Friday, July 15, 2016

Literary Fixation- Poldark

After watching Poldark on PBS I wanted to read the books and I an delighted I did. The books do not take away from the TV series or vice versa. In many ways the books have given me more insight into the characters as well as a few interesting surprises.
Ross Poldark
The first book in the Poldark series. One of the things that surprised me in this book versus the TV show is the age of Delmelza when she is first introduced. The timeline in the show seems shorter then in the books. It actually took three or four years for Demelza to grow up and be noticed by Ross. In the series it seems like maybe a year. In fact the book Ross Poldark takes place over the course of a few years.
Also Demelza's appearance in the TV series is far different from the books. In the book she has dark hair and eyes, whereas in the TV series she has red hair and green eyes.
Not that this takes anything away from the character. Her portrayal in the TV series is pretty spot on for the book character.
The first books, Ross Poldark, focuses on Ross' transition back to England after the Revolutionary war, his recovery from the heartbreak of Elizabeth marrying his cousin Francis and his growing dislike of his own social class.
As the book progresses he finds himself falling in love with his servant, Demelza after they are married. 
The book is an easy read. There isn't much flowery language or too much scenic descriptions that you sometimes find in in these types of novels. It flows well and even if this had been the only book instead of the first book in a series it ends rather neatly without forcing a cliffhanger on the reader.
The second novel in the Poldark series is Demelza and it focuses on both Demelza and Ross. Their lives during the happiest times and their lowest moments.
Compared to the TV series Francis and Elizabeth are mentioned but hardly appear in the novel except here and there. Even though they contribute to some important events for Demelza and Ross.
A large part of this book centers on Ross' attempts at a smelting company to help the mines in general and to take away some of the power from people like the Warleggans. Another story line that weaves its way through the book is the secret romance between Verity Poldark and Capt Blamey and the fallout of their elopement. Unlike the first book, Demelza ends on a more melancholy note, yet there is still a glimmer of hope.
If you enjoyed the TV series you will probably like these books and the other way around if you have read these already and have been thinking about watching the TV series.
The books give greater details about minor characters seen in the show as well as giving extra insight into main characters like Ross and Demelza.
After reading these I feel that the TV series had done a great job at translating the books. The casting is perfect, Ross could have easily been portrayed as too brooding but Aiden Turner balances brooding with a touch of charm. Eleanor Tomlinson is just perfect as Demelza. She manages to be both tomboyish and elegant in turn.
Have you seen or read Poldark? What do you think?

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