NewsFlash: The Ross Poldark Blog Tour Update
The Ross Poldark Blog Tour has concluded but there is still time to leave comments and enter the giveaway contest until , . And, there is exciting news. PBS has contributed a DVD of season one of Poldark to our list of prizes! Here is the updated prize list with it included:
- (1) DVD of season one of Poldark
- (2 ) Old Britain Castles Pink Pottery Mugs by Johnson Brothers
- (1) Twelve-inch Old Britain Castles Pink Pottery Plater by Johnson Brothers
- (1) London Telephone Box Tin of Ahmad English Breakfast Tea
- (1) Jar of Mrs. Bridges Marmalade
- (1) Package of Duchy Originals Organic Oaten Biscuits
- (2) Packets of Blue Boy Cornflower Seeds by Renee’s Garden Heirloom
- (1) Trade Paperback Copy of Ross Poldark and Demelza, by Winston Graham
And now...here's my review of Ross Poldark: A Novel of Cornwall, 1783-1787
I am so happy to be part of The Ross Poldark Blog Tour, and I'm reviewing the first book in Winston Graham's popular Poldark Saga, Ross Poldark: A Novel of Cornwall, 1783-1787.
Reading the first book in a series is sort of like a first date...you know there might be the potential for a long-term relationship (there are 12 books in the Poldark Saga!), but you don't want to commit before you know what you're getting into.
There's the initial attraction - I really enjoy historical fiction, and I'm intrigued by the setting: Cornwall, late 18th century. And, I knew that BBC/PBS was airing a new mini-series adaptation this summer, and I'm a read-the-book first type-of girl, so I said 'Yes!"
All our friends say we are perfect for each other. It's amazing how many of my reading friends whose taste I admire popped up to say how much they loved Captain Ross Poldark once the mini-series remake was announced.
There's the getting-to-know-you conversation--I admit I had a few second thoughts when the book opened with the deathbed scene of Ross's father, who is not a very likeable sort. It's important to know what kind of a family Ross if from--an old family with a respectable name that is facing financial troubles--but I think the screenwriters were smart to skip the prologue and dive straight into Ross's service in the American Revolutionary War (on the side of the Redcoats, of course).
Once we got the backstory out of the way--Ross is heir to a crumbling estate, responsible for a motley crew of household workers and tenant laborers, was jilted by his sweetheart who married his cousin as soon as he returned home from America and the wars--I was hooked.
Ross is a hero without being a paragon of virtue, which makes him a perfect hero!. He has a big heart, a strong sense of justice and fairness, but has a weakness for burying his troubles in a bottle and being jealous and moody and autocratic. Thankfully for the plot, he also is usually socially blind, which means he gets entangled in situations that he should've foreseen but didn't.
Case in point, Ross rescues a young female waif, Demelza, from village louts and an abusive father, takes her home and makes her his kitchen wench. He cleans her up and makes her a general companion and helpmate, and then is surprised when his neighbors assume he is sleeping with her.
It's this naivete in the face of his military service and rough-and-tumble life that makes Ross so attractive as a main character. He is just fun to read about.
I also enjoyed the rest of the characters and their stories and how they fit into the life of Ross, especially Demelza. She is an absolute joy--I was thrilled to discover that book 2 in the series is called Demelza, which is a very good sign indeed. She has grit and nerve and pluck, but is shy and tender and loyal.
I also loved the setting. Everything I know about Cornwall, I've learned from Doc Martin and Daphne du Maurier. So, it was interesting to learn about Cornwall's mining industry and the smuggling (some of which I knew from Frenchman's Creek) tradition. I loved hearing the regional names and looking them up on Google maps.
As a fan of Jane Austen, it was also really interesting to read about the timeframe during which she was a child--the economic issues, the political issues, and the social issues that were causing the Old Regime to weaken and start to totter.
I am definitely reading book 2 in the series, and I expect you'll be seeing me review the entire Poldark Saga on this blog as time goes by. I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship!