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Book Review: Winston Graham's 'Poldark - Ross Poldark'

 

 Yes, Poldark has returned from his soldier life. There’s some déjà vu here, with echoes of the popular television run from way back, though a re-make of the oldfilm this new television drama is definitely not, with all the might of modern production techniques. The first episode is behind us as this is written, with Elizabeth, a haughty yet vaguely conscience smitten former love of Poldark providing the necessary touch of glamour to an otherwise dark and somewhat chaotic episode. Poldark does well to keep his feelings in check, how he manages to achieve - virtually single handed - all the cleaning and patching up of a run-down estate is marvellous, let alone fight off overly-possessive relatives of the young dog-owning brat. . .

And, of course, once a TV saga like Poldark reappears, then so, inevitably, does the book. A novel of Cornwall from the late 1700’s, it opens up to public gaze the harshness of life, the summary justice and the scheming ways of the people of the parish, young and old (what’s new?). And it reveals red-haired Demelza; the young maid with an unconsciously magical charm beneath her naïve and grubby looks who captures Ross’s heart, and of whom we will know a good deal more anon. We’re all suckers for nostalgia nowadays, it being an antidote for the speed and pressure of modern life, so the chance to descend once more into the screened ‘romance’ of the past can be therapeutic. Reading these well-written stories again will also help, so if you can’t find an old dog-eared copy on the shelves, then go buy yourself a new one.

Winston Graham   Pub:  Pan  p/b £7.99

ISBN: 9781447281528

Review by Bruce Edwards

 

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