Poldark: part 1

As you probably have already guessed, I am rewatching and recapping  Poldark. This romantic saga follows Ross Poldark (Robin Ellis) as he loses his fiancée, the well-bred beauty, Elizabeth (Jill Townsend), to his cousin Francis (Clive Francis). Ross ends up marrying his servant, the unlikely-looking Demelza (Angharad Rees), but his passion for Elizabeth simmers on for years. Set in late 18th century Cornwall, the plot follows Ross Poldark’s attempts to make his derelict tin mines a success.

PART 1

Ross Poldark, limping and scarred, returns from the American war toCornwall after a daring escape from a French prison camp.

His father is dead and his fortune is long gone. His relatives apart from his cousin Verity are annoyed to find out that he is not dead after all, because that spoils their plans.

His mercenary uncle has committed to selling the family copper and tin mines to a ruthless local land baron and he is to afraid of him to stand up and protect his own family interests. So he tries his utmost to pressure Ross to sell the mines. Apparently those misfortunes weren’t enough and soon Roos finds out that his former fiancée, the fragile and totally uniteresting ELizabeth, has agreed to marry his cousin, Francis, in his absence.

Elizabeth & Ross

 

Robin Ellis makes an excellent job at portraining Captain Ross Poldark. He is really amazing from start to finish and you can definately see his passion for Elizabeth boiling up. He is almost abusive with her, when he finds out that she engaged to be married to his cousin, but it is kind of understandable and there is nothing really extreme. You can see that he loves her too much to heart her. Plus he doesn’t seem to be the abusive kind, he has too much kindness and justicw in him to do that.

I seriously cannot see why he is so much in love with ELizabeth, since she seems totally flat and uninteresting to me, but well who knows what is going on in his mind and heart. Robin Ellis plays the man in love to perfection. He is passionate but he doesn’t overdo it.

Elizabeth & Ross

Francis, in the beginning, seems genuinly happy that Ross is alive, however his father (the despicable uncle) reminds him that they are rivals for Elizabeth’s heart and hand and he becomes cold and distant. However, he agrees to go with Ross to inspect the mines, to see if there is anything of value.

Ross saves Francis life

 

Verity, the only one who really seems to care about Ross, tries to warn him that Elizabeth will never give up her brother , but unfortunately he doesn’t listen to her. He tries to convince the cold blooded lady (Elizabeth) that she doesn’t have to marry his cousin just because her parents are in debt and that he can help them out (with the loan that he managed to obtain in order to work the mines), but she turns him down, because she prefers the safety that Francis will give her than the dark passion of Ross. Seriously what a miserable way to live. I mean it is pretty obvious that she is in love with Ross and he loves her with everything he has. Plus he is a capable, good man that is not afraid of hard work and that he will do anything for her. Still she prefers the bloodless and lifeless Francis. And that is definately no way to live.

The first part ends with Elizabeths marriage and the big question What is going to happen now? Ross has lost his girl to his worthless cousin. His uncle has balckmailed him in order to pay his fathers debt, which means that Ross hasn’t enough money to make the mine profitable again.

What is going to happen next?

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6 thoughts on “Poldark: part 1”

  1. I think you’re too hard on Uncle Charles: up to his eyeballs in debt to the Warleggans, wanting to do right by everyone but ultimately too proud and too weak to do anything… I feel immense sorrow for the senior line of Poldarks, both Charles and Francis. The Poldark virtues and vices seem to have all been shuffled and dealt in completely different ways to Francis and Ross, Charles and (presumably) Joshua.

    1. Well, I do not think that he wants to do alright by everyone. He just wants to do alright by himself. He might be, as you say, up to his eyeballs in debt to the Warleggans, but that is no excuse. Not when both Ross and his own son tell him that there is a lot of money to the mine. He could have joined forces with Ross and they could have worked the mine together and get free from Warleggans oppression. But, no he just went there (feeling guilty that was aobvious) blackmailing and pushing his nephew into leading the same miserable life that he has. At least Francis (whom I not particularly like) wants to get free from the Warleggans. Plus if you wanted to do right by everyone you would have let Elizabeth free to decide whom she wants to marry, when Ross returned from the dead and not hiding his son engagement from his nephew and then pressure him to keep Elizabeth.

  2. Apparently those misfortunes weren’t enough and soon Roos finds out that his former fiancée, the fragile and totally uniteresting ELizabeth, has agreed to marry his cousin, Francis, in his absence.

    Personally, I have always felt that Elizabeth was one of the most interesting characters in the story. She seemed very complex and ambiguous. She was not the usual “ideal” female character that seemed to fill literary stories like “POLDARK”.

    1. Well, I am not sure if she can be descriped as interesting. I mean she seems a simple enough character to me. She is in love with Ross but not so much as to lose her social position and wealth and be with him. She is in love with him but she does not trust him to be a good husband to her and so she stays with his cousin. When he turns out to be rather a bad choice she remembers Ross once again.

      The one smart move she is ever did actually was not to marry Ross. I do not think those two could have ever being happy and sooner or later his interest in Elizabeth would have faded. Who would want to be in still waters all his life?, and Elizabeth was portraited as too fragile and submissive to be interesting in the long run. However, I should add that unfortunately I have not read the novels, because they are not available in Greece, so if she is portayed differently in the books that’s another matter. I have every intention of ordering them online one of these days 😉

  3. I don’t know. I think it’s possible that Elizabeth and Ross could have had a successful marriage. And I’m not the only one who believes so. His marriage to Elizabeth would have been DIFFERENT than the one he had with Demelza. But I feel it could have been successful.

    And I have never regarded Elizabeth as fragile. She looked it, thanks to actress Jill Townsend’s physical looks. But fragile? I keep thinking of that scene in Episode 4 of the 1975 series in which Elizabeth reacted with anger when she learned that he was about to marry a pregnant Demelza. Thanks to Townsend’s performance, she didn’t come off as “fragile” to me.

    I cannot help but wonder if people tend to prefer more emotionally outward types like Demelza, who seemed ideal. Don’t get me wrong. I liked Demelza. But she never really struck me as particularly interesting or complex.

    1. Demelza is strong and she fights for what she wants, whereas Elizabeth is more easily persuaded by the circumstances. Moreover, who says that a fragile person cannot be angry? Elizabeth’s reaction to the news of Ross’ marriage to Demelza always seemed to me more like the result of her wounded pride. She just could not believe that now that she was completely disappointed by her marriage and the life SHE chose, she could not have her way. I mean that, strangely enough, she reacts like a jilted lover forgetting that she chose her husband and that particular life over Ross. Plus, when I define Elizabeth as fragile, I am mainly refering to the fact that she was not strong enough to break her engagement when Ross re-appeared and not necessarily because she did not love him, but because she loved more the idea of a confortable, easy, safe life with a man she did not love rather than being with one she loved, but it didn’t seem as he could offer her that kind of life and she was right. Ross could perhaps at some point offer her a confortable life (economically speaking), but he would never be able to settle down in a quiet, safe way of living. He would always get in trouble in order to help someone that Elizabeth would not deem him/her worthy of help. I always wonder when I see the first season if Elizabeth would have the same reaction to Ross marrying Demelza if Demelza belonged to the same class as she did. As far as , I am concerned Elizabeth could not understand why it was necessary for Ross to marry a pregnant SERVANT and why he chose a SERVANT GIRL over her.

      I do prefer Demelza but not because she is the emotionally outwrad type, but because in general I prefer woman who fight for what they want. Moreover, I cannot stop thinking that if Elizabeth’s marriage was the one she thought she was settling for, she would never give Ross a second thought. It was her disappointment in her choices that made her turn to Ross as a last resort and, then, it was her pride as an upper-class woman who is jilted for the shake of a servant that made her angry.

      Finally, I always got the impression that their story was over and done by the time Ross returned to his homeland, but none of them had realised that. Ross was fighting so he needed something to hold on and Elizabeth was living the confined life that most of the women of her class lived and at the same time she was kind of forced to marry someone she did not love, so she just hold on to the memory of yer first love. I could believe that if those two were lucky enough, they might had been sometimes contented with their marriage, but I could never seen them as truly happy or/ and suited for each other.

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