Poldark Series – Better Than Downton?

Better Than Downton?

  • RossPoldarkCover2015-2Title: Ross Poldark: A Novel of Cornwall
  • Author: Winston Graham
  • ISBN13: 9781447281528
  • Series: The Poldark Saga #1
  • Published: Published February 12th 2015 by Pan Macmillan (first published 1945)
  • Format: Paperback
  • Genre/s: Historical Fiction
  • Source: Puchased
  • Rating: A

SYNOPSIS – (From Goodreads) Tired from a grim war in America, Ross Poldark returns to his land and his family. But the joyful homecoming he has anticipated turns sour, for his father is dead, his estate is derelict and the girl he loves is engaged to his cousin.

But his sympathy for the destitute miners and farmers of the district leads him to rescue a half-starved urchin girl from a fairground brawl and take her home – an act which alters the whole course of his life . . .

Though it may not feel like it outside, we do live in Canada after all and the climate can be uncertain at best, the dog days of summer are fast approaching. The time of year that used to be a barren wasteland of reruns has now evolved into a trial period of sorts for new television programming some good and some bad case in point Under the Dome. To which my husband refers to ironically as our favourite comedy series but I digress.

This year, however I am waiting with bated breath for the latest adaptation from BBC One of Winston Graham’s classic Poldark saga. First published in 1945, it was a great favourite of my mother’s family and watching reruns of the original 1975 series are some of my best television watching memories.

http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2015-03-08/original-poldark-robin-ellis-looks-back-on-his-1970s-swashbuckling-2
Poldark (1975) Robin Ellis as Ross and Angharad Rees as Demelza on the Cornish coast.

Better than Downton, say it isn’t so. Shocking as the statement may be the answer is likely “yes”. Now don’t get me wrong I was so moved by Matthew and Mary’s trials and tribulations that I stayed up all night watching season three only to have the finale spoiled literally hours before I planned to watch it. Whereas the love triangle at the centre of the Poldark Saga is stuff of legend and by comparison Downton Abbey without Matthew is just a sad, sad thing that not even Carson and Mrs. Hughes engagement could revive.

I know many of us need another book series to read like we need another hole in the head but that never stops us from hoarding them all the same. The Poldark Saga consists of a weighty twelve volumes of which the first six focus largely on Ross’ exploits and the remainder concerning his decedents though I have not read them all I may have to revisit this compelling family in the near future. Regardless of whether I dive into those particular literary waters again, I for one will be watching Poldark when it premieres on PBS June 21st and if you are one of those people who has to read the story in advance there is still time!

About the Author

main.winston-portraitWinston Graham was the author of forty novels. His books have been widely translated and the Poldark series has been developed into two television series, shown in 22 countries. Six of Winston Graham’s books have been filmed for the big screen, the most notable being Marnie, directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Winston Graham was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and in 1983 was awarded the O.B.E..

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