This is a story that grabs the heart and mind of the reader/viewer and simply will not let go. Our hero Captain Ross Poldark returns to Cornwell from fighting in the American War of Independence to find his estate and mines in ruins, his sweetheart marrying his cousin, and enemies ranged against him to take his land. He is a good man who attempts to help his workers and other villagers, find his emotional footing after the loss of his intended, and face the fact that life has gone on without him for those he depended on. He rescues a young girl from beatings of her father and takes her on as a kitchen maid to help the couple assigned to keep his home have let all go beyond ruin. Demelza grows up, of course. Whether reading or viewing, one is utterly drawn to Cornwall. The description and visual scenes are mesmerizing. Part of the iron grip of this story is the beauty of the Cornwall Coast.
Poldark is a television series based on Winston Graham’s group of novels set in the Cornwall, a rugged peninsula on the southwestern coast of England beginning in 1783. BBC produced the television series beginning in 2015 and two seasons have been shown on PBS-Masterpiece Theater. A third season has been commissioned. Season 2 is currently being broadcast on PBS. Season 1 is available on CD from Netflix.
The major actors include Aidan Turner as Captain Ross Poldark, Eleanor Tomlinson with her beautiful head of red hair as Demelza and also Heida Reed, Jack Farthing and many other superb actors. Minor characters are well written and well acted and give a true picture of the community at that time. The excellent writing stands up to repeated viewing and reading. The cinematography is absolutely astounding. The cliffs and beaches of Cornwall exert a call like no other.
To the surprise of this reader, the novels of Winston Graham are impossible to put down or lay aside – readable and compelling. This consumer is so captivated that the moment reading of the first novel was finished, I sat at the computer to order Book Two for my IPad from Amazon so I could begin reading immediately. I cannot leave it alone.
Lest you think this is complete craziness, the series has caused quite a stir. Scenes and comments are available all over the Internet. Millions are enthralled. Most critics from the Website Rotten Tomatoes (9.3 on the meter) to many others watch it and love it, though some have a few bones to pick. This viewer calls it the best of comfort television and that understates it.
By now you are tired of reading these superlatives. Is Ross too good in every way, is Demelza too smart and sassy, are mining times too hard, and enemies too awful? There’s plenty of action and plenty of heart. The friendship that grows between Ross’s cousin Verity and Demelza is a triumph and carefully developed in the scripts and books. I strongly disagree with one critic who called it trash done well. It is not trash but a darn good read without much sex or violence (compared to much of fiction and television available today), but great romance and plenty of conflict.
Only you can decide how swept away you might be by this story. If you like period drama, or not, give it a look/read and see if it grabs you. There is little doubt that in this case, viewing and reading truly compliment and strengthen the overall enjoyable experience of plunging into this story.
I’m back to my reading, deep in the Poldark mineshaft and not very interested in coming up for air.
Book One -Poldark
Book Two – Demelza
Book Three – Jeremy Poldark
All of the above are part of the Winston Graham novel Poldark Series