200 posts and Poldark!

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200 posts! That’s quite a lot of posts about books and bookish things to have written. I think I started writing and posting in 2010, so I suppose it’s not that many ( the mathematically inclined can work out averages). In that time a lot has happened, some good, some bad, and some good excuses why I have not posted for a while… I did, for example, move two houses into one and complete courses in Citizen’s Advice and TEFL…I could pontificate for some time about why I post at all. I think the main reason is that I love books and want to tell the world about some of them. Sometimes I write a formal review, sometimes it’s more chatty, but thank you to all my followers for putting up with me, and Harry (technical support) for making it possible. Not forgetting @HannahPopsy for going and qualifying as a Doctor despite everything else, and of course http://www.northernvicar.co.uk for pausing between churches to cast an eye over my blog.

To the other focus of this post, POLDARK!

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Or, for those who are past a certain age…or whose parents bought the dvds..

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Or, for the purposes of this post

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Yes, the books are what I have enjoyed most….followed by Robin Ellis who brought a lot more thoughtfulness to the part. Ok, and Aiden, who is bringing other things…..

I always seem to have possessed at least the first Poldark book. I think I can remember the Robin Ellis version first time around (yes, they showed dubious scenes of passion in Cornwall at 7.30pm in those days), but they repeated it on daytime tv while I was hanging around waiting for daughter to be born. I collected the videos from Woolworths as they came out, which I replaced with a set of dvds from Barter Books, of all places. I am just managing to avoid watching them until the current series finishes on Sunday (otherwise known as my birthday).

The books. Why, you ask, with all these tv series to watch, do I read them?

I read all 12 volumes over many years, collecting number 12 in hardback when it came out in 2002 (? I may be wrong, don’t quote me). I have bought other Winston Graham books over the years, including Marnie (Hitchcock’s vision of which made a great film) and he was one of the few male authors allowed into my select library in my “other” house. (Anthony Trollope being the only other one).

Why do I love the Poldark books? Well, there are elements of saga, recurring characters and setting, and plenty of “Oh no, don’t do that moments”. The death of Francis is moving, and generally I think that the character of Demelza is so understandable. She tries so hard, feels so deeply, and it is completely believable that they have portrayed her as a fiery redhead in both tv series. Having said that, I think that both the late Angharad Rees and Eleanor both bring lots to the role which makes the character really live. There are goodies and baddies, all around the character of Ross who well, defies description. Start by reading Ross Poldark in a copy with decent sized type for preference, and see if it draws you in too. You can pick up copies everywhere… fortunately as my friend Anne neatly avoided a domestic crisis when she found volume six on Saturday… it was in the correct place where I hadn’t looked…

As for the controversy on the tv version. It’s in the books. It could have been done more subtly, as it did send out mixed messages. I think it’s a bit like the problem that Philippa Gregory mentioned in her talk at Harrogate. It is about the 18th century, with all that implies. The book was written in the 1960s. It was filmed for 21st century audiences who can be presumed to not be be historians. So we are dealing with three different perspectives. Ross was undoubtedly wrong. So very, very, wrong. And violent. Was it wrong to show the scene? Could it have been done differently? Ought it to have been done differently? I’m not sure. I did think the most real reaction was Demelza’s.  Only a black eye?

Anyway. Thank you for reading to the end, thank you for looking through any of my other 199 posts, and here’s to the next 100 or so!!!




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