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Post Info TOPIC: Discrepancies throughout the Poldark books


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RE: Discrepancies throughout the Poldark books
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Mrs Gimlett wrote:

Isn't a bayonet just a type of sword on the end of a gun?  If you google 'bayonet' there is an image of an 18th Century bayonet - it looks just like a short sword.



-- Edited by Mrs Gimlett on Tuesday 3rd of January 2017 05:47:36 PM


Except the sword thrust occurred in Pennsylvania and the bayonet cut occurred in New York, where Ross was sent after he was injured in Virginia. I can't imagine that Ross ever set foot in Pennsylvania, given that the most logical route for moving troops between eastern Virginia, where the James River fighting occurred, and New York was by sea. (Indeed, that seems to be the way most British troops were moved during the Revolutionary War.) The Atlantic Ocean doesn't actually touch Pennsylvania; Philadelphia is a port only because the Delaware River connects it to the Atlantic. 

WG supposedly didn't reread the previous books whenever he started a new one. I suspect he just forgot what he had previously written. 



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Examples of a bayonet....smile

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=bayonets+american+revolution&client=firefox-b-ab&biw=1093&bih=475&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjsu-TTz6bRAhWJrRoKHVPsDxcQ_AUIBigB



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One of the inconsistencies that always strikes me is the shifting distance between Nampara and Killewarren. An early example occurs in The Black Moon (p. 124 my edition). When Ross and Demelza accept an invitation to dine with Ralph-Allen Daniell, they decide to break their journey by taking chocolate with Caroline at Killewarren.  

The text states, "they left home before eight on the 28th..." and "reached Killewarren about ten-thirty..."

This suggests a travel time of over two-and-a-half-hours by horseback. In each of the successive books, the distance seems to shrink drastically until it seems that the two houses are separated only by a walking distance of a few miles.  Then, in the Author's Note to Bella, we are informed,  "A mile beyond Sawle Church in an inland direction live the ENYSES, at Killewarren."

Finally, when Caroline invites Lord Edward to stay at Killewarren during Bella's illness, he asks Clowance, "how far is their house from here? She relies, "about four miles." 

Even given the vagaries of Poldarkian geography, it is amazing how the distance shrunk over the years.  

 



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Isn't a bayonet just a type of sword on the end of a gun?  If you google 'bayonet' there is an image of an 18th Century bayonet - it looks just like a short sword.



-- Edited by Mrs Gimlett on Tuesday 3rd of January 2017 05:47:36 PM

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How and where did Ross acquire his distinctive scar?
 
Was it a bayonet cut received in New York? (Page 51, "Ross Poldark"):
 
Ross forced himself to talk of his experiences in America  ... of those hectic first three months under Lord Cornwallis, when almost all the fighting he had seen had taken place; ... the sudden attack by the French while they were crossing the James River (Virginia); ... of a musket ball in the ankle and his being drafted to New York as a result; ... of a bayonet cut in the face during a local skirmish while the articles of the preliminary peace were being signed."
 
Or from a chance sword thrust in Pennsylvania? (Page 318, "Warleggan"):

"I dont know ..." His scar was very noticeable this morning. Often it was as if that chance sword-thrust in Pennsylvania remained with him and had become a symbol of the nonconformity of his nature, the unabiding renegade.
 
 
 


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In "Warleggan," Sir Hugh's birthday party was May 18, 1793, nine days after the night of infamy. One might expect Demelza to still remember that seven months later, when she was confessing her encounter with Capt. McNeil, but she didn't -- or the author and his editors didn't.

 

"... I must tell you, before we go any further, that on my last visit to the Bodrugans I had an adventure though it did not end in quite the same way as yours. I went you will know the sort of mood I went in to that ball. It was but four days after you had gone to Elizabeth. I should dearly have liked to revenge myself on you in the only way I could. And as it came about, the opportunity was there. Malcolm McNeil was there."

 

 



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I always imagined him much older. Creepy.



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I think I read somewhere that it was "the big 5-0."



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Just for interest, I've just read the ball where Demelza intends to revenge herself with MacNeil. The ball/party is to celebrate Sir Hugh's birthday - he states something like he wouldn't normally bother but this one probably needed marking. I would presume it was what we call a "noughtie" birthday.



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Here's a more straightforward one:

In Book 1 of "The Stranger From the Sea," Jeremy, Paul Kellow and Ben Carter find two seemingly dead men on a raft adrift in the sea during one of their "fishing trips" aboard Nampara Girl, the Poldark family's boat. Once they have brought the bodies back to Nampara, they discover one of the men, Stephen Carrington, is still alive. Demelza, with subsequent help from Dr. Enys, sets to work to keep him that way. 
 
However, on Page 444 of "The Loving Cup," when Demelza tries to explain to Ben why she and Ross didn't try to prevent the wedding of Clowance and Stephen Carrington, she says, "Perhaps we should have forbidden her to have any dealings with an unknown man who was washed up on our beach, and who soon proved himself to be unreliable."
 
This has to be an error because Ben was one of the three who had rescued Stephen and he knew what actually had happened -- a young man does not forget rescuing the man who would later become his nemesis -- and Demelza had met the boat that brought the two men to shore. 

 

 
 
 


-- Edited by Dark Mare on Sunday 1st of January 2017 09:44:06 AM

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Stella Poldark wrote:
Mrs Gimlett wrote:
Mrs Gimlett wrote:

At the end of book 2 in Ross P, when Tom Carne arrives at Nampara and asks Demelza to go back to Illugan, he says ...'You're but sixteen yet...' and she replies 'Seventeen last week'.  There are other mentions throughout all the books that Demelza was born sometime in May.  In the family tree which appears in the front of the books, she was born in 1770.  It is also acknowledged that she is ten years Ross' junior.

 


 As you say Stella, we have strayed from the original topic, but Demelza tells her father she was 17 only a week or so before his visit, which was, as we know on 31st May. 

Ultimately it doesn't matter - we know she was very young. 

Clowance does make a reference - something to the effect of 'I believe you were not yet 18 when you married Papa' (from memory), when her own marriage is being discussed.  So I think we can all agree she was 17, but her actual birthday, like Ross', we shall never know. 

Come to think of it, wedding anniversaries are not recognised except in passing either.

 


 So, Mrs G, perhaps we haven't strayed from the topic after all. This is another example of discrepancies throughout the book. :)

Stella



-- Edited by Stella Poldark on Friday 30th of December 2016 08:05:53 PM


 Jim's trial was on the 30th May. That evening when Ross is back at Nampara and there is the issue of the dress, Ross says to Demelza

"No doubt your intentions were good. Get off to bed at once and we will say no more of it." Demelza replies "I'm seventeen. I been seventeen two weeks."

Then we come to the wedding on 24th June  and WG writes "The register shows that the bride gave her age as eighteen, which was an anticipation of fact by about three-quarters of a year."

This would mean her birthday was in March. So there is the discrepancy though WG's wording "by about" suggests to could still be May.

Stella

 

 



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Mrs Gimlett wrote:
Mrs Gimlett wrote:

At the end of book 2 in Ross P, when Tom Carne arrives at Nampara and asks Demelza to go back to Illugan, he says ...'You're but sixteen yet...' and she replies 'Seventeen last week'.  There are other mentions throughout all the books that Demelza was born sometime in May.  In the family tree which appears in the front of the books, she was born in 1770.  It is also acknowledged that she is ten years Ross' junior.

 


 As you say Stella, we have strayed from the original topic, but Demelza tells her father she was 17 only a week or so before his visit, which was, as we know on 31st May. 

Ultimately it doesn't matter - we know she was very young. 

Clowance does make a reference - something to the effect of 'I believe you were not yet 18 when you married Papa' (from memory), when her own marriage is being discussed.  So I think we can all agree she was 17, but her actual birthday, like Ross', we shall never know. 

Come to think of it, wedding anniversaries are not recognised except in passing either.

 


 So, Mrs G, perhaps we haven't strayed from the topic after all. This is another example of discrepancies throughout the book. :)

Stella



-- Edited by Stella Poldark on Friday 30th of December 2016 08:05:53 PM

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Mrs Gimlett wrote:

At the end of book 2 in Ross P, when Tom Carne arrives at Nampara and asks Demelza to go back to Illugan, he says ...'You're but sixteen yet...' and she replies 'Seventeen last week'.  There are other mentions throughout all the books that Demelza was born sometime in May.  In the family tree which appears in the front of the books, she was born in 1770.  It is also acknowledged that she is ten years Ross' junior.

 


 As you say Stella, we have strayed from the original topic, but Demelza tells her father she was 17 only a week or so before his visit, which was, as we know on 31st May. 

Ultimately it doesn't matter - we know she was very young. 

Clowance does make a reference - something to the effect of 'I believe you were not yet 18 when you married Papa' (from memory), when her own marriage is being discussed.  So I think we can all agree she was 17, but her actual birthday, like Ross', we shall never know. 

Come to think of it, wedding anniversaries are not recognised except in passing either.

 



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Although we have digressed from this topic I have now found some evidence of Demelza's approximate birth date. The following quote is from 'Ross poldark' as he and Demelza were on their back to Nampara after Christmas at Trenwith.

"But at this evening hour of Christmas Day, seventeen hundred and eighty-seven, he was not concerned with the future, only with the present. He thought again: if I could only grasp this moment now, hold it tight so that it could not escape. If I could only say Stop! I have all I ever want. I am not hungry or thirsty or lustful or envious. I am not perplexed or weary or ambitious or remorseful. Demelza is nearly eighteen and I am twenty-seven and we have found a companionship few people know. Just now there is no wind and the sun has set and the waves are breaking under the heavy sky and Demelza is walking and skipping at my side. Just ahead, in the immediate future, there is waiting an open door and a warm house, comfortable chairs and quietness and companionship. This is all I ask of God. Let me hold it. Let me hold it!

Also WG tells us that Demelza gave her age as 18 on her wedding day - June 24 1787. He writes that that was an anticipation of the fact by three quarters of a year. So that's nine months. So if we count forward nine months, that's March. So it seems that Demelza's birthday was sometime in March.

Stella

 -- Edited by Stella Poldark on Friday 30th of December 2016 05:14:28 PM



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Mrs Gimlett wrote:

I don't think the 'lower classes' of the time bothered at all about birthdays, Stella.  Even Ross wasn't sure when he was born.  If you recall he asks Verity when he was born and they decide he is about 18 months younger than her.

In the landed gentry, and those of importance I think birthdays were much more relevant.  Caroline knows exactly when she comes into her inheritance, on her 21st birthday, and others who are in line for money, land and property would similarly know their ages, along with their expectations.

It seems present giving and celebrations in general were not a large part of WGs 18th/19th century world, which I believe accurately reflects the age.  Gifts are only mentioned a few times - George lavishing gifts on Geoffrey Charles to buy his approbation; Ross buying presents for the household to celebrate his good fortune after weeks of anxiety. He does mention some Christmas gifts, but I believe regular gift-buying was popularised in Victorian times, along with cards, trees and other commercialisation. Demelza never seems to expect anything in the way of a present. 

The inhabitants of WGs Poldark world just seemed pleased with more simple things - a day off, the chance to have a few beers and relax.  When you think how hard the life of miners was, any chance to down tools for a space would have been a present in itself.


 The link I have now added to my previous post gives an outline of the history of celebrating birthdays. You are right that birthdays or birth dates were important only to the landed gentry for legal matters. It seems the Pagans celebrated birthdays so the Christians felt they could not.

Stella



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I don't think the 'lower classes' of the time bothered at all about birthdays, Stella.  Even Ross wasn't sure when he was born.  If you recall he asks Verity when he was born and they decide he is about 18 months younger than her.

In the landed gentry, and those of importance I think birthdays were much more relevant.  Caroline knows exactly when she comes into her inheritance, on her 21st birthday, and others who are in line for money, land and property would similarly know their ages, along with their expectations.

It seems present giving and celebrations in general were not a large part of WGs 18th/19th century world, which I believe accurately reflects the age.  Gifts are only mentioned a few times - George lavishing gifts on Geoffrey Charles to buy his approbation; Ross buying presents for the household to celebrate his good fortune after weeks of anxiety. He does mention some Christmas gifts, but I believe regular gift-buying was popularised in Victorian times, along with cards, trees and other commercialisation. Demelza never seems to expect anything in the way of a present. 

The inhabitants of WGs Poldark world just seemed pleased with more simple things - a day off, the chance to have a few beers and relax.  When you think how hard the life of miners was, any chance to down tools for a space would have been a present in itself.



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Mrs Gimlett wrote:

At the end of book 2 in Ross P, when Tom Carne arrives at Nampara and asks Demelza to go back to Illugan, he says ...'You're but sixteen yet...' and she replies 'Seventeen last week'.  There are other mentions throughout all the books that Demelza was born sometime in May.  In the family tree which appears in the front of the books, she was born in 1770.  It is also acknowledged that she is ten years Ross' junior.

I think she told Agatha she was 18 because that was the age she gave the parson at the time of their marriage, only a few months before.

Many people didn't know their exact age then.  It wasn't really important in the way the attainment of a particular age is today.  Family bibles and church registers were (for the majority) the only accurate records (and often they were not precise, names were spelt variously and dates sometimes incorrect). 

Remember the reference to the Poldark bible by George, when talking to Agatha, which became his undoing.


 There is no mention that I can recall of anyone's birthday being celebrated in any way, even among gentle folk. I wonder when the celebration of birthdays started to be something everyone did. I will see if I can find out.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/11/history-of-birthdays_n_4227366.html  Forgive my digression with this link. If anyone is interested in the origins of celebrating birthdays this article explains in outline.



-- Edited by Stella Poldark on Friday 30th of December 2016 01:08:09 PM

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At the end of book 2 in Ross P, when Tom Carne arrives at Nampara and asks Demelza to go back to Illugan, he says ...'You're but sixteen yet...' and she replies 'Seventeen last week'.  There are other mentions throughout all the books that Demelza was born sometime in May.  In the family tree which appears in the front of the books, she was born in 1770.  It is also acknowledged that she is ten years Ross' junior.

I think she told Agatha she was 18 because that was the age she gave the parson at the time of their marriage, only a few months before.

Many people didn't know their exact age then.  It wasn't really important in the way the attainment of a particular age is today.  Family bibles and church registers were (for the majority) the only accurate records (and often they were not precise, names were spelt variously and dates sometimes incorrect). 

Remember the reference to the Poldark bible by George, when talking to Agatha, which became his undoing.



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Fijane wrote:

Does anyone remember any mention of Demelza's birthday in any of the books?

I will keep an eye out now, during my re-read.


 In The Stranger from the Sea, which begins in 1810, it mentions that Demelza had just had her fortieth birthday. Therefore it is in 1787. Demelza would have been 17 years old, I could find no other mention of her birthday or age, but I will look again.



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MrsMartin wrote:

ROSS AND DEMELZA WERE MARRIED ON THE TWENTY-FOURTH OF JUNE, 1787. The Revd Mr. Odgers performed the ceremony, which took place very quietly in the presence only of the necessary number of witnesses. The register shows that the bride gave her age as eighteen, which was an anticipation of fact by three-quarters of a year. Ross was twenty-seven

According to the books Demelza was 17 years old and 3 months, so her birthday would be in about February or March. 

Demelza allowed her hand to be taken. Eighteen. She glanced at Ross. 

When she tells Aunt Agatha that she is eighteen it seems that she is fibbing a bit.


 

This is confusing.  I hope someone can clear this matter.



-- Edited by LJones41 on Friday 30th of December 2016 01:04:09 AM

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Does anyone remember any mention of Demelza's birthday in any of the books?

I will keep an eye out now, during my re-read.



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ROSS AND DEMELZA WERE MARRIED ON THE TWENTY-FOURTH OF JUNE, 1787. The Revd Mr. Odgers performed the ceremony, which took place very quietly in the presence only of the necessary number of witnesses. The register shows that the bride gave her age as eighteen, which was an anticipation of fact by three-quarters of a year. Ross was twenty-seven

According to the books Demelza was 17 years old and 3 months, so her birthday would be in about February or March. 

Demelza allowed her hand to be taken. Eighteen. She glanced at Ross. 

When she tells Aunt Agatha that she is eighteen it seems that she is fibbing a bit.



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It's possible that it's not a discrepancy after all.  Demelza arrived at Nampara at age 13 in the spring of 1794.  She was already 18 when she and Ross spent the Christmas holiday at Trenwith in December 1797.  It is possible that Demelza was born sometime during the fall of 1769.



-- Edited by LJones41 on Thursday 29th of December 2016 06:17:09 PM



-- Edited by LJones41 on Thursday 29th of December 2016 06:17:34 PM

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I am not sure about that.  Do not forget, the novel covers 4 years.  When Demelza arrives at Nampara, she is 13.  By the time they marry she gives her age as 18, even though she is only really 17.  Perhaps that is what has confused you.



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Graham seemed incapable of getting Demelza's age  right in the 1945 novel.



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And another.

Sarah Pelham, Caroline's aunt - the one who began with several children and then appeared not to have any - paid a visit one summer to Killewarren.

In Book 12, when Demelza invites her to Nampara for Christmas, she says she has never been very far west, and couldn't start visiting Cornwall at her advanced age.  Perhaps, she was getting forgetful in her dotage!



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How about this one?  Jinny Martin married Jim Carter.  They had two children whilst he was free and one born when Jim went to prison.  Jim died.  Jinny eventually married 'Whitehead' Scoble, who was a childless widower.  However, later in the books, Jeremy has the Scoble boys in to play at Nampara, and there are a couple of other mentions about offspring born to him and Jinny.  Then, when Whitehead goes off the straight and narrow, his drinking and behaviour is put down to his being sensitive about the fact that he couldn't father children! 

We never did find out what happened to Mary (I think), the second of Jim's brood. Only Ben and Katie are ever mentioned later on.  Ben is dark and Katie began life as a true Martin, small, with sandy red hair and freckles, but later morphed into a black haired clumsy girl!



-- Edited by Mrs Gimlett on Friday 11th of November 2016 07:45:14 PM

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Mrs Gimlett,

That was quick. The discrepancy that jumped out at me involved Sarah Pelham, Caroline's beloved aunt. When Ross paid a call on her London home in "Warleggan" to thank her visiting niece for rescuing his family from bankruptcy, debtors' prison and poverty, Sarah was the wife of a wealthy merchant and mother to seven children. By "The Angry Tide," she was a merry widow without a child in sight.



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I cannot find the thread begun some while ago, so I have set it up again.

There are any number of (mainly small) discrepancies occurring throughout the 12 books.  The most glaringly obvious are two I mentioned on another thread the other day.

1  John Trevaunance, that benign gent, living on the North coast,  begins in RP as a childless widower.  By the time George proposes to marry Morwenna off to him, he has morphed into a confirmed bachelor.

2  Betty Devoran, the randy female, starts off as Lord Devoran's niece; later she is often mentioned as being his daughter.

I have always been puzzled by these hiccups in continuity, as WG was meticulous in his research.  In my imagination, I can see him with an enormous sheaf of papers referring to all the characters and updating it as they develop in his mind.  That must be a false image, though, otherwise none of these blips would have happened.

Another change is in Nampara itself.  For those lucky enough to have a first edition of RP, the house has a ramshackle conservatory when Ross arrives back from America.  It also has a cellar.  Neither of these are ever mentioned again, and indeed, WG actually writes that the house had never had a conservatory. In this edition, there is half a chapter, describing Nampara house.

I am sure others can cite many more examples, so I will leave it at that for the time being.



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