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Post Info TOPIC: bad company


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Date: Feb 10 5:20 PM, 2019
bad company
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Ha! Could that quote from Lady Harriet have made its way into the job description for the TV series' lead actor, I wonder?

The funny thing is, when George heard Harriet say it, he seemed way more ruffled by the mention of Ross's name than the area where he gave her the curious sensations... Harriet must have been quite disappointed, as I think she was only teasing George in the hope of getting a glimpse of him fighting down his shock by reminding himself that she was the sister of a duke

And last but not least - thanks for your interest, Hollyhock, I've now started a new topic for the Ross-quotes.



-- Edited by Blackleburr on Sunday 10th of February 2019 08:48:44 PM

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Date: Feb 8 2:29 PM, 2019
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Blackleburr, I love Ross-quotes. His heart-melters are so spontaneous and natural, never pretentious. How anyone could think him unromantic is unfathomable. Lady Harriet would certainly agree: "He has a certain sultry, sallow look which I admit give one curious sensations in the crotch..." I always wondered, was Harriet so affected that she forgot she was talking to George, her husband, when she said this?

Likewise, the quips he makes stabbing George in his mercenary heart make you want to jump up and high-five'im.

Ok-back on topic: thanks for clarifying the 'two-steps ahead' remark. Yes, sympathy would have brought on the tears and made the parting harder.

 



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Date: Feb 7 8:42 PM, 2019
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Hollyhock - your post echoes one of my favourite characterisations of Ross, from TAT: "Ross was not the best letter-writer in the world. His warmth, of which Demelza knew so much, came out in personal contact. When he was with you he could suddenly say the sort of things to melt any woman's heart - or on another occasion to freeze it." I suppose it's not a very original idea, but perhaps we could go on a hunt for quotes from Ross that melt/freeze any woman's heart?
 
Now, returning back to the topic: Ross planning ahead of the leave-taking what he'd say to Demelza once they get on the way sounds possible, if a bit of a stretch. However, I had something simpler in mind when I mentioned the two steps ahead - namely, that when Demelza expressed her distress about leaving the children, the obvious reaction (and probably one Demelza expected) would have been to sympathize, whereas Ross took a step further to realize that what she really needed was to be taken out of the distressed mood altogether, and accordingly made a comment which accomplished just that.
 
I agree about there being a lot of undue backlash against Ross in TV land. To me, though, the insensitivity and obtuseness seemed always to be in the eyes of the beholders rather than in the TV series itself. Personally, I've never found the on-screen Ross lacking in sensitivity or wit. In fact, having come to the books through the series, I'm not sure at all whether reading the books made any difference to how I feel about Ross - although, to be fair, the books and the TV do get conflated in my mind quite a lot... as you well know And anyway, my view on the matter is no better than anyone else's.


-- Edited by Blackleburr on Thursday 7th of February 2019 08:46:58 PM

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Date: Feb 6 6:01 PM, 2019
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Blackleburr, you raise a related point. Except for those very bleak periods in Jeremy and Warleggan, when Ross was consumed with grief and worry, his antenna were well attuned to Demelza's state of mind. I hadn't thought that he planned ahead in this leave-taking, but you may have something there in that he anticipated her distress since he knew her so well. But most of the time his responses were spontaneous and perceptive, depending on her mood. From soothing her nerves over Drake's latest escapade to reassuring her about going among the gentry, he usually knew the right thing to say.

Although the tv series reduced WG's saga to clichés, I think the most egregious thing it did was malign Ross's character. The series has tv land thinking that he was an insensitive, obtuse husband. Quite the contrary and really unfair to WG's complex, multidimensional characterization.

 






-- Edited by Hollyhock on Wednesday 6th of February 2019 09:33:50 PM

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Date: Feb 5 8:13 PM, 2019
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I had not looked at it this way before, Hollyhock, but you're making a good point that Ross's comment likely helped Demelza to stop worrying about the children. That would make another instance of Ross chivalrously anticipating what Demelza's needs are going to be some two steps ahead  

Interestingly, throughout the books it is mostly Demelza who gets credit for that sort of anticipation (beginning with the "sense enough to read his [mind] before he knew it himself" line), whereas every time Ross does it, it tends to be played down - by Ross himself, as well as by WG - so that we can only guess at how much forethought was involved on his (Ross's) part. Not that this would take away any of his chivalry, of course!


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Date: Feb 5 2:12 PM, 2019
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I can't recall my thoughts on my first reading, but now I think a couple of things were going on. Since this was to be her first extended stay away from the children, she was having separation pangs. (WG's leave-taking scene is sad, with the little ones waving goodbye as their parents fade from sight.) But she also felt a little guilty because she was excited and looking forward to leaving responsibilities behind for a while. So Ross's comment really did raise her maternal hackles, but it also helped get her mind off her distress. I think that was Ross's aim.

The second time she made the comment she was joking, part of their banter. Although in the back of her mind, she may have been thinking of the 'beautiful women' Ross had mentioned earlier. But it was all in fun, in keeping with their too few days 'of unalloyed' happiness.

 

 



-- Edited by Hollyhock on Wednesday 6th of February 2019 06:03:08 PM

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Date: Feb 4 8:55 PM, 2019
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I'd be interested to know what do others here think about the conversation that Ross and Demelza had in TAT on their way to London while Demelza was coming to terms with the fact that the children had to stay behind at Nampara:
 
'Oh dear,' said Demelza, 'I believe I am a small matter distraught.' 'Try to forget them,' Ross said. 'Remember that in twenty years they will be likely to ride away and forget you.' Demelza looked at Ross. 'You must've been keeping some bad company.' 'Why?' 'To say a thing like that.' He laughed. 'It was half in jest, half in earnest. I mean nothing derogatory.' 'What a big word for a mean thought.' He laughed again. 'Then I take it back.' 'Thank you, Ross.'
 
(...)
 
Over supper Demelza said: 'I've been thinking, Ross, what you said about the children. I suppose in a way you're right but does it matter? Isn't it what you give in this world that's important, not what you get back?' (...) 'I thought if I reminded you of the way human nature operates, it might help you to grieve less now at the parting.' 'No,' she said, 'it won't.' 'Well, I'm sorry I spoke.' 'No matter. I've stopped grieving already, and am just getting excited. After just one day. And I don't think that's a nice way for human nature to operate either!'
 
On my first reading, I took the remark about "keeping bad company" simply as a joke - even though eventually the conversation becomes charged with hints at Hugh Armitage. In the recent TV series, however, Demelza was portrayed in that scene as genuinely upset about Ross's attitude towards the kids. That puzzled me a bit, as I usually think of Demelza as being very much on board with Ross's sense of humour - in fact, often getting the better of him - and not overly sentimental with respect to her children. 
 
Now I'm wondering what your opinion is - was Demelza really bothered, or just joking? And what about the second time she made the "bad company" comment, on her first morning in London?
 
'A gentleman would fetch my nightdress,' she said. 'It depends on the gentleman.' 'I told you before. You've been keeping bad company in London.' 'Not till last night.'


-- Edited by Blackleburr on Monday 4th of February 2019 08:56:18 PM

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