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Post Info TOPIC: In the beginning...


Student

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Date: Nov 28 1:26 AM, 2018
RE: In the beginning...
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Aw, you caught me out again, Hollyhock Just desserts for not looking up my quotes before I post them... The "Demelza sings" line was indeed from the series, not from the book (where the run up to Demelza's singing plays out almost in an opposite way, with Ross trying to save her from the ordeal rather than encouraging her to give it a go).

However, my main intention was just to say that if Ross had some memories of  singing/being urged to sing before family and friends at Trenwith in his youth, then the repetition of that during the Christmas party - now centered around Demelza - could have had a bit of an inside joke quality for him, and perhaps for Francis and Verity too. Fortunately for me, this little "what if" speculation applies regardless of what exactly Ross's line was - phew!

Earlier in this thread I brought up a couple other quotes around Ross's singing from the later books, but missed this one from RP - having found it today, I just thought I'd add it in for completeness. I'm really glad I did, seeing that in such a short time it has already prompted a very good point from Little Henry about happy-go-lucky singing, and a mention of Grace's spinet from Hollyhock that brings this entire discussion to a whole circle



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Student

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Date: Nov 28 12:20 AM, 2018
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Little Henry, I wholeheartedly agree. 

I always thought that Verity was referring to the type of causal, impromptu singing that most young people engage in. There have always been the 'popular' songs that young people sing incessantly.

Of course, the biggest proof for me that Ross sang, is that (as mentioned) his mother owned a spinet. It's likely that she and Ross (perhaps even Joshua and Ross's brother) spent many happy evenings singing. Since Verity was a favorite, she probably spent time at Nampara and joined in as well. When Jud joined Joshua's household, he too was always singing and humming. Those tunes would have stuck in an impressionable young Ross's head, much as they did in Demelza's. She couldn't get Jud's, "There was an old couple and they was poor..." out of her mind. A young Ross would have been just as susceptible, singing whatever Jud and the farm workers bellowed out.

Ross once remarked that when the adults gathered at Trenwith, he and Francis used to settle down somewhere out of the way and listen to whatever was going on. Since Charles liked to entertain, more than likely some singing would have taken place. The children would have taken this in and perhaps even joined in. I think there were lots of opportunities for Ross to sing and enjoy it.

Blackleburr, when you say that Ross stated that "Demelza sings," are you referring to the tv series or the book? In RP, Francis asked Ross if Demelza sang; at Demelza's urging (from shyness), he denied it. It was extremely challenging for Demelza to be thrown into the limelight on her first social outing.

But as we know, Demelza was always singing around Nampara. After learning to play that spinet, she even taught herself to read music so that she could pick out popular tunes. Ross was no foreigner to song. 

 

 





-- Edited by Hollyhock on Wednesday 28th of November 2018 12:45:40 AM

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Initiate

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Date: Nov 27 11:23 PM, 2018
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People who are happy, carefree and full of fun sing.  It may be a popular song of the day or an old traditional favourite.  Trenwith seems to have been a second home to Ross and he would have spent much time there with Verity and Francis just talking and laughing as they were such close friends.  When his mother died he would have tried to hide his hurt so he would still be playful and high-spirited.  This is how Verity remembers him - happy and singing as opposed to the despair he now feels because of the war and the state of his affairs, but especially because of Elizabeth.



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Date: Nov 27 8:05 PM, 2018
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While I was looking for something else in Ross Poldark, I came across this description of Ross by Verity:

She considered him a moment before speaking again. For all his hard work this winter he was thinner and paler. He was drinking too much and thinking too much. She remembered him when he had been a high-strung, light-hearted boy, full of talk and fun. He used to sing. This gaunt brooding man was a stranger to her for all her efforts to know him. The war was to blame as well as Elizabeth.

So it looks like Verity must have witnessed Ross's singing first-hand, and possibly so did Elizabeth. But young ladies would not have been in school together with the boys, not to mention joining in any line fishing or boat trips. So this leaves us with beach rambling or horse riding, or maybe some sort of bonfire festivities that Verity could have been referring to? Unless Ross had, after all, been heard singing inside four walls - perhaps even at Trenwith? This would certainly put a new light on his assertion that "Demelza sings" during their first Christmas together at Trenwith...



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Date: Nov 2 9:40 AM, 2018
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I have always been puzzled by that line about Ross singing as a boy.  It doesn't seem to fit in with his character to have sung in a serious way, at school for instance.  They seemed to concentrate on classics and the three Rs. Or maybe there was so much singing that was why he left school so early!

Therefore, in my mind any singing was round a fire on the beach after line fishing or when in a boat, wandering along Hendrawna or galloping across the moors.

However, to me, Ross was more of a hummer than a singer.

 



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Graduate

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Date: Nov 1 10:24 PM, 2018
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Blackleburr wrote:

There was a remark made by Verity early on in the books, when she first visited Ross at Nampara after his return from America: 'You were always one to hide your hurt, were you not? It doesn't indicate any particular change before and after the death of Grace, and Verity did know Ross since forever, so I'm inclined to take it as a general feature of Ross's character.

But clearly, there is only so much hurt one can keep inside, so in the face of a tragic loss such as Julia's death - and without the safety buffer that either Verity or Demelza would otherwise have provided - Ross was very much liable to explode.

As for Ross's youth, there is something else that intrigues me: In "The Loving Cup" Demelza notes that "Ross had sung as a boy, but seldom did now". What sort of singing could that have been? I can't quite imagine Ross singing in the church choir... Also, a few books earlier Ross tells Adderley (when they met in the gardens at Trenwith) that "he sings ill" - which seems to confirm that his singing was chiefly a thing of the past. Is it possible that he used to sing to his mother's accompaniment on the spinet? Do you think he had ever sung when Demelza was playing?


 Blackleburr - I think Ross almost certainly would have sung at school and I like the idea of him singing to his mother's accompaniment on the spinet. However, I cannot visualise him singing when Demelza played the spinet. He had too many other matters to think about and, for long periods, nothing to sing about.



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Student

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Date: Nov 1 10:00 PM, 2018
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There was a remark made by Verity early on in the books, when she first visited Ross at Nampara after his return from America: 'You were always one to hide your hurt, were you not? It doesn't indicate any particular change before and after the death of Grace, and Verity did know Ross since forever, so I'm inclined to take it as a general feature of Ross's character.

But clearly, there is only so much hurt one can keep inside, so in the face of a tragic loss such as Julia's death - and without the safety buffer that either Verity or Demelza would otherwise have provided - Ross was very much liable to explode.

As for Ross's youth, there is something else that intrigues me: In "The Loving Cup" Demelza notes that "Ross had sung as a boy, but seldom did now". What sort of singing could that have been? I can't quite imagine Ross singing in the church choir... Also, a few books earlier Ross tells Adderley (when they met in the gardens at Trenwith) that "he sings ill" - which seems to confirm that his singing was chiefly a thing of the past. Is it possible that he used to sing to his mother's accompaniment on the spinet? Do you think he had ever sung when Demelza was playing?

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Date: Nov 1 3:01 PM, 2018
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Mrs Gimlett wrote:

Truro Grammar School, a well thought of establishment, was founded in 1549.  It existed in Truro until 1982, but had become Truro Cathedral School in 1906, when choristers from the newly built Cathedral attended. 

Most of the prominent figures in Cornwall attended the school, Humphrey Davy, Edward Pellew (appears in Poldark), members of the Boscawen family, Andrew Graham (Winston's son) etc

The original building still exists and is currently a restaurant! The later building still belongs to the Cathedral and is used as offices, having been renovated over the last few years.

Ross attended the school as a boarder after his mother died.  I seem to recall that he left 'early' at about 13, when he considered his education complete.  Like many young people, he probably thought he knew it all!! 

So far as I remember, he had no previous formal education, but I guess Grace must have taught him to read and write, possibly his father helped.  Members of their class would have been literate and we know Joshua had books. He read letters Ross sent from America.


 I have been to the old grammar school recently and noticed they still have the original school bell on the wall. If anyone goes there it's worth having a meal as the food is good. Something of the atmosphere of a school is still there.



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Date: Nov 1 9:28 AM, 2018
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Truro Grammar School, a well thought of establishment, was founded in 1549.  It existed in Truro until 1982, but had become Truro Cathedral School in 1906, when choristers from the newly built Cathedral attended. 

Most of the prominent figures in Cornwall attended the school, Humphrey Davy, Edward Pellew (appears in Poldark), members of the Boscawen family, Andrew Graham (Winston's son) etc

The original building still exists and is currently a restaurant! The later building still belongs to the Cathedral and is used as offices, having been renovated over the last few years.

Ross attended the school as a boarder after his mother died.  I seem to recall that he left 'early' at about 13, when he considered his education complete.  Like many young people, he probably thought he knew it all!! 

So far as I remember, he had no previous formal education, but I guess Grace must have taught him to read and write, possibly his father helped.  Members of their class would have been literate and we know Joshua had books. He read letters Ross sent from America.



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Date: Nov 1 7:08 AM, 2018
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I wonder too about his schooling. There are probably lots of hints, but I can't remember much, except that he, Francis and George were all at school together. So, when did Ross go off to school? Did he have local schooling before that, or just home schooling from Grace? What was the school like - what level of the gentry went there? How long was Ross there?...and so the questions go on.



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Student

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Date: Oct 29 8:12 PM, 2018
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An eloquent presentation Mrs Gimlett. The connection certainly makes sense. I've posted before that in all his losses Ross never had anyone with whom he could express his grief--maybe Dwight a little. Joshua turned in on himself, shutting his young son out and this would have been as painful as Grace's death. In effect, Ross lost not only his mother, but his father as well.

The sudden, shocking death of Julia would have brought back all his feelings of helplessness, anger, and would reinforce forever his fear of losing "hostages to fate." I agree with Dwight that Julia's death, compounded by his defeats, caused Ross to suffer a breakdown. He didn't begin to recover until he finally worked things out, emotionally, near the end of Warleggan.  He needed grief counseling on several occasions.

Ross is a fascinating character to explore.

 

 

 



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Date: Oct 29 9:53 AM, 2018
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Whilst fan fiction has no part in this Society, I was on a long distance drive through Cornwall recently and was prompted into thoughts of Poldark by the villages I was passing through.

At St Allen, where Grace 'came from', I began to wonder what kind of a child Ross was.  He was born to a couple deeply in love, we don't know for certain how long after Grace and Joshua's marriage.  A first born son was an event to celebrate rather more in those days. I can imagine Joshua opening an anker of brandy up at Wheal Grace for all his mining friends.  Was Nampara habitable by the time he was born or were they in a cottage on Trenwith land whilst the house was built?

I imagine Ross was a healthy child, full of nervous energy, never still.  Grace, I fancy,  was a very good mother - indulgent to a degree. Since the family was not at all affluent, I believe Ross would have realised the difference between himself and Francis quite early in his childhood, but only in a glancing way, as children do.  It probably made not a jot of difference to his enjoyment of life.  In my imagination, I see Ross having a great deal of fun, running , swimming, fishing, in and around boats and generally doing more or less what he wanted and generally much freer than his cousin. 

In short, I reckon his early life was not unlike Jeremy's.

Until he was ten.

Then life for Ross changed dramatically.  To suffer the loss of a mother and brother in quick succession was not uncommon in the 18th Century, but it didn't make loss easier to bear.  As he found in later life, Ross felt very deeply. At the time he had been an only child for much of his young life.  Grace dying would have been extremely traumatic for him; more so when we know how his father reacted to the loss of his wife. Ross most likely couldn't understand why his father returned to the 'hunt'.

Could this be one of the reasons (along with all his recent disappointments and frustrations) for Ross' extreme reactions when Julia died? A harking back to a painful childhood loss.

 

What do you all think?



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