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Winston Graham




Literature & Fiction

PDF ebook size:

1701 kb

ePub ebook size:

1527 kb

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Littlehampton Book Services Ltd; New edition edition (June 1985)




Genre Fiction



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Demelza by Winston Graham

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In this second book of the Poldark saga, I find I am still entranced and all in. Winston Graham is a phenomenal writer to say the least. The manner in which he portrays the thoughts and expressions of Ross Poldark is quite beyond anything I have previously read - at least that I can recall. More than anything else, I believe that's why I am finding the books so fascinating.

**Spoilerish** Storyline Basics Follow:

Demelza is delivered of her first baby - a little girl named Julia. In addition to Ross and Demelza's burgeoning relationship, Ross continues in his efforts to make a living for his family while trying to help the lower class families by employing them, befriending them and occasionally rescuing them from their troubles.

Although Demelza feels very out of place in the upper class world she's now a part of, she finds she is drawn to the activities of that world. Never wanting to shame Ross, she decides that she will have two christening parties for Julia. One will include their tenants and her horrible father and his wife. The other will include their friends among the gentry and hopefully, never the twain shall mix. Except that her father crashes the party for the gentry. To Demelza's credit - she doesn't feel that she's above the lower class folks, she simply doesn't want to embarrass Ross or make people feel uncomfortable.

Into this mix, a new character is introduced - Dwight Enys – a physician who’s everything a good doctor should be - caring about his patients more than the money he earns and willing to do whatever he can to help people of all classes. Over the course of this series, Dwight will become a great friend of the Poldarks but in this story, he's doomed to make a terrible decision - the results of which will follow him the rest of his life.

Demelza decides to play cupid in an effort to get Verity and Captain Blamey together without realizing the far reaching consequences her ultimate success will have on Ross and his business dealings and unfortunately their own relationship. Demelza's actions also serve to divide the two Poldark families when Francis realizes what she's done.

When Ross and Delmeza attend a large social gathering, Demelza learns that men are drawn to her as bees are to honey. However, instead of sticking by Demelza and providing some support, Ross is currently enraged over what he sees as an injustice toward a friend of the lower class which leads to him wagering heavily in a card game against one of the Warleggans. In part because it involved serious gaming, I found it to be one of the most interesting parts in the book.

The book ends on a tragic note for Ross and Demelza.
Trash Obsession
Another rich read for people who love British literature especially about earlier eras. Can't call it historical fiction because it's not based on historical figures, but it has the historical setting so wonderful for those who love period literature. Of course for those who have seen the PBS Masterpiece series Poldark there will be few surprises since the first season has followed the first two Poldark novels almost as a screenplay. Very similar to the way the PBS series based on Jane Austen novels have been so very true to the novels. For those of us who think the original authors to be masters, this is a delight. Winston Graham is not quite the writer that Austen was, but these novels are very well written too. Not so much about lovely language as about spectacular panoramic views of the area, the times, the characters, and the social issues which are just as pertinent today. How does society divide wealth, and labor, and health care? What is fair as a bare minimum living? What responsibilities do political leaders owe to the people? All people, or just the privileged? And there are many questions of a more personal nature as well. How does one survive after thwarted love? Who is truly worth loving? How do we best go about the business of knowing ourselves? Can/should we be true to that if it means breaking the law? MANY meaty questions about human nature and balancing self-interest against societal best interest.
As a great fan of historical novels, and decisively those inclusive of well researched accuracy, I am thoroughly enjoying this entire "Poldark" collection. Sir Winston Graham's writings are full of fascinating characters, their various storylines intriguing, and his vivid descriptions of the sea settings express his personal love of Cornwall with poetic color. Herein is a compelling contrast of social class struggles of the 18th century, the grimness of Britain's postwar recession, the looming threats of the rising French Revolution, and a ponderous view of Cornwall's copper mining industry, all come to life through Graham's diverse cast of characters. A rich weaving of timeless human perplexities, from the darker corners of despair and greed to the shine of droll humor and romance, with even a bit of Pygmalion for good measure. We shall always root for Ross Poldark even while wanting to knock some sense into him. Demelza Carne Poldark is more delightful than sunlight shining through a kaleidoscope, Verity Poldark Blamey should be sainted, Caroline Penvenen needs a good spanking, and George Warleggan is the villain everyone loves to hate. Not to mention Jud and Prudie Paynter, who add their own pickled version of Laurel and Hardy to the mix. For those who've already enjoyed PBS Masterpiece Theater's excellent productions based on the books, the reading of them offers a fuller immersion into the novels' panoramic story. And while there's no time-travel, "Outlander" aficionados may find Winston Graham's "Poldark" series an ample life-preserver while awaiting Gabaldon's much anticipated, but still delayed, final tome. Enjoy!

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