04/05/2002

Ross Poldark (by Winston Graham)

I hadn't really come across Winston Graham before, but my grandfather had a series of his books, and I'd heard of 'Poldark' as a TV series (though never watched it). When my grandfather died, I took the books as nobody else wanted them, and finally got around to reading some of them.

'Ross Poldark' is the first in the series, set in the 18th century. It features Ross, who returns to his family home in Cornwall to take over his inheritance, after being involved in wars in America.

To his horror, he learns that his beloved Elizabeth had thought he was dead, and is planning to marry his cousin Francis.

Ross immerses himself in his land and mines, and rescues Demelza, an unhappy waif, from her cruel father. He brings her home to train as a kitchenmaid.

However, Demelza grows up, and her adoration for her rescuer and master turns to love.

Realistically written, if a bit long-winded at times, with slightly more about business, mining and farming than interested me. But I enjoyed it sufficiently to continue reading further in the series afterwards.

Re-printed when the TV series came out in the 1970s, but not currently in print in either the USA or UK. Frequently found second-hand, however.

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