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Post Info TOPIC: What if anything annoys you about the books?


Graduate

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Date: Nov 5 10:26 AM, 2018
What if anything annoys you about the books?
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Mrs Gimlett wrote:

I have never had any problem working out the times of the Poldark years.  There are clues all over the books.  References to the type of farm work going on, the flowers in bloom, the leaves, festivals, various seasonal house chores, religious occasions and so on.  There are endless mentions of weather, sea state and often within those is mentioned the season.

 

 


 Mrs Gimlett - you have given me an idea. Somewhere on the site is a list of all the Cornish festivals (if that is the right word) with their dates.  I can then write them down and keep the list in each book for reference. smile



-- Edited by Stella Poldark on Monday 5th of November 2018 10:27:42 AM

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Date: Nov 5 9:28 AM, 2018
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I have never had any problem working out the times of the Poldark years.  There are clues all over the books.  References to the type of farm work going on, the flowers in bloom, the leaves, festivals, various seasonal house chores, religious occasions and so on.  There are endless mentions of weather, sea state and often within those is mentioned the season.

 

Butto is a strange introduction, I agree.  At that time exotic animals were in vogue, as I believe is mentioned by one of the characters.  An animal like that would very likely come into a port like Falmouth and it would have appealed to an eccentric like Valentine.  He did become very fond of it, maybe because it gave him unconditional 'love' which had been so lacking in his life.  His mother had always preferred her first-born, George had never really accepted him and Selina had a more hate than love feeling for him. 

Little Georgie would have eventually replaced Butto, had events turned out differently.  But Valentine liked to shock and with his ape he had an instant shock/horror/curiosity effect.

We did have a list of the animals in the book once, but a thread about each character's choice would be fun.

 



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Initiate

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Date: Nov 5 12:35 AM, 2018
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Good sleuthing Blackleburr.  So that means every month is accounted for in that book.  Not bad really.

Regarding Butto, I'm sure it reflects somewhat WG's interest in portraying the times.  Apparently it was very popular to have exotic pets in England in the 1800's.  Have been reading stories about it online but haven't come across anything particularly in Cornwall.



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Student

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Date: Nov 4 9:21 PM, 2018
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Little Henry wrote:

Stella, I also like to know the time frame for each scene.  I am closely reading The Angry Tide right now so as to follow Season 4 which is on PBS now in Canada.  I wondered what time of year Ross was returning at the very beginning of the book as WG only says it's not October, but another season. 





Henry - the day after Ross returns, he goes swimming and we learn the water was icy although it was mid-May. So that's one more month to add at the front of your list

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Student

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Date: Nov 4 9:14 PM, 2018
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Well, I suppose it made sense to give Valentine an animal as eccentric as he was. Another benefit from the choice of Butto was that while both he and Valentine were seen as "beasts" by most people, they were both rather soft and gentle on the inside.

The idea of an animal-owner thread sounds very interesting. I for one could never understand Caroline's attachment to the pug...

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Date: Nov 4 9:08 PM, 2018
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Stella, I also like to know the time frame for each scene.  I am closely reading The Angry Tide right now so as to follow Season 4 which is on PBS now in Canada.  I wondered what time of year Ross was returning at the very beginning of the book as WG only says it's not October, but another season.  It really brought the sleuth out in me and noticed references to spring lamb being eaten by Ossie and Demelza having tulips in a vase so deducted it was Spring.  From then on I noticed every month (starting with June) was mentioned with an event and sometimes more than once.  This happens to the end of the book.  Thank heavens each book always has the years involved after "A Novel of Cornwall" so you know the time frame but the month of start and finish would also be helpful.  I'm sure I'll start noting the months more in other books now as I know I have often looked back to find out when things are happening.



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Date: Nov 4 8:47 PM, 2018
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Oh yes agree of course about the Butto animal link being therapeutic etc. for Valentine, but to choose such a huge and potentially dangerous animal if it ever escaped when any ordinary animal could have sufficed say from his own horse down to a dog or cat has always struck me as a bit odd. Unless that is WG deliberately chose such a dangerous animal for some reason shades of Lady Harriet and her choice of boarhounds perhaps ?

Can't remember if we've ever had a thread on owners and their choice of animals either such as Caroline and her pug, Demelza and Garrick, Music Thomas and cats....? Or those who disliked them George and toads, Jud and dogs....biggrin



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Student

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Date: Nov 4 8:34 PM, 2018
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Ross Poldark wrote:

The only thing which is not so much annoying as puzzling is I still can't see a reason for Butto....


 biggrin biggrin



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Date: Nov 4 8:16 PM, 2018
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Ross - Isn't the main reason for Butto to show how Valentine is capable of caring and goodness (even if life has treated him so badly that almost the only circumstances where he seemed comfortable exercising those were with an animal)? Also, I think Butto provideed a touching link between Ross and Valentine - because the scene where Ross first rescued Demelza and that where Valentine rescued Butto were so similar to each other.

Stella - I agree that it is not always easy to follow the passage of time in the books. However, I was always under the impression that if I tried hard enough to keep track of them, the dates would all fall into place - so that the problem I had was simply down to my laziness/rushing through the text. I'm interested to see a possibility of being acquitted of those charges now

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Date: Nov 4 7:47 PM, 2018
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The only thing which is not so much annoying as puzzling is I still can't see a reason for Butto....



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Graduate

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Date: Nov 4 2:49 PM, 2018
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I am annoyed by the infrequent information about dates throughout the books. While it is true that there is certain information that enables a guess, such as the clothing Demelza or other ladies are wearing but I like to know what time of year it is and more specifically, the month. This lack of dates leaves me unsure about how much time has passed or is passing as there are, in places, between chapters and books, some large time gaps. This is probably just me but I would like to know if anyone else feels similarly.



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Date: Oct 28 9:24 AM, 2018
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Ah - the wonders of technology! 

I think the illusion of everyone fumbling comes when you become aware of a particular word.  Naturally, as you have proved below, there are many other instances of removing items from pockets without fumbling.  However, I venture to suggest that many of those are pockets in overcoats, which naturally would be more capacious. Rowlocks, for example, would never need to be fumbled for - heavy and sizeable.

I think it must have been quite difficult to remove anything from pockets in breeches, given the tightness of those garments so I suspect it was mainly hands which were parked in them.  In that case I imagine that waistcoat pockets were where most small items would have been put, since they were worn almost constantly. 

Apron pockets would have been the place for women to place bits and bobs.  Very special items would have been tucked into cleavages and inner pockets.

Despite all your alternative references, 'fumbling' still annoys me...

Mrs G

 



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Date: Oct 27 5:48 PM, 2018
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Also, if anyone is curious - I went, with the help of Kindle search function, to see how the "fumbling" fares against other modes of getting stuff out of pockets in the books. I found quite a few examples of alternative expressions - with "taking out" the most common, but also "feeling", "fishing", "digging", "pulling out" and "bringing out". It seems that indeed "fumbling" is reserved for situations when the person is either emotional or distressed.

Altogether, there were about 27 instances of "fumbling" in pockets, bags, purses, etc. across the books, i.e. only slightly above 2 per book. The 24 alternatives I found were as follows:

Demelza
B3 Ch6 (Demelza gives Ross the letter from Elizabeth about Verity's elopement.): She felt in her apron pocket and brought out the letter. Ross broke the seal.

B3 Ch8 (Mark Daniel makes his escape in Ross's boat & asks for the rowlocks.): Ross took them from his pocket, passed them to Mark (...)

Jeremy Poldark
B1 Ch4 (Francis comes home having seen one of the "anonymous" flyers about Ross.): He took a crumpled paper out of his pocket, straightened it, and, avoiding Geoffrey Charles's outstretched fingers, passed it to Elizabeth.

B2 Ch4 (Dwight is treating Caroline's sore throat.): He felt in his pocket and took out the etui that he always had with him.

Warleggan
B2 Ch5 (Ross visits Pascoe after receiving news of his mystery benefactor.): 'This letter . . .' Ross took it from his pocket.

The Black Moon
B1 Ch4 (Geoffrey Charles and Morwenna come across Sam & Drake carrying their beam via Trenwith land.): The girl fished in a pocket of her frock and took out a pair of steel-rimmed spectacles, which she put on to stare at the beam.

The Four Swans
B1 Ch8 (Lord Falmouth communicates the name of his parliamentary candidate to the Truro burgesses.): 'Yes'. Falmouth felt in a pocket. 'Of course they'll want to know his full name. I have it here. Pray convey it to the burgesses first thing in the morning. They'll want it in time for the election.' He handed a sheet of paper to the footman, who passed it to Hick, who picked it up with fumbling fingers.

B1 Ch8 (At the birth of John Conan Whitworth.): 'I must go to her now', said Dr Behenna, pulling a spatulum out of his pocket.

B1 Ch9 (Demelza gets a poem from Hugh Armitage.): Demelza went into their own bedroom and dug into the inside pocket of her skirt. She took out a second letter which had also been delivered.

B2 Ch2 (Osborne Whithworth wonders why Rowella is gone so long in the library.): He took his watch out of the pocket of his fancy waistcoat and looked at it.

The Angry Tide
B1 Ch10 (Beth Daniel gives Sam the letter from Emma.): '"I got a letter, this here letter, for Sam Carne", so I say I'll hold 'n for ee, and this I done and yur tis, thas if I can find 'n in the deeps o'me pocket.' She proceeded to fish out the small medicine jar which contained the brandy, then a length of string, two clothes clips and a stained rag. After this came the letter.

B1 Ch10 (A little later, when Sam has read the letter.): After that he cried more quietly for a while and then took a rag from his pocket and tried to dry his eyes, his nose, his mouth. The water still kept oozing out of his eyes.

B2 Ch12 (Ross shows one of the "anonymous" letters about Pascoe's Bank to Francis Basset.): He took the anonymous letter out of his pocket and handed it over.

The Stranger from the Sea
B2 Ch3 (Jeremy keeps watch on Stephen's prize boat.): Jeremy had a knife but no firearms; it was indeed no more than a jack-knife -- one his father had brought back from America a quarter of a century ago -- but he pulled it from his pocket, unclasped the blade.

The Miller's Dance
B1 Ch6 (Stephen and Paul Kellow talk about the Penzance lifeboat for sale.): Stephen fished in his pocket, took out a crumpled cutting from a newspaper.

B1 Ch7 (Stephen returns the money he borrowed from Clowance.): He got slowly to his feet, took a bag out of the inside pocket of his loose jacket.

B3 Ch9 (Jeremy returns home after the stagecoach robbery and there is a letter from Geoffrey Charles.): 'Oh!' exclaimed Demelza. 'Seeing you, I had almost forgot! Yesterday we received a letter from Geoffrey Charles! It gave us -- well, see for yourself! Do you have it, Ross?' Ross took a sheet of paper from his pocket, the broken red seal attached. He handed it to Jeremy who read (...)

The Loving Cup
B1 Ch2 (Jeremy rescues Selina after her mishap on the horse.):
'But your foot would be more comfortable if I cut the boot away first.' He fished in his pocket and took out his folding knife.

(Later, in the house.): He took the stocking out of his pocket and put it beside the boot. 'I shall be back in three or four minutes.' He turned to go.

B1 Ch7 (Stephen, Paul & Jeremy meet in the cave at Kellow's Ladder; Jeremy has the newspaper report about the stagecoach robbery.): Jeremy took a piece of newspaper out of his pocket, unfolded it and began peering at it.

B3 Ch3 (Demelza recovers after getting drunk on port the previous night.): She was better for her powder and went about the early morning normally enough, though they were guarded towards each other. But just before breakfast she took the piece of silver lead out of her pocket. 'What is this, Ross? This seal? Do you know it?'

The Twisted Sword
B2 Ch4 ( George and Harriet discuss why he's decided to bankrupt Stephen.): George took a handkerchief out of his pocket and blew his nose. 'I think I am developing a cold.'

B2 Ch11 (A messenger comes back to C. Grant, having failed to deliver his message to Wellington.): 'I heard', said Grant. And then: 'Where is the message?' André indicated an inner pocket of his jacket. Ross felt inside and pulled out the letter, on which the seal was broken.

Bella Poldark
B4 (Clowance) Ch7 (Bella cries that her voice has become husky. Christopher consoles her.): He took a handkerchief out of his pocket and gently dabbed her face, drying the tears.

-- Edited by Blackleburr on Saturday 27th of October 2018 08:42:05 PM

-- Edited by Blackleburr on Sunday 28th of October 2018 12:04:25 AM

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Student

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Date: Oct 27 8:27 AM, 2018
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Funny you should say that about a handbag. My thoughts went in the same direction, but then I decided that perhaps pockets were bigger in those days? Stuff had to stay inside them while people were riding horses.
But you're right that it's not just Ross that "fumbles" - and it's not quite realistic for everyone to be endearingly clumsy in the same way

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Date: Oct 27 7:50 AM, 2018
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That doesn't wrankle with me at all, but I would have liked someone, anyone, to have either 'produced', 'taken' or even 'drawn an item' from a pocket.  One can understand the fumbling over the jewellery, because Ross was very emotional and hesitant in those moments.  However, he was normally not a clumsy man and should have been perfectly able to put his hand into a pocket and produce something without what sounds like scrabbling around for it!  Pockets weren't that big - imagine if he had a handbag!!



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Date: Oct 27 2:22 AM, 2018
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I didn't mind the fumbling (found it rather endearing in its clumsiness), but was slightly annoyed at how many characters - mostly those from the lower classes whom we are not supposed to like much - wipe their noses (inelegantly) on their sleeves or on the backs of their hands. I'm sure it was done a lot (still is), but I feel that the phrase is a bit overused in the books as a one-line characterization of the poor & less than admirable folks.

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Date: Oct 26 10:57 AM, 2018
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It's been a while since I 'fumbled' through a full read, but one thing that comes to mind is WG's tendency to tease by withholding information, e.g., Caroline and D's chat after Armitage's demise. (It's like trying to solve a murder mystery without all the clues.) One of the most aggravating instances occurs in Bella, when someone is the happy recipient of a letter that Clowance wrote. I know good writers like to leave something to the reader's imagination, but it was just mean of WG to not share that chat, or the contents of that letter. 

 

 

 



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Graduate

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Date: Oct 26 12:00 AM, 2018
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Mrs Gimlett - What an interesting topic. I shall give it some thought.

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Date: Oct 25 8:22 PM, 2018
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In such an enormous work, if you think of the novels as continuous (I think I once read there are over 3million words) there are inevitably one or two things that must annoy every reader.  I suspect we all have different bits to relate.

One thing I have noticed and ever since I first became aware of it, I wish WG had sometimes used alternative words, is that whenever anyone, mostly men, search for an item in their pockets, they are always described as fumbling.  Ross fumbled in his pocket and produced the ruby brooch for Demelza.  He fumbled again to find the necklace.  He fumbled in this manner all through the books!

Once you have picked out a word like that it gradually becomes slightly irritating I find.  

Can other members fumble in their minds for any other examples?



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