duress when Demelza asked him whilst in labour pains with Julia) and what about the night at Trenwith when he is annoyed Demelza waited up for him whie he was flirting with Elizabeth downstairs and feeling her electricity but reporting to Demelza that he was just helping tidy up.†

What about Ross' failure to tell Demelza that he has secretly sold Francis' £600 share in the mine back to Elizabeth despite their own financial hardship at the time?

Again Ross did not tell Demelza of meeting Elizabeth at Agatha's grave until he felt vunerability from her thing with Hugh. One can question his decision to lead Elizabeth to believe he still loved her and had chosen to stay with his wife to avoid the drama of breaking up homes but Ross intended and actual retelling of this meeting was not completely honest there either. He left all that out.

Ultimately these scenarios that we have both referred to on both Ross' and Demelza's side are around uncomfortable and complex relationship issues. I don't think either of them should be judged too harshly for them or be considered wholly deceptive for trying to side step these awkward questions and scenarios. However if you find Demelza wholly deceitful then you must also find Ross to be.



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Stella Poldark wrote:
Moorland Rambler wrote:

I have been a serious critic of series 3 for the reasons you outline - that the characters of Ross and Demelza are so badly skewed by the scripts and story lines which, in places go so far from the books that it is no longer enjoyable to watch.†

Recently I attended the series 4 preview where I had a sense that people's views about series 3 had not gone unnoticed. Apparently Mammoth do look at Poldark FB pages and possibly on Goodreads too and they will have been left in no doubt of the strength of feeling.

The first episode, which was shown, looked promising, although snippets from the filming are not as promising. I have set up a new thread in preparation for Poldark airing some time in June. My guess is it will be the 10th.


†BIB- What makes you say that please....?



-- Edited by Pollie on Tuesday 5th of June 2018 10:23:02 PM

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Dark Mare - Your well argued and interesting defence of Demelza's adultery seems to have omitted the consideration of one vital element, which I believe is the main cause of the couple's emotionally tepid existence for many years after her affair with Hugh. I also think it is the reason why she didn't apologise and why she didn't admit to her adulterous behaviour. It also probably contributed to the tainted later lives of two of her children.

That vital element is the level of deceit that Demelza employed in order to carry out her affair with Hugh. Her cleverness was that she employed half truths which always put Ross off his guard. She was seemingly up front with Ross about Hugh's attraction, but at important moments she either concealed the truth or lied to Ross brazenly. This treachery was far in excess of anything done by Ross and what is more, it continued after Hugh's death.

To comprehend the sheer enormity of Demelza's deceitfulness, here is a list of some of her deceptions.

1. She agrees to receive clandestine love letters/poems (When does Ross do this?)

2. She hides the poems where her husband will never find them.

3. She is cool and distant during the time that Hugh is away at sea, but pretending everything is fine.

4. She tells Ross she couldn't 'refuse' when Hugh asked to go and see the seals. (He hadn't yet told her he was going blind so in fact there was no reason and it was highly improper of her to go out alone with him.)

5. When Ross asks her if Hugh still loves her (This is three days after her adultery) she says 'I don't know.' And she is only 'grieved for him, as you'd naturally expect.'

6. When Ross can't go to Tregothnan and says 'I suspect it is you that Armitage really wants to see again,' she says 'I don't know,' and pretends that she doesn't want to go.

7. When he asks her about her feelings for Hugh she says, 'I don't know myself and that is the honest truth' (just a few weeks after rolling about on the beach with him) yet then goes on to say that Caroline will prevent her from straying with him!

8. Her inability to remain composed when confronted with Hugh on his deathbed is the final exposure of her deceit to Ross, no wonder he is angry.

9. Finding the poem when it slips out of her dress is another exposure of the deceit that has been practised for over fifteen months and still it continues in Tregothnan when Hugh is dying.

10. After Hugh's death she still won't tell Ross how she feels about Hugh, she cries instead. She knows that crying is a sure fire way to soften Ross and divert his attention.

11. When Ross comes back from London she tells him 'It's over' but she is still getting out her lover's poems regularly, thus continuing to deceive him and possibly herself.

Most ilicit affairs have to employ similar levels of deceit but I never expected it of Demelza. Her reasons for not apologising and continuing to deceive Ross about having sex with Hugh were probably more than just about losing her material gains. Maybe she was just thoroughly ashamed of the deceit she had employed but couldn't own it. She had a habit of pushing unpalatable things under the carpet. Nevertheless she should have apologised and Ross would have forgiven her.

By not apologising and not being honest, a man was killed and Demelza was estranged from her husband for many years. Her children did not escape without immunity. Is it mere coincidence that the two children, Jeremy and Clowance, having been exposed to such emotional turmoil in their formative years, should make such errors of judgement which would make a misery of much of their lives? And what about the unusually long gap between the birth of Clowance and that of Bella? Just coincidence? No wonder she looked back on it in later life as that 'dire event.'



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Dark Mare wrote:
Moorland Rambler wrote:

Demelza had an opportunity to heal the rift at the end of TAT when she saw that Ross 'had reached some ultimate darkness of the soul, that he struggled in deep waters, and that perhaps only she could stretch out a hand.' After hearing from him how much he needed her she could have told him simply how much she needed him and how much she regretted hurting him in the past. Instead she starts some general philosophy of life and existence, being grateful for being together now in this moment and forgetting about the past. Ross needed a more personal reaction from Demelza but didn't get one. No wonder his anguish continued for some years after that, even though Demelza didn't realise it.


I'm sorry I didn't see this earlier. I think you are being unfair here. Demelza was having an experience that had to be unnerving. Her tower of strength just told her he's afraid of the future. She derives her own courage from him. And worse, he seemed to be pushing her into the grave alongside Elizabeth.

Would what she had to say have been more palatable if she had prefaced it by telling him that long ago, she resigned herself to the fact that there might come a day that he did not come home because of his fondness for risking his neck, and the only way she was able to come to terms with that was to tell herself we can't count on anything but right now? Or prefaced it by telling him what he was experiencing was his spirit acknowledging its own mortality, and now that it has, it is best not to dwell on it?

The only thing that hints to me that he was looking for anything like a pledge of devotion and an apology for past transgressions is that snide comment about London, but unless there was a conversation we don't know about, Demelza doesn't know what Caroline said to him about how Adderley and Armitage were wrapped up together in his mind. All she knows is Adderley attached himself to her like a tick, and she didn't know how to get rid of him without being rude, and being rude to a man who kills people in duels as a hobby was not an option. She feels responsible for his death and Ross' injury and has made that clear. What more is she supposed to do?†



-- Edited by Dark Mare on Tuesday 5th of June 2018 06:22:46 AM


Dark Mare - I don't think it's unfair of me to suggest that Demelza should seize an opportunity to reassure Ross of her love and devotion to him and her regret for having hurt him so much. Anyone with an ounce of empathy and understanding would have realised that was her chance. She could have come closer to him but, despite her philosophical musings, they remained in the emotional wilderness. She had a responsibility to comfort him but didn't take it on despite it being an opportunity to make up for her irresponsible behaviour in London.



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Moorland Rambler wrote:

Demelza had an opportunity to heal the rift at the end of TAT when she saw that Ross 'had reached some ultimate darkness of the soul, that he struggled in deep waters, and that perhaps only she could stretch out a hand.' After hearing from him how much he needed her she could have told him simply how much she needed him and how much she regretted hurting him in the past. Instead she starts some general philosophy of life and existence, being grateful for being together now in this moment and forgetting about the past. Ross needed a more personal reaction from Demelza but didn't get one. No wonder his anguish continued for some years after that, even though Demelza didn't realise it.


I'm sorry I didn't see this earlier. I think you are being unfair here. Demelza was having an experience that had to be unnerving. Her tower of strength just told her he's afraid of the future. She derives her own courage from him. And worse, he seemed to be pushing her into the grave alongside Elizabeth.

Would what she had to say have been more palatable if she had prefaced it by telling him that long ago, she resigned herself to the fact that there might come a day that he did not come home because of his fondness for risking his neck, and the only way she was able to come to terms with that was to tell herself we can't count on anything but right now? Or prefaced it by telling him what he was experiencing was his spirit acknowledging its own mortality, and now that it has, it is best not to dwell on it?

The only thing that hints to me that he was looking for anything like a pledge of devotion and an apology for past transgressions is that snide comment about London, but unless there was a conversation we don't know about, Demelza doesn't know what Caroline said to him about how Adderley and Armitage were wrapped up together in his mind. All she knows is Adderley attached himself to her like a tick, and she didn't know how to get rid of him without being rude, and being rude to a man who kills people in duels as a hobby was not an option. She feels responsible for his death and Ross' injury and has made that clear. What more is she supposed to do?†



-- Edited by Dark Mare on Tuesday 5th of June 2018 06:22:46 AM

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I know the topic has shifted a bit, but I'd like to shift it back to share this. I spent a lot of time thinking about the criticism of Demelza and why it didn't bother me as much as it bothered others. Then it hit me: WG was reversing the roles. Anyway, that idea led me to come up with this:
My biggest problem with the Armitage affair is WG stacked the deck against Demelza in order to make her and Ross each walk a mile in the other's shoes. Those shoes don't fit, but they can't be changed if the goal is to be accomplished so the characters must. However, the role/personality swaps are incomplete, making each behave in ways that are out of character. (Ross actually noticing that Demelza is attracted to Hugh and being almost too understanding about it as he discusses it with her? Demelza, who believes her own bare skin is unattractive in daylight, having sex on a beach at midday?) That would be fine if they stayed out of character the whole time, but they keep stepping back into character and then out again. It was enough to give this reader whiplash. At one point I found myself wondering whether Ross actually wanted Demelza to end up with Armitage, and if so, did he mean just once -- to ease his conscience regarding May 9th by evening the score so to speak †-- or forever -- freeing him to do right by Elizabeth and Valentine, which would give him a wife who was better suited to his new position in society and Demelza a man who found her otherness not only appealing but inspiring?†
May 9th and the day with the seals are set up as mirror images -- in some cases actually literally, as in what's left is right and what's right is left -- in so many ways, down to the amount of time that passed between the first instance in which the would-be interloper made her/his interest known and the actual act of infidelity (two and a half years). Here a few others:

An ungrateful interloper (Or an interloping ingrate?)
Elizabeth still has her "joy," son Geoffrey Charles, only because Demelza nursed the boy through a near-fatal case of putrid throat. The selfless act cost Demelza dearly. She caught the boy's illness and brought it home with her, causing the death of baby Julia and nearly her own. Devastated by the loss and near-lost, Ross inwardly blamed Demelza as he outwardly blamed the Trenwith Poldarks. Elizabeth engineers a rapprochement -- the second Christmas Eve at Trenwith -- and uses it to signal to Demelza that she still has her eye on Ross by wearing the dress she'd worn to Julia's christening and getting the same reaction she got the first time he saw her in that dress.

Hugh was able to escape a French prison only because Ross broke Dwight out of the same camp, and he was transported home to England by the boat Ross and his friends had stolen to use in Dwight's rescue. He is eager to befriend the man who saved him and becomes even more eager to befriend his rescuer's wife once he meets her.

A grateful Poldark
Elizabeth was grateful to Ross for all his help with the running of Trenwith and the attention he paid to Geoffrey Charles -- and maybe grateful to the gods that she still had the allure to keep herself front and center in Ross' mind if not his heart.
Demelza took seriously Ross' assertion that Dwight's rescuers owed Hugh as much as he owed them. Without his navigational skills, their stolen boat would not have reached England in time to save Dwight's life and might have been captured by the French navy, which would have meant death sentences for them all. Having already once come close to losing her husband to the executioner, Demelza could not help but feel grateful -- and then flattered by Hugh's attention.†
Being an attractive man's idea of the ideal woman
Elizabeth (Ross')
Demelza (Hugh's) -- Hugh gave Demelza the opportunity to walk a mile in Elizabeth's shoes.†
This passage from "Jeremy Poldark" (page 38):
Admiration such as he brought was rare enough in the life she led. She knew†
it was her due, and the knowledge made it all the harder to be without.†
was written about Elizabeth and the admirer was George, but wouldn't it seem equally at home in "The Four Swans" with the "she" being Demelza and the "he" Hugh? With Ross, she was the everyday dishes and Elizabeth was the good dishes. With Hugh, she got to be the good dishes, and she really liked the change. Until, that is, she realized that the good dishes are only comfortable resting in their box on a high shelf. How nerve wracking it is to be brought down and used when the whole time you are worrying †whether the pickled beets are going to leave a permanent stain or the clink of two plates will cause chips. She enjoyed the idea of being a muse, but she is too practical to be too impressed by it all.†
The initiator in each tryst had recently suffered major setbacks and received terrible news, and each women had previously said things that led Ross to believe she could be open to such an encounter.
Ross lost two miners in a massive collapse at Wheal Grace and lacked the £250 needed to repair and reopen the mine and had lost the desire to keep working the "cursed" mine. He received Elizabeth's letter telling him she had accepted a marriage proposal from George. At Caroline Penvenon's disengagement party, Elizabeth had told Ross that she'd lied to him about her feelings for Francis and for him in a talk they had had about six months after the wedding. Initially, Ross was appalled by what she said, but it planted a seed in his mind that took root. He threw that conversation back at her May 9th and would use it again when they met in the cemetery to justify his actions of May 9th. (Shouldn't there be a statute of limitations on conversations?)†
Hugh was discharged from the navy for medical reasons. He had received a diagnosis of imminent blindness and death within months. After a party at Tregothnan, Demelza told Ross she wished she could be two people, one his devoted wife and the other a woman who could spend one day with Hugh. She described a platonic encounter, but Ross said he doubted Hugh would be satisfied with that and he thought she might not be either. She disagreed. But is it possible that Ross planted the seed for what she ultimately did in this exchange, which followed Demelza's talk of her wish to be two people for a day:†
"It is not a unique occurrence."†
"Whats not?"†
"What you feel. How you feel. It occurs in life. Especially among those who have loved early and have loved long."
"Why among those?"
"Because others have supped†at different tables first. And some others do not consider that loyalty and love must always go together. And then"†
"But I do not want to be disloyal! I do not want to love elsewhere!..."?
In each instance the woman resisted and the man refused to take no for an answer.†Ross seemed to believe he was owed something, but Hugh knew what he wanted he had no right to ask for and told Demelza so. Yet he still pressed her repeatedly and eventually she gave in and couldn't even explain to herself why she did.†
In Elizabeth's case, what preceded the actual act could be described as the prelude to a rape. WG ended the scene with Ross picking Elizabeth up and carrying her to her bed so we don't know whether she subsequently stopped resisting or not. I don't think I can trust what WG said about the incident decades after he wrote "Warleggan" because he wrote a spousal rape in "Marnie," which came out in 1961, eight years after "Warleggan" came out. Between the release of "Warleggan" and the production of the first "Poldark" television series, two significant social changes occurred -- the sexual revolution and the rise of the women's movement -- and attitudes changed with them. Suggesting that hero Ross Poldark raped his first love would not play well on a television series whose target audience was women so of course WG said the sex had been consensual. But why hadn't he made that perfectly clear? All it would have taken is two or three lines of dialogue. By choosing to leave it to the reader's imagination, he had to know he was taking a risk that everyone but him would assume Elizabeth had been raped. In "The Four Swans," Elizabeth implies that she considers what happened to have been a rape, and later in the same conversation, Ross tells her she has no reason to have a guilty conscience because all the guilt is his. When he is thinking through what he'd like to tell Demelza about that encounter, he admits he took Elizabeth against her will, which sounds like the definition of rape to me, but then he adds " though in the end I do not believe it was†so†much against her will.", which is still saying it was against her will.†
The wronged spouse had been dreading a betrayal but had taken no action to prevent it.
Ross knew Hugh Armitage was taken with Demelza and his attention was not completely unwelcome. He and Demelza had discussed it. He also knew she had become slightly aloof. He chalked that up to Armitage's influence, but he never checked to see whether he was right. Had he done so, he would have learned: 1.) his meeting with Elizabeth in the churchyard had not gone unobserved, 2.) the observer (Jud) had reported what he'd seen to Demelza, and 3.) Demelza thought the cemetery encounter was a scheduled tryst, not a chance encounter. (Remember, when Ross told her that Christmas Eve that Elizabeth meant nothing to him anymore, she said, "Yes, at present. But then again sometime, perhaps next month, perhaps next year ..." She would always be wary, and she had given him clear warning of it that night.) Had he told her about the encounter right away, facing the fallout he feared like an adult, it would have set her straight. She would not have been fearing he had one foot out the door, which made her more vulnerable to Hugh's attentions. Earlier in the acquaintance, Ross had been willing to listen to Demelza's feelings. He had talked about it with her then in such a sympathetic (empathetic?) way. He seemed able to discuss the subject in a way that would not have seemed accusatory so she might have opened up to him again. She might have told him that Armitage with his magnolia saplings and poems was enabling her to feel what it must have been like to be Elizabeth being wooed and won by the young Ross. To be a woman a man wanted to impress and would work hard to win. She had had no such experience with Ross. Their relationship had been†initiated by her, and she believed he never would have thought to marry her if she hadn't. She knew he wasn't in love with her when they married; she was just available, a pleasing bedmate, a tireless worker and a good cook. By the time Armitage became a concern, Ross knew not only that Demelza was the keystone of his life but also that Elizabeth never had held and never could hold such a vital position because by comparison, she was so limited in what she had to offer, but he still couldn't bring himself to show Demelza that -- or maybe he didn't know how. Such an architectural necessity requires more than jewelry bribes, short-lived promises and pretty words that may or may not be truly felt to recognize her own significance -- or to realize that the arch (Ross) is fully aware that without her, he would fall to pieces.
Demelza had had Elizabeth's letter -- and a good idea what it said -- for six hours before Ross got home that night in May. (The letter arrived in the mail about 3 p.m., and Ross wasn't expected home until 9 p.m.) She knew Ross would take the news poorly and probably race off to Trenwith immediately to have it out with Elizabeth, and whatever happened would not be good for him, Elizabeth or her. She did try to stop him in the barn, but instead of elaborating on what she meant when she said,†"I dont want you to (stop the marriage) in the only ways you can,"†she spoke in sputtering fragments that communicated nothing and then she let him pass. I'd like to think that had Ross heard her enumerated the most obvious "only ways" he could prevent the wedding -- kill George or kill Elizabeth -- it would have shocked him sufficiently to get him to stop and think about what he was about to do. There were simple things Demelza could have done earlier in the day or even in the moments before he returned to the barn that would have prevented his trip to Trenwith that night, such as:
1. Put†the letter in her pocket and "forget all about it" until morning. Give it to Ross then.†
2. Have Prudie return the letter to Elizabeth with a note that says Ross is away and won't †return until quite late so if immediate help is needed, Elizabeth will have to look elsewhere. If not, give the letter back to Prudie, and Demelza will see Ross gets it in the morning.†
3. Take the letter to Trenwith herself and tell Elizabeth that Ross is away until late but she is free if immediate help is needed. When Elizabeth tells her the letter contains news, not a request for help, Demelza can ask whether that news involves her marrying George. She then can tell Elizabeth that Ross deserves to be told that kind of news in person so they will expect her for dinner at Nampara the next day. Then she can say, "So we don't need this anymore, right?," and toss the letter into the fireplace.
4. Instead of hiding herself in the barn while Ross is in the house reading Elizabeth's letter, Demelza could hide Darkie. When Ross returns to the barn, she can tell him Darkie spooked at a bat who flew too near her and bolted and then hand him a lantern and point toward the beach. While he searches, she can move the mare back where she belongs, settle her for the night and then go find Ross. (I call this "the Lucy Ricardo option." If you are familiar with the classic American sitcom "I Love Lucy," you know what I mean.)†
There was even one thing she could have done after he knew about the engagement: insist on accompanying him to Trenwith. While Ross was in the house, she could have climbed on Darkie, and when he returned, she could have told him she was going to Trenwith with him. Either he could ride behind her or he could walk. As long as she controlled the horse, she controlled the situation. If he acted as if he was going to try to pull her off the horse, she just had to start trotting off, calling over her shoulder, "I'll wait for you up ahead. The walk will do you good."†
In each instance the wronged spouse did nothing to prevent what she/he feared was going to happen. Was it supposed to be a test? In fairness to Ross, he didn't know when or even if Demelza had been unfaithful to him.†
Each misbehaving spouse felt no personal remorse for his/her misdeed.†Ross makes it clear in his Christmas Eve explanation that he would have no regrets if May 9th had happened in a vacuum. Only with the chance to compare what he felt making love to Elizabeth with what he felt making love to Demelza was he able to figure out he was with the right woman. Demelza was recalling the day with the seals when she thought, "Perhaps her giving herself to him would in the end be a good thing, clearing his mind of his desire, enabling him to come to terms with himself, and to forget." These words summarize Ross' takeaway from May 9th, but before her visit to the seals, Demelza never believed that he and Elizabeth could ever be over. As she told him that Christmas Eve after he said Elizabeth means nothing to him anymore:†"Yes, at present. But then again sometime, perhaps next month, perhaps next year ..." That lack of faith in his ability to know his own mind was like a tiny thorn imbedded in the bottom of her foot. Most of the time she knew how to walk without feeling it, but when she was so preoccupied with something that her unconscious mind wasn't reminding her of its presence, she would step down hard on it, and excruciating pain would shoot through her, stopping her in her tracks. The cemetery encounter was important because it seemed to prove her right about them, and that had to make her feel like a fool for still being with him. Yet, after she had strayed once, she was finished, and she didn't even know for certain why she had done it.†
... Then had it cured her? But cured her of what? A compulsive sensuous impulse to lie with another man for once in her life? A perverse desire to be unfaithful to the man she loved? A wish to give happiness, if it was in her power, to†someone sorely threatened? A sudden moral lapse, lying in the warm sand with the salt water drying on her body?
The odd and slightly disconcerting thing was that she was not quite sure that she had anything to be cured of. She felt no less in love with Ross than before perhaps, perversely, a little more so. She felt no different or very little different towards Hugh Armitage. She was taken with him, warmed by his love and returning some of†it.†The experience, the physical experience, if one could separate it even in ones thoughts from the heart-stopping tension and sweet excitement of the day, had not in essence varied from what she had known before. She did not feel that she was becoming in any real way a light woman. She did not see it as a happening that was likely to recur. It was just a trifle disconcerting that she did not feel very much changed in any way as a result of it.
Is Ross' explanation of his May 9th lapse that much different from her ponderings about the day on the beach? What made all the difference was the fact that Demelza knew what he had done and when he had done it. She had spent a night in misery while it was happening. And she admits to herself as she is thinking about her lapse, if Ross ever finds out what she has done, everything will change. She can have no regret only because he does not know anything has happened.†
Each wronged spouse discovered that infidelity in spirit causes its own kind of pain, but neither felt remorse for causing the other to experience that pain.†Demelza knew how much she had suffered during the two and a half years between the second Christmas at Trenwith and May 9th, but that†knowledge did not stop her from enjoying Hugh's attentions or cause her to worry that Ross' feelings might be hurt when she did so in his presence. Ross gave her hints that he was not happy, but she did not heed them. Had she not been so certain -- and so wrong -- about the cemetery visit being a tryst and not chance encounter and that it meant he and Elizabeth were involved again, would she have behaved differently? I'd like to think so, but I don't know. The kind of attention she got from Hugh was novel and appealing.†
Ross, once he discovered Hugh's poem, was deeply hurt and angry. He didn't need to know whether she had slept with Hugh. Her infidelity in spirit was enough. He even resented Hugh for dying because it meant he couldn't win Demelza away from him. Even more than on May 9th, he is reducing a woman he loves to a bone to be fought over by dogs. Of course he has to remind himself where he found Demelza and how†he†turned her into a "sham lady." Never has he realized that without that "sham lady" with her low expectations from life, her generosity of spirit, her work ethic, her resilience and her indomitable spirit, his paltry inheritance could never have been turned into a self-sufficient farm, a comfortable home and a prosperous mine. When he turned her life around, he enabled her to return the favor in spades. In the midst of his pity party does it once occur to him that he is now feeling what Demelza has felt for most of their marriage? How often have his thoughts, his emotions, his heart been deeply engaged with another woman? Often enough that Demelza has been able to recognize that one of his facial expressions appears only when he is thinking about Elizabeth.†
For me, Ross' internal monologues on the day of the parliamentary election are a departure from his character that goes too far. He has never been immune to self-pity, but he previously tempered it by also being self-critical. His resentment of Hugh for being dead shows a level of pettiness that is breath-taking and sounds more like George than Ross. Always in the earlier books, Ross would end up talking himself out of his resentment but not here. He cannot recognize that the insecurity he has experienced since he found the poem, a period of about a week, has been endured by Demelza for months and even years during their marriage.†How often and for how long have his thoughts, his emotions, his heart been deeply engaged with Elizabeth? What about that devotion he promised to give up in his marriage vows but never did? And what about the dark-haired little boy at Trenwith? A poem that might or might not be a confession vs. a child who might be his --? Self-critical Ross would have reminded himself of all of that and of all the good the "sham lady" has brought into his life.†



-- Edited by Dark Mare on Monday 4th of June 2018 01:33:32 PM



-- Edited by Dark Mare on Monday 4th of June 2018 01:48:50 PM

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Pollie wrote:

Even though I am a Demelza fan I cant challenge this suggestion that she was self absorbed and dismissive of the impact of her infidelity on Ross.†

When I think why this was I think it is a mixture of Ross not really communicating the impact on him to her, her self denial or compartmentalising her infidelity as something she did as someone else, not wanting to lose him and also I do feel that there is a element in their relationship where she sees him in father like or master, servant way. I think there is even a passage somewhere that references this. Maybe she doesnt recognise him as a man who would be deeply affected† and it doesnt help that he did not show this. She clearly was remorseful in a way, when she repeatedly said to him " I've let you down". These were opportunities for Ross to open up and talk about the impact but instead he brushes it off and goes in to 'nevermind, protective mode'.†

†I guess my only defence of Demelza would be that she probably did not really understand the impact on Ross because he did not communicate this.†

†I also don't quite think Ross is free from criticism. I personally do not think he recognised the impact of his infidelity on Demelza. His apology in 'Warleggan'was not as it should have been for me. Yes he told her she was sorry as she did not deserve that but I never got a sense that he really recognised how much it hurt her and I note that he does not think back on it in a comparative way when thinking of her later infidelity with Hugh. Maybe I am being unfair....


†Pollie, I am so glad you wrote the underline portion above. I have been noodling around with a theory about why Demelza seems so heartless toward Ross in her involvement with Hugh -- WG created essentially mirror images with May 9th and the day on the beach -- and the last section of it deals with your final paragraph. Check it out above.



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Moorland Rambler wrote:
Little Henry wrote:

Had an afterthought about the "camps" I mentioned that maybe the tv series is setting off the same kind of discussion that we are having about Ross and Demelza and perhaps I shouldn't be so bothered.† I'm sure most of you on this site are not "choosing" one or the other.


†If the TV series has created rival 'camps' it only shows how Ross and Demelza are being misrepresented, especially in series 3. That series distorted the characters of Ross and Demelza so much, glorifying one and savaging the other, that, for them, I had to dismiss it as irrelevant. I only hope there is a closer resemblance to the characters we know and love in series 4.

Even though I have made some negative comments about Demelza I too love her, possibly as much as Ross. Here is an explanation.

I am intrigued and fascinated by both Ross and Demelza (and many of the other characters.) I had a strong leaning towards Demelza as my favourite until I came to read 'The Four Swans.' In the previous five books, despite her faults and impetuous ways I admired her intelligent optimism, strength of character and that way she upheld her true values in difficult situations. In my mind she had that heroic virtuous determination that reminded me of Jane Eyre. But then came WG's bombshell. In TFS her strong character and true values were attacked and she succumbed weakly, which I felt was hard to believe. Following that, the fact that she never apologised to Ross and took years to acknowledge her own self betrayal left me so disappointed. My underlying feeling has always been that Demelza was better than that. But I had to accept that WG's 'romantic man'sperception of an ideal woman' †had ventured down a different path than I had expected.†

The best writers excite your emotions and extend your imagination so that an involvement in the events and characters becomes so vivid and personal. That is why so many of us can visualise scenes that are not in the books and extend our enjoyment. So for me, imagining a scene where Demelza redeems herself can be both enjoyable in a creative sense as well as emotionally therapeutic. For a short time I can escape from the 'reality' of the book but then I am drawn back by the excellence of WG's writing.


†Moorland Rambler

I have been a serious critic of series 3 for the reasons you outline - that the characters of Ross and Demelza are so badly skewed by the scripts and story lines which, in places go so far from the books that it is no longer enjoyable to watch.†

Recently I attended the series 4 preview where I had a sense that people's views about series 3 had not gone unnoticed. Apparently Mammoth do look at Poldark FB pages and possibly on Goodreads too and they will have been left in no doubt of the strength of feeling.

The first episode, which was shown, looked promising, although snippets from the filming are not as promising. I have set up a new thread in preparation for Poldark airing some time in June. My guess is it will be the 10th.



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Little Henry wrote:

Had an afterthought about the "camps" I mentioned that maybe the tv series is setting off the same kind of discussion that we are having about Ross and Demelza and perhaps I shouldn't be so bothered.† I'm sure most of you on this site are not "choosing" one or the other.


†If the TV series has created rival 'camps' it only shows how Ross and Demelza are being misrepresented, especially in series 3. That series distorted the characters of Ross and Demelza so much, glorifying one and savaging the other, that, for them, I had to dismiss it as irrelevant. I only hope there is a closer resemblance to the characters we know and love in series 4.

Even though I have made some negative comments about Demelza I too love her, possibly as much as Ross. Here is an explanation.

I am intrigued and fascinated by both Ross and Demelza (and many of the other characters.) I had a strong leaning towards Demelza as my favourite until I came to read 'The Four Swans.' In the previous five books, despite her faults and impetuous ways I admired her intelligent optimism, strength of character and that way she upheld her true values in difficult situations. In my mind she had that heroic virtuous determination that reminded me of Jane Eyre. But then came WG's bombshell. In TFS her strong character and true values were attacked and she succumbed weakly, which I felt was hard to believe. Following that, the fact that she never apologised to Ross and took years to acknowledge her own self betrayal left me so disappointed. My underlying feeling has always been that Demelza was better than that. But I had to accept that WG's 'romantic man'sperception of an ideal woman' †had ventured down a different path than I had expected.†

The best writers excite your emotions and extend your imagination so that an involvement in the events and characters becomes so vivid and personal. That is why so many of us can visualise scenes that are not in the books and extend our enjoyment. So for me, imagining a scene where Demelza redeems herself can be both enjoyable in a creative sense as well as emotionally therapeutic. For a short time I can escape from the 'reality' of the book but then I am drawn back by the excellence of WG's writing.



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Stella wrote:

You really have hit the nail on the head here.†clap.gif††I would add only that when he drops his bombshells Winston often leaves us unknowing and with only our own imaginations to work out something that we can make sense of. I, too, love Ross more.

_____________________________________________________________

Thanks Stella!



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Hollyhock wrote:

Little Henry:

I think most of us love them both so much, and they seem so much larger than life, that when WG reveals their all too human frailties we suffer along with them and want to find meaning in WG's world. Sometimes the meaning just isn't there, and it isn't always the characters' fault. Like any engrossing writer I think WG spoon feeds us, leads us blindly along, and then drops his unexpected bombshells, manipulating our feelings mercilessly. No wonder he loved this saga so much.† (Ok, in the spirit of full disclosure I'm not choosing one or the other but I admit I love Ross more.†nod.gif†)


†Hollyhock

You really have hit the nail on the head here.†clap.gif††I would add only that when he drops his bombshells Winston often leaves us unknowing and with only our own imaginations to work out something that we can make sense of. I, too, love Ross more.



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Little Henry:

I think most of us love them both so much, and they seem so much larger than life, that when WG reveals their all too human frailties we suffer along with them and want to find meaning in WG's world. Sometimes the meaning just isn't there, and it isn't always the characters' fault. Like any engrossing writer I think WG spoon feeds us, leads us blindly along, and then drops his unexpected bombshells, manipulating our feelings mercilessly. No wonder he loved this saga so much.† (Ok, in the spirit of full disclosure I'm not choosing one or the other but I admit I love Ross more.†nod.gif†)



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Had an afterthought about the "camps" I mentioned that maybe the tv series is setting off the same kind of discussion that we are having about Ross and Demelza and perhaps I shouldn't be so bothered.† I'm sure most of you on this site are not "choosing" one or the other.



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I hate how the tv series has Ross and Demelza in different "camps" and I for one love them both as a couple and separately no matter who didn't say enough.† They both succumbed to a forbidden passion in the heat of the moment and they both enjoyed the experience and therefore had no remorse.† In the moment there was no thought of the other.† However I don't think either of them wanted to hurt the other and in the end that was their only regret.† As in other situations, the deeper the feelings the less they seem able to talk about it.† Too much talk would have backfired as they were so honest.† Ironically it's their day-to-day conversations and expressions that are so endearing and why they are such a loved couple.† Demelza's character was to be happy and as such could put this behind her much more easily than the brooding Ross.† They do talk at the end of TFS at Ross's insistence but it's a modern day idea that you have to bring everything out into the open.† At the end of TAT I'm just glad that Demelza stretched out a hand and I think what she said indicated that they must move on. To bring up the past would be hurtful all over again and the subject at the end was Elizabeth's death and death itself.† Hope this is coherent - all of a sudden had so many thoughts.† I wonder if any other books are so thoroughly discussed.



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Moorland Rambler wrote:

Demelza had an opportunity to heal the rift at the end of TAT when she saw that Ross 'had reached some ultimate darkness of the soul, that he struggled in deep waters, and that perhaps only she could stretch out a hand.' After hearing from him how much he needed her she could have told him simply how much she needed him and how much she regretted hurting him in the past. Instead she starts some general philosophy of life and existence, being grateful for being together now in this moment and forgetting about the past. Ross needed a more personal reaction from Demelza but didn't get one. No wonder his anguish continued for some years after that, even though Demelza didn't realise it.


†Ross has a depth to his character that I think Demelza lacks, perhaps because of the dreadful early years of her life. Ross can put aside his own problems at times and focus on others and this is a quality that perhaps comes partly from his background and partly from his age. After Ross had worked through his feelings about Elizabeth and the 9th May he was able to focus on Demelza's needs. The conversation at the end of Warleggan demonstrates Ross' ability to own his mistakes and to repair his marriage. I cannot remember any time where Demelza demonstrates an ability to understand Ross in the way he does her.†



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Demelza had an opportunity to heal the rift at the end of TAT when she saw that Ross 'had reached some ultimate darkness of the soul, that he struggled in deep waters, and that perhaps only she could stretch out a hand.' After hearing from him how much he needed her she could have told him simply how much she needed him and how much she regretted hurting him in the past. Instead she starts some general philosophy of life and existence, being grateful for being together now in this moment and forgetting about the past. Ross needed a more personal reaction from Demelza but didn't get one. No wonder his anguish continued for some years after that, even though Demelza didn't realise it.



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Even though I am a Demelza fan I cant challenge this suggestion that she was self absorbed and dismissive of the impact of her infidelity on Ross.†

When I think why this was I think it is a mixture of Ross not really communicating the impact on him to her, her self denial or compartmentalising her infidelity as something she did as someone else, not wanting to lose him and also I do feel that there is a element in their relationship where she sees him in father like or master, servant way. I think there is even a passage somewhere that references this. Maybe she doesnt recognise him as a man who would be deeply affected† and it doesnt help that he did not show this. She clearly was remorseful in a way, when she repeatedly said to him " I've let you down". These were opportunities for Ross to open up and talk about the impact but instead he brushes it off and goes in to 'nevermind, protective mode'.†

I guess my only defence of Demelza would be that she probably did not really understand the impact on Ross because he did not communicate this.†

I also don't quite think Ross is free from criticism. I personally do not think he recognised the impact of his infidelity on Demelza. His apology in 'Warleggan'was not as it should have been for me. Yes he told her she was sorry as she did not deserve that but I never got a sense that he really recognised how much it hurt her and I note that he does not think back on it in a comparative way when thinking of her later infidelity with Hugh. Maybe I am being unfair....



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Hollyhock wrote:

I was happy that Rosina Hoblyn finally got the opportunity to blossom when Sam married her. I felt her shock and pain when Drake jilted her on the eve of her wedding, but she faced the situation admirably and refused to be humiliated. She was a remarkable woman and I would like to have known a bit more about how she felt when Sam started courting her. Did she think, oh here we go again, another disaster in the making. I also wonder if Rowella ran off from Arthur Solway and started her own brothel.†

Next, I too would have liked a bit more disclosure at the end of the TFS and the TAT; both endings seem abrupt. I kept waiting until the very last sentence of TAT for Demelza to express the type of sincere remorse that Ross had in Warleggan.

Ross must have felt a terrible sense of dťjŗ vu when he confronted Demelza about Armitage. Her attitude was quite reminiscent of Elizabeth's self-absorbed and dismissive response to Ross after she betrayed him for Francis. Both women seemed to think† that Ross should submissively accept and understand their betrayal, were surprised and indignant when he didn't, and neither wanted to discuss or even acknowledge the hurt she caused him.

Demelza's self-absorption is apparent at the end of TFS when she proclaims that her unrepentant, copious weeping is for Hugh, herself, and the world. Ross didn't get even an honorable mention; he had to plead with her, "set some tears aside for me"... "for I believe I need them." He comforted her because he couldn't bear to see her desolation, but he must have felt more forlorn than ever. So, going into TAT, it was clear that his feelings were still raw. Demelza missed an opportunity to show some true empathy, the way Ross did at the end of TAT. Even though he was shocked and distressed by Elizabeth's brutal death, he took time from his grief to affirm his love and commitment to Demelza. He explains that he's afraid of losing her, "I don't mean to another man - though that was bad enough. I mean just of losing you physically, as a person, as a companion, as a human presence being beside me and with me all my life."† (I kept hoping Demelza would say he'd never lost her.)

In terms of character growth, Ross shows a level of sensitivity, honesty, and consideration that Demelza never exhibits.


†Hollyhock

You are right about Demelza's self-absorption and inability to have any idea of how her behaviour has affected Ross. I like your final sentence as a spot on description of how far Ross has developed and overcome many of his weaknesses. I have some hope that this will be portrayed in the soon to be aired series 4 of Poldark.



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I was happy that Rosina Hoblyn finally got the opportunity to blossom when Sam married her. I felt her shock and pain when Drake jilted her on the eve of her wedding, but she faced the situation admirably and refused to be humiliated. She was a remarkable woman and I would like to have known a bit more about how she felt when Sam started courting her. Did she think, oh here we go again, another disaster in the making. I also wonder if Rowella ran off from Arthur Solway and started her own brothel.†

Next, I too would have liked a bit more disclosure at the end of the TFS and the TAT; both endings seem abrupt. I kept waiting until the very last sentence of TAT for Demelza to express the type of sincere remorse that Ross had in Warleggan.

Ross must have felt a terrible sense of dťjŗ vu when he confronted Demelza about Armitage. Her attitude was quite reminiscent of Elizabeth's self-absorbed and dismissive response to Ross after she betrayed him for Francis. Both women seemed to think† that Ross should submissively accept and understand their betrayal, were surprised and indignant when he didn't, and neither wanted to discuss or even acknowledge the hurt she caused him.

Demelza's self-absorption is apparent at the end of TFS when she proclaims that her unrepentant, copious weeping is for Hugh, herself, and the world. Ross didn't get even an honorable mention; he had to plead with her, "set some tears aside for me"... "for I believe I need them." He comforted her because he couldn't bear to see her desolation, but he must have felt more forlorn than ever. So, going into TAT, it was clear that his feelings were still raw. Demelza missed an opportunity to show some true empathy, the way Ross did at the end of TAT. Even though he was shocked and distressed by Elizabeth's brutal death, he took time from his grief to affirm his love and commitment to Demelza. He explains that he's afraid of losing her, "I don't mean to another man - though that was bad enough. I mean just of losing you physically, as a person, as a companion, as a human presence being beside me and with me all my life."† (I kept hoping Demelza would say he'd never lost her.)

In terms of character growth, Ross shows a level of sensitivity, honesty, and consideration that Demelza never exhibits.



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Pollie wrote:

I agree that Demelza does not show any remorse for the impact of her dalliance on Ross. How much did she know of the impact on him? He just went off to London and stayed there for ages. They were bad at communicating, whereas after he went to Elizabeth on 9th May, there was no escape for Ross to see the impact on Demelza. They lived with it for 7 months.†

Demelza kind of did not acknowledge her affair openly an blatantly because in a way I think she looked on it as being 'someone else' for a day and psychologically she could not bring herself to speak of it as if it was a real event that she as Demelza Poldark carried out as an act of unfaithfulness against her husband.†


†Pollie

I think Demelza was also very worried about losing Ross if he found out for sure what she had done. It's been said before but worth repeating I think that Demelza betrayed Ross' trust before and it took her a long time to get it back. By being unfaithful with Armitage she betrayed him again.



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I agree that Demelza does not show any remorse for the impact of her dalliance on Ross. How much did she know of the impact on him? He just went off to London and stayed there for ages. They were bad at communicating, whereas after he went to Elizabeth on 9th May, there was no escape for Ross to see the impact on Demelza. They lived with it for 7 months.†

Demelza kind of did not acknowledge her affair openly an blatantly because in a way I think she looked on it as being 'someone else' for a day and psychologically she could not bring herself to speak of it as if it was a real event that she as Demelza Poldark carried out as an act of unfaithfulness against her husband.†



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Pollie wrote:

Wow. Yes of course. How could I forget? I would love to know what happened after Ross read Hugh‚s poem and what was said done around him leaving for parliament. I suspect that Ross never asked her about how far things had gone with Hugh because as he says he depended on her for happiness and maybe part of him didn‚t want confirmation because it was better living without it than to know for sure. I don‚t think he could bear to separate from her permanently or to put himself in a situation where it should be considered because her adultery was confirmed. It seems in London he tested the waters of being with other women and this did not work. What I find interesting is that whilst some readers feel that this thing with Hugh levels the playing field after what Ross did with Elizabeth, he himself (Ross) never in his thoughts thinks of this and how the pain he felt was then also felt by Demelza by his own infidelity and would also have had an ongoing impact on her too.


Ross living for all those years with that uncertainty about what happened with HA, especially after reading the poem, is something I find difficult to accept. Anyone who hopes a relationship will flourish whilst hiding from the truth will soon realise it is a recipe for disaster.

Is there anything in any of the books after 'The Four Swans' when Demelza acknowledges how much she has hurt Ross by her adulterous and unfaithful behaviour with HA? I can't find anything. Apart from finally admitting to Clowance nearly twenty years later that there had been a 'dire event' and one or two embarrassed moments when Ross teases her about it, there is nothing that tells the reader that she really understands the terrible effect it had on Ross. In 'The Angry Tide' she spends all her time defending herself and her actions and looking for sympathy from Caroline.†

Ross often muses about how Elizabeth had come between himself and Demelza but without really blaming himself. However, Ross' relationship with Elizabeth was a far longer, more deep rooted relationship than the fleeting, flimsy affair that Demelza had with HA.

A scene at the end of TAT where both Ross and Demelza show true remorse for the way they had hurt each other, possibly with a fuller explanation of their motives for both events would have helped to make a true reconciliation seem more plausible. However, WG leaves that for us to imagine, doesn't he!



-- Edited by Moorland Rambler on Wednesday 9th of May 2018 09:46:59 AM

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Stella Poldark wrote:

Dark Mare wrote

Stella,

Little Henry has to be right. We've been told that WG didn't reread his previous books to refresh his memory before starting a new one, but this is something different. The idea that WG by coincidence produced essentially a word-for-word repetition of the opening of "Ross Poldark" in "The Angry Tide" is not as implausible as, say, the "the infinite monkey theorem" (that probability theory that suggests a monkey randomly hitting typewriter keys over an infinite amount of time eventually would produce the complete works of Shakespeare), but it is hard to imagine. Besides, doing anything but replicating what he wrote in the first book really would defeat the purpose of using the same opening.†

Dark Mare

Here's the proof in Part 2 of Chapter 1 of TAT that Winston's repeat was deliberate†

†At the start of part 2 of Chapter 1 of TAT it says "Ross thought: my life seems to run in repetitive patterns. Long years ago - I forget how many - I came back from Bristol in just such a coach, a young man, limping and scarred from the American war, and had just such company..........." Page 6 of Pan Mac edition




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Wow. Yes of course. How could I forget? I would love to know what happened after Ross read Hugh‚s poem and what was said done around him leaving for parliament. I suspect that Ross never asked her about how far things had gone with Hugh because as he says he depended on her for happiness and maybe part of him didn‚t want confirmation because it was better living without it than to know for sure. I don‚t think he could bear to separate from her permanently or to put himself in a situation where it should be considered because her adultery was confirmed. It seems in London he tested the waters of being with other women and this did not work. What I find interesting is that whilst some readers feel that this thing with Hugh levels the playing field after what Ross did with Elizabeth, he himself (Ross) never in his thoughts thinks of this and how the pain he felt was then also felt by Demelza by his own infidelity and would also have had an ongoing impact on her too.

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Date: May 6 10:23 AM, 2018
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Dark Mare wrote

Stella,

Little Henry has to be right. We've been told that WG didn't reread his previous books to refresh his memory before starting a new one, but this is something different. The idea that WG by coincidence produced essentially a word-for-word repetition of the opening of "Ross Poldark" in "The Angry Tide" is not as implausible as, say, the "the infinite monkey theorem" (that probability theory that suggests a monkey randomly hitting typewriter keys over an infinite amount of time eventually would produce the complete works of Shakespeare), but it is hard to imagine. Besides, doing anything but replicating what he wrote in the first book really would defeat the purpose of using the same opening.†

Dark Mare

I agree with what you say. It has to have been deliberate.† I would love to know what the significance is. Could it be that, at the time Winston decided to write The Angry Tide, he thought it would be the last and wanted to link it in this way to the first book? We shall never know.



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Date: May 6 8:56 AM, 2018
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Stella Poldark wrote:

Little Henry†

There are many parts of the Poldark books where there are so many gaps for the reader to fill that it can be very frustrating. I have often wanted to know how Winston Graham would have filled these gaps. For me there are too many things left to our imagination and I, too would like to know more about Demelza's feelings and those of Ross too.

I find your discovery that the beginning of 'The Angry Tide' and that of 'Ross Poldark' interesting and wonder if this was deliberate. There is, I believe, evidence to suggest that Winston Graham never re-read his previous Poldark books before embarking on a new one so this may have been pure chance.


†Stella,

Little Henry has to be right. We've been told that WG didn't reread his previous books to refresh his memory before starting a new one, but this is something different. The idea that WG by coincidence produced essentially a word-for-word repetition of the opening of "Ross Poldark" in "The Angry Tide" is not as implausible as, say, the "the infinite monkey theorem" (that probability theory that suggests a monkey randomly hitting typewriter keys over an infinite amount of time eventually would produce the complete works of Shakespeare), but it is hard to imagine. Besides, doing anything but replicating what he wrote in the first book really would defeat the purpose of using the same opening.†



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Date: May 4 12:45 PM, 2018
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Little Henry wrote:

I have just finished re-reading "The Four Swans" and would have liked to have more said after Ross reads the poem from Demelza's pocket.† Later in the book when Ross goes to Truro he doesn't even tell D that he is going for the election.† Did he even tell D that he had accepted Lord Falmouth's offer to run for Parliament?† I really felt the depth of their feelings in this re-reading, especially Ross'.† The silence between them was profound.† Demelza always cared so much about other people's feelings yet now she seems oblivious to how she is making Ross feel.† I would have liked to know more about her feelings.† Also, what would their leave-taking have been like when Ross went to London.† On now to "The Angry Tide".† I never noticed before that the opening paragraph and part of the 2nd paragraph is absolutely identical to the opening of Chapter 1 of "Ross Poldark".† Emphasizes Ross's musings on the repetitiveness of his life but I wonder how many people noticed it.† Or am I the last to know?


Little Henry - Like you I wanted more to come after Ross finds the poem. I was surprised that he didn't confront Demelza with it. It really confirmed all his suspicions and must have been a dagger to his heart. Instead he stepped back away from her and it sparked the decision for him to become an MP. This is fully clarified many years later when, in 'The Twisted Sword' ( Book 1 Ch 17 I ) he thinks back about the emotional turmoil that Demelza's infidelity caused him.

†............having refused to be made a JP, why had he been willing to be elected an MP? Chiefly because of Demelza's defection, her infatuation with the young sailor-poet Hugh Armitage, her unfaithfulness in thought - and he suspected deed - her straying away from him in sympathy and understanding and compassion and love. God, how it had hurt at the time! It had burned in him like an acid, corroding the linings of his stomach and heart. The effects of it, even after Hugh's death, had gone on for years. Perhaps it had been salutary in a way to discover how much, among all the thousands of women in the world, he depended upon one woman for his happiness - and she something he had picked up casually as a starving brat, barefoot and ragged and with lice in her hair, to work in his house and kitchen. And for so long the other shadow on their lives had been the existence of his first love, Elizabeth, to whom once he had been deeply, it seemed irretrievably, attached. Now she was indeed a shadow, a shade, like Hugh Armitage, long gone, long dead; yet thoughts of them both still brought pain, a dull reminiscent glow among the ashes.

He didn't tell Demelza about the elections because he was mentally (and to a certain extent physically) attempting to escape from her. It seems from his reminiscences that this voluntary estrangement went on for much longer than Demelza had ever imagined. If Ross had taken the braver decision to confront Demelza with the poem, there would have been an opportunity for everything to come out. It may have been painful for both of them but surely much better than the festering doubts that were to be such a blight in the following years.



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Date: May 4 3:43 AM, 2018
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WG must have looked at the first chapter deliberately because it is word for word.† He must have remembered returning to Cornwall in a coach and decided to repeat the exact weather even though the season was a different one. He couldn't have made up by chance "a thin clerkly man with a pinched face and a shiny suit" and then I love how he made the wife fatter instead of thinner to break the continuity.† In "Ross Poldark" there was silence and in "The Angry Tide" he emphasizes with italics that there had been conversation although it was now silent. He may not have re-read the rest of the book but he definitely looked at the beginning of Chapter 1.

Regarding the gaps in the books, it is frustrating at times and in other ways it is nice to make up your own story.† Just makes me more aware of the creativity of good writers and my lack of ability of story telling.† In the end I always have to think the books are perfect as they are.† Silence reigned in Nampara so there wasn't much to say.



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Date: May 3 11:41 PM, 2018
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Little Henry wrote:

I have just finished re-reading "The Four Swans" and would have liked to have more said after Ross reads the poem from Demelza's pocket.† Later in the book when Ross goes to Truro he doesn't even tell D that he is going for the election.† Did he even tell D that he had accepted Lord Falmouth's offer to run for Parliament?† I really felt the depth of their feelings in this re-reading, especially Ross'.† The silence between them was profound.† Demelza always cared so much about other people's feelings yet now she seems oblivious to how she is making Ross feel.† I would have liked to know more about her feelings.† Also, what would their leave-taking have been like when Ross went to London.† On now to "The Angry Tide".† I never noticed before that the opening paragraph and part of the 2nd paragraph is absolutely identical to the opening of Chapter 1 of "Ross Poldark".† Emphasizes Ross's musings on the repetitiveness of his life but I wonder how many people noticed it.† Or am I the last to know?


†Little Henry

There are many parts of the Poldark books where there are so many gaps for the reader to fill that it can be very frustrating. I have often wanted to know how Winston Graham would have filled these gaps. For me there are too many things left to our imagination and I, too would like to know more about Demelza's feelings and those of Ross too.

I find your discovery that the beginning of 'The Angry Tide' and that of 'Ross Poldark' interesting and wonder if this was deliberate. There is, I believe, evidence to suggest that Winston Graham never re-read his previous Poldark books before embarking on a new one so this may have been pure chance.



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