A veteran of the Revolutionary War, Captain Ross Poldark returns home with the defeated British troops only to learn that the woman he loves is engaged to marry his cousin, his father has died, and his small estate is in disarray. Ross decides to take control of his inheritance and bring his estate back into working order. His disregard for the social standards of the day, leads to conflict amongst his neighbors and friends, but Ross has a moral standard of his own. He believes in hard work, true love, and helping out his fellow man. Ross Poldark is an intriguing man to read about and an exciting novel to read. The cast of characters and unique story make for an enticing read.
I absolutely loved the setting of Ross Poldark, rugged Cornwall in the copper mining district. The Poldark family’s fortunes are from copper mining, but the copper mines on Ross Poldark’s land have long since closed. I went to college in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan at Michigan Technological University in Houghton. This college started as a mining college for copper miners. Copper was king in the late 1800’s and many of the most highly paid copper miners that were highly sought after were experienced miners from Cornwall. They brought with them a bit of their customs, including eating pasties for lunch. My own German ancestors immigrated to Houghton as part of the boom. Although they owned a bar and made their profits off of selling alcohol to the miners. One of my favorite classes in college was Copper Country History and I’ve been on many a copper mine tour. When I started reading Ross Poldark and discovered that there were copper mines to be discussed, I was overjoyed. Ross Poldark decides that perhaps he could reopen one of his mines which would not only help him, but many of the families living on his land.
I really wanted to see if one of my favorite foods, the Cornish pasty would make an appearance in the book, and much to my delight, it did on page 135. “It was just passing the time o’day, as you might say, till Reuben seized his pasty and ran off with un. Stealing a pasty from a boy often!” I love how stealing a pasty is a criminal offence.
One note is I had a question on a bit of the history. An old man states, “When I was on Lake Superior in ’69, when I was thur ‘specting for copper, there was a store that sold stuff as’d take the skin off your ‘and – “ This would be 1769 to fit the timeline of the novel, and I don’t know that the British were prospecting for copper at the time. The copper rush wasn’t until the 1800’s after Michigan State geologist, Douglas Houghton, “discovered” the copper and published his results. The copper had been mined by Native Americans previously and Alexander Henry, a member of the British military, had seen copper in the Upper Peninsula on his explorations in the 1700’s, but I hadn’t heard of any prospecting. Has anyone else and this is a bit of Copper Country history that I missed?
I also enjoyed how the book takes a hard look at social mores. Society likes to gossip about Ross Poldark and believe the worst of him even when it’s not true. There were many times that people would make an assumption about Ross and condemn him only to discuss how they had done something like that in their youth or had their own problems with women, alcohol, and gambling. The hypocrisy of it all was humorous. I loved how Ross couldn’t care less on what people thought of him. One line I love about the hypocrisy was as follows: “It’s the way of the world, my dear. A gentleman may get drunk so long as he carries his drink decent, or slips beneath the table with it. But when a man has been sent to prison for what Blamey did, then the world is not at all prepared to forgive and forget, despite the religion is prescribes to.”
Winston Graham has wonderful descriptive language in the book and a sense of romance beneath the adventure. One of my favorite quotes was of Ross viewing Elizabeth at her wedding, “Elizabeth’s veil of old lace blew in billows about her figure making her seem unsubstantial and ethereal; she might have been one of the smaller clouds that had lost its way and been caught up in the human procession.”
I also liked this quote from Ross to Elizabeth: “It isn’t very pretty to have been made a fool of by one’s own feelings,” he said. “To take childish promises and build a - a castle of them.”
I have been enjoying Poldark on Masterpiece theatre and the series does a wonderful job of bringing the book to life. It is very true to the book. I love that these new Sourcebook versions of the books in the series have pictures of the characters from the series on the cover. I also thought the group reading guide at the end had some great questions for discussion.
Overall, Ross Poldark is an excellent book full of romance, adventure, and accurate depictions of the fallibilities of the human race. I loved it and discovering a great new series.
Book Source: Review copy from Sourcebooks as part of the Poldark Tour. Thank-you for putting this together Laurel Ann!
Grand Giveaway Contest
Win One of Three Fabulous Prizes
In celebration of the re-release of Ross Poldark and Demelza, Sourcebooks Landmark is offering three chances to win copies of the books or a grand prize, an Anglophile-themed gift package.
Two lucky winners will each receive one trade paperback copy of Ross Poldark and Demelza, and one grand prize winner will receive a prize package containing the following items:
(2 ) Old Britain Castles Pink Pottery Mugs by Johnson Brothers
(1) Twelve-inch Old Britain Castles Pink Pottery Plater by Johnson Brothersr
(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 & Demelza, by Winston Graham
To enter the giveaway contest simply leave a comment on any or all of the blog stops on the Ross Poldark Blog Tour starting July 06, 2015 through 11:59 pm PT, August 10, 2015. Winners will be drawn at random from all of the entrants and announced on the Buzz at Sourcebooks blog on August 13, 2015. Winners have until August 20, 2015 to claim their prize. The giveaway contest is open to US residents and the prizes will be shipped to US addresses. Good luck to all!
THE ROSS POLDARK BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE:
July 06 My Jane Austen Book Club (Preview)
July 07 Booktalk & More (Excerpt)
July 08 Reading, Writing, Working, Playing (Review)
July 09 vvb32 Reads (Preview)
July 10 The Paige Turner (Review)
July 10 My Kids Led Me Back To P & P (Excerpt)
July 11 Austenprose (Review)
July 12 Laura's Reviews (Preview)
July 13 Peeking Between the Pages (Review)
July 13 Reflections of a Book Addict (Preview)
July 14 Living Read Girl (Review)
July 15 Confessions of a Book Addict (Review)
July 16 vvb32 Reads (Review)
July 17 Paige Turner (Review)
July 18 Truth, Beauty, Freedom & Books (Preview)
July 19 Marie Antoinette’s Gossip Guide (Excerpt)
July 20 Laura's Reviews (Review)
July 20 The Calico Critic (Review)
July 21 So Little Time…So Much to Read (Excerpt)
July 21 Poof Books (Excerpt)
July 22 Babblings of a Bookworm (Review)
July 23 Austenprose (Review)
July 24 Peeking Between the Pages (Review)
July 25 My Love for Jane Austen (Excerpt)
July 25 Living Read Girl (Review)
July 26 Delighted Reader (Review)
July 27 My Jane Austen Book Club (Review)
July 27 Austenesque Reviews (Review)
July 27 Laura's Reviews (Review)
July 28 She Is Too Fond Of Books (Review)
July 29 English Historical Fiction Authors (Preview)
July 30 vvb32 Reads (Review)
July 30 Babblings of a Bookworm (Review)
July 31 CozyNookBks (Excerpt)
Aug 01 The Calico Critic (Review)
Aug 01 More Agreeably Engaged (Review)
Aug 02 Scuffed Slippers Wormy Books (Review)
Aug 03 Romantic Historical Reviews (Review)
Aug 03 Psychotic State Book Reviews (Review)