Monday, July 20, 2015

Ross Poldark by Winston Graham Review and Giveaway!

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!


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)                    


  1. Splendid review! I am enjoying the series and can't wait to read the books.

  2. I love the review the drama is so good i watch every sunday and i have the pbs video denise smith

  3. Great thoughts! So cool that you had the background knowledge about copper mining going into it too. I'm really enjoying the new TV series on Masterpiece and am hoping to read the books soon too! :)

  4. Thanks for the review. An awesome giveaway. Would love to read these books.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  5. I'm still smiling about stealing of the Pasty being a criminal offense..
    dkstevensne AToutlookDoTCoM

  6. Excellent review! Sounds like my kind of series :)

  7. Excellent review! It has enticed me to read this series. And perhaps I will be able to find it on TV. :)

  8. I am looking forward to watching the miniseries. I, unfortunately missed the first episode as I was camping and so am waiting to watch it from the first episode.

  9. Excellent review. I loved how the copper mining had such a personal connection to you. Everything I know about copper mining, I've learned from Poldark. FYI--the second book Demelza, which I've just started, goes into the economics of it even more.

    I enjoyed your quotes--Winston Graham really did paint glorious pictures. So happy that his books are finding new readers with the advent of the BBC series--too good to be forgotten!

    I love pasties and make them often in the winter. And yes, stealing one should be a criminal event! Interesting how the Rueben story was completely left out of the mini-series.

  10. Laura, thank you for this wonderful review and giveaway. I am glad you are enjoying the Poldark series, and will keep it in mind for the future.

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  12. Wonderful giveaway! I love the PBS series and can't wait to read the books. :)

  13. Loving this series and would love to read the books as well. Thank you for hosting in the giveaway!

  14. Read the books (the first 7, that is) ages ago, and am looking forwrd to re-reading. The rest of the series was hard to find in the US - sure hope that they are re-issued.

  15. The Cornish pasties used to have meat on one end and pie filling on the other so that the miners could eat both dinner and dessert (the English love their desserts). Winston Graham's prose is beautiful.

  16. Loving this Poldark! Have read the first two books on my Kindle but would love to have printed copies! Thank you for the giveaway opportunity!

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  18. Thank you for your very insightful review. I can't wait to read this series!

  19. Is there supposed to be a new blog entry for today's stop on the blog tour? Or is this a repeat of July 12th? Either way, thank you for participating in the blog tour. I have not read the books yet but would love to win the giveaway and read all of the Winston Graham Poldark books.

  20. Yes, there is a new entry for today which I did not get up until 11 AM. I apologize, but had several appointments for kids and animals that I was running to this morning. Just look at the top of the posts for the date. I actually have three different posts for this tour on three different dates as listed.

  21. The cornish pastry sounds delicious. :) Thanks for the giveaway.

  22. Awesome show im sooo addicted! Cant wait to read this books, they seem just as addicting as the show! Thanks for posting this great giveaway opportunity!

  23. Hi, I love the Poldark series. Has to be one of my all time favorites. Thank you for the opportunity Maureen.

  24. my daughter & I love Sunday nights watching PBS, this show is amazing and we look forward to next season-it can't come soon enough!

  25. Thank-you for all of the great comments sharing the love for the Poldark series!