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Post Info TOPIC: Thinkers of the day


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Date: Nov 21 9:00 AM, 2018
RE: Thinkers of the day
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I think it's highly likely those letters got destroyed in much the same way as Elizabeth's letter to Ross; kept for years and eventually burned.

Demelza's letters would have been more safe than those of anyone because she ran the house.  If the cupboards and drawers were ever sorted out, she would be doing the sorting.  Ross was not the type to rummage through things with no incentive.  All the same, I am sure the poems were consigned to the flames, possibly after a final reading and a few glasses of port!



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Date: Nov 18 11:52 PM, 2018
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Little Henry wrote:

I'm sure there is no mention of Demelza ever destroying the poems and this bothers me a lot.  When she visits Verity in TAT her thoughts are that "that was gone for ever, and she did not want it back, with its pulling at her heartstrings, the agony of divided loyalty".  She had also told Ross adamantly that the episode was over.  If she did not want it back why would she sometimes take out the poems and read them over?  Wouldn't that bring back the pulling and agony?  Especially at this time when R & D are rebuilding their marriage, it seems incredible.  She put them in a drawer that nobody went into but her, but in a later book she goes into Jeremy's drawer to find a magazine article that he thought no one would find, so it was very risky.  To keep the poems and take the risk that Ross would see them and bring terrible hurt to him and to their love, seems very disloyal and makes me wonder about the depth of D's love for Ross.  I pretend that she burned the poems eventually during the "gap" years.


 Little Henry - Perhaps she did burn them during the gap years and WG forgot to tell us. wink



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Date: Nov 18 11:48 PM, 2018
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I'm sure there is no mention of Demelza ever destroying the poems and this bothers me a lot.  When she visits Verity in TAT her thoughts are that "that was gone for ever, and she did not want it back, with its pulling at her heartstrings, the agony of divided loyalty".  She had also told Ross adamantly that the episode was over.  If she did not want it back why would she sometimes take out the poems and read them over?  Wouldn't that bring back the pulling and agony?  Especially at this time when R & D are rebuilding their marriage, it seems incredible.  She put them in a drawer that nobody went into but her, but in a later book she goes into Jeremy's drawer to find a magazine article that he thought no one would find, so it was very risky.  To keep the poems and take the risk that Ross would see them and bring terrible hurt to him and to their love, seems very disloyal and makes me wonder about the depth of D's love for Ross.  I pretend that she burned the poems eventually during the "gap" years.



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Date: Nov 18 6:10 PM, 2018
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Stella - I don't recall anything about Demelza throwing out HA's poems either. It looks to me like one of the ends left loose by WG, but I'd be interested to know if anyone else had found something.

Going back to the original question in this thread, I also found another poem that gets quoted twice across the books: ''In Time of Plague" by Thomas Nashe. It is first quoted by Ross on Blue Dress Night (Beauty is but a flower which wrinkles will devour), and later on by Nat Pearce on his death bed (I am sick, I must die).



-- Edited by Blackleburr on Sunday 18th of November 2018 06:11:22 PM

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Date: Nov 16 1:18 PM, 2018
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Blackleburr wrote:

Yes, Demelza was moved by the expression of love in the inscription - but wasn't that still before the Seal Cove day? And didn't she keep all Hugh Armitage's poems anyway?

As for Ross's actions being affected by the poetry he remembers - the quotes do seem to run through his head both before he does things and after. I remember how, on the morning after the Blue Dress Night, he suddenly remembered the "expense of spirit in a waste of shame" sonnet that he hadn't thought of last night, and observed that "the poets had played him false". So it seems Ross was not against the idea of his actions being influenced by poetry - but also realised how risky that can be.

About THAT POEM - I'm sure it must have been just as you say at first. But given how often Ross thought of Demelza as "the miner's brat" when he got angry with her, I wonder - has it never, not even once, crossed his mind to think back about Hugh as "that poor poet", in a similar vein?


 Blackleburr - I recall that Demelza did keep all HA's poems but did she ever throw them away? I cannot recall any mention of them after 'The Angry Tide'. Perhaps others may know if they were mentioned in any of the books after Hugh died.



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Date: Nov 16 8:54 AM, 2018
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Yes, Demelza was moved by the expression of love in the inscription - but wasn't that still before the Seal Cove day? And didn't she keep all Hugh Armitage's poems anyway?

As for Ross's actions being affected by the poetry he remembers - the quotes do seem to run through his head both before he does things and after. I remember how, on the morning after the Blue Dress Night, he suddenly remembered the "expense of spirit in a waste of shame" sonnet that he hadn't thought of last night, and observed that "the poets had played him false". So it seems Ross was not against the idea of his actions being influenced by poetry - but also realised how risky that can be.

About THAT POEM - I'm sure it must have been just as you say at first. But given how often Ross thought of Demelza as "the miner's brat" when he got angry with her, I wonder - has it never, not even once, crossed his mind to think back about Hugh as "that poor poet", in a similar vein?



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Date: Nov 15 10:01 AM, 2018
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Later on, Blackleburr, I seem to recall Demelza asking Francis Bassett for a translation of what was inscribed on Grace Poldark's grave and finding it more profound and touching than all Hugh Armitage's poetry.

Another lovely piece is after Cuby and Jeremy have spent their first night together, he wishes he knew the Song of Solomon - more love poetry - and she replying they will read it together.  That must have been quite a night!

Poetry for Ross is more often something which runs through his head, rather than being spoken aloud.  I wonder if, having contemplated a few lines of Shakespeare, it altered his thoughts/actions/deeds in any way? 

I find quotations drifting about my brain quite often, but it has no effect on my behaviour!

Wouldn't Ross be too shocked angry and wretched to wonder about the quality of what he was reading, when he stumbled across THAT POEM?



-- Edited by Mrs Gimlett on Thursday 15th of November 2018 10:03:18 AM

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Date: Nov 14 12:40 AM, 2018
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Mrs Gimlett wrote:

I am interested in how Ross in his mind quotes poetry.  When he has rebuked Demelza on Blue Dress Night and is in his bedroom, the words of Shakespeare go through his brain.

'Then come kiss me sweet and twenty,

Youth's a stuff will not endure.'

Twelfth Night, 'O Mistress Mine'.

Strangely, Jeremy also quotes it to Cuby.

Ross also remembers snippets from sonnets and other of Shakespeare's  plays - not bad for someone who had only a few year's schooling! That must have been what he read in the evenings.  Later on he quotes to Demelza from a book of poetry he has been reading whilst staying with George Canning.


I noticed Jeremy repeating Ross's quotation from Shakespeare too! In addition to that, when Jeremy fell in love with Cuby he also sang Demelza's "I d'pluck a fair rose for my love" song aboard the "Nampara Girl". He must have inherited the sentimental genes from both of his parents

Ross seemed to have a good taste in poetry, and him quoting it from memory is so sweet. Isn't it ironic, then, that the one time his wife was tempted to stray away from him - she was lured by the other man's poems? Speaking of which - I'd really like to know what Ross's opinion was about the literary merits of that poem of Hugh's he had read...



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Date: Oct 7 10:19 AM, 2018
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Caroline of course, Blackleburr!

 

I am interested in how Ross in his mind quotes poetry.  When he has rebuked Demelza on Blue Dress Night and is in his bedroom, the words of Shakespeare go through his brain.

'Then come kiss me sweet and twenty,

Youth's a stuff will not endure.'

Twelfth Night, 'O Mistress Mine'.

Strangely, Jeremy also quotes it to Cuby.

Ross also remembers snippets from sonnets and other of Shakespeare's  plays - not bad for someone who had only a few year's schooling! That must have been what he read in the evenings.  Later on he quotes to Demelza from a book of poetry he has been reading whilst staying with George Canning.

 

The description of the doctors attending George III is spot on - it gives some background for those who have been lucky enough to see Alan Bennett's play, 'The Madness of George III'.

When Dwight is offered a place on the trip Humphrey Davey is making to Paris, he has to decline.  In his place goes a young man, Dwight tells Ross, one Michael Faraday, of whom Davey thinks highly!  That is slotted in almost as an aside.

Goldsworthy Gurney, who has been mentioned below, was responsible for modernising lighthouse lamps.  He introduced oxygen into the flames to make a much brighter light.  Later, he was asked to provide lighting in the Houses of Parliament.  No wonder Jeremy had a job keeping up with his ideas...he had a grasshopper mind.

It's the inter-twining of fact and fiction which brings everything to life and puts the reader's imagination firmly in the period. If you have read the first editions, you will know the layout of Nampara, which is described in FE Ross Poldark. I know that house like the back of my hand. Why it was edited out is a mystery.

 

 



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Date: Oct 7 1:39 AM, 2018
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Found another interesting one: there is a character in one of the later books who reports having read "Pride and Prejudice". Guess who it was?

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Date: Jul 24 7:49 PM, 2018
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Yes, good one about Swift - very clever to notice that.  I have just read in "The Stranger From the Sea" where Dwight introduces Humphrey Davy to Ross.  Dwight and Davy had corresponded for ten years and met three or four times which I must say makes Dwight Enys seem like a real person!  I looked up H. Davy on the internet and he certainly was as WG says "the brightest light in the scientific world of the day".  I had heard of the Davy Lamp and laughing gas which he had a part in.  And he also wrote poetry.



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Date: Jul 23 12:22 PM, 2018
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I'd forgotten about Swift. Good one.



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Date: Jul 23 12:42 AM, 2018
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Dark Mare wrote:

We have a 19-year-old Caroline Penvenen spouting Malthus' since-disproven thoughts on populations and food supplies. (...) Yet I find no references to Adam Smith or his "Wealth of Nations," (...)


In fairness, though, Malthus's name is never explicitly mentioned, whether by Caroline or the others. And if Wikipedia is to be believed, his Essay on the Principle of Population wasn't published until 1798, which is surely later than the point when Caroline makes her statement to Dwight in the books. But then, it is likely that the idea was in circulation for some time before it made its way into a publication - so I don't really have a problem with Caroline spelling it out a bit early.

My main reason for writing all of the above, however, was to say that perhaps the lack of mention of Adam Smith in the books is similar to Malthus's case - in that the omission is more in name than in thought/influence. Clearly, in many ways Ross's thinking aligns with that of Smith - he believes in labour as an ultimate source of prosperity, as opposed to the mercantilist principle of accumulating gold and silver (which, by the way, seems embodied in the books by George), and in general supports free trade, e.g. by:

(1) being in favour of smuggling rather than high customs duties on imported goods,

(2) being against the Corn Laws which benefitted the exporters of grains,

(3) being against collusion among the major copper smelting companies to keep the price of the ore down.

As for noting other references, I remember the first time I was reading this passage in the pilchards scene: "Sometimes the moonlight seemed to convert the fish into heaps of coins, and to Ross it looked like sixty or eighty darkfaced sub-human pygmies scooping at an inexhaustible bag of silver.", my immediate thought was: Has Ross been reading his "Gulliver's Travels"? How excited I was, then, to find a confirmation in the next book - when during their quarrel at the Assembly Ball Ross tells Demelza: "These people and their stupidity. Look at their fat bellies and gouty noses, and wagging dewlaps and pouchy eyes: overfed and overclothed and overwined and over-painted. I dont understand that you find pleasure in mixing with them. No wonder Swift wrote of em as he did."



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Date: Jul 20 1:54 AM, 2018
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Long time since I read the books but on a more general level off the top of my head Dwight and I think an eminent French Doctor's theories who he was hoping to meet sooner or later. Jeremy and Richard Trevithick with his steam waggon and his high pressure steam engine, plus Harvey's of Hayle. Sam and John Wesley, increasing Welsh mining influences at the time and the Carnmore Copper company. Ross and his interesting meeting with Colquhoun Grant the Duke of Wellington's head of intelligence then WG's excellent description of the battle. The stagecoach robbery which I think was based on a real one at the time. Clowance and her business involvement with the shipping world after Stephen died, the rotten boroughs and so on all of which WG had researched thoroughly making the books so authentic and interesting....

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Trevithick

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Harvey_(ironfounder)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colquhoun_Grant_(British_intelligence_officer)



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Date: Jul 19 11:23 PM, 2018
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One of the things I like about the Poldark books is the way they weave the thoughts and theories of thinkers of the day into this sprawling story. We have a 19-year-old Caroline Penvenen spouting Malthus' since-disproven thoughts on populations and food supplies. We have Ross embracing some if not all of Thomas Paine's "The Rights of Man." (Maybe like Americans of his time, he liked Paine better in his "Common Sense" days.) Yet I find no references to Adam Smith or his "Wealth of Nations," which seems odd considering how often the Poldark books turn to the economic issues of their day and illustrate their effects on one corner of Cornwall and how influential the book, published in 1776, was in its own time and has been in the two centuries since.

Has anyone else found interesting or surprising inclusions or omissions of references to notable books and thinkers of the Poldarks' times? From the field of medicine, perhaps? Some other science? Philosophy? Political thought? Literature? Poetry? 

 

 

 

 



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