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Ross Poldark (The Poldark Saga #1)

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  2,244 ratings  ·  214 reviews
Tired from a grim war in America, Ross Poldark returns to his land and his family. But the joyful homecoming he has looked forward to turns sour, for his father is dead, his estate is derelict, and the girl he loves is engaged to his cousin.
Paperback, 368 pages
Published February 1st 1996 by Pan Books (first published 1945)
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  • Ross Poldark by Winston Graham
    Ross Poldark (Poldark, #1)
    Release date: Jun 09, 2015
    The enthralling first book behind Poldark, the major new TV series premiering June 2015 on Masterpiece on PBS

    In the first novel in Winston Graham’s h…more
    Giveaway dates: Apr 15 - Jun 01, 2015
    5 copies available, 397 people requesting
    Countries available: US
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    Community Reviews

    (showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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    These books are totally under-rated. Although they may be slightly trashy Pre-Victorian love stories, so was Jane Eyre when it was written. Graham is a very good writer and these books are full of powerful and descriptive pros which ignite the imagination - even if said imagination is that of a hopeless romantic who watches too much Masterpiece Theater and too many Lifetime movies. As the title suggests, it is a saga - melodramatic like 'Gone with the Wind,' but like 'Gone with the Wind' it is g ...more
    I used to think I hated historical fiction; I've since realized that what I hate is bad historical fiction. In a lot of the historical fiction books I've read, it seemed as if the author hated to waste the hours spent researching the period and instead, chose to incorporate what they'd read in lengthy text-book style asides about contextual events which really detracted from the novel itself. However, since forming that impression I've read some excellent historical fiction (e.g., "Year of Wonde ...more
    Tracie Banister
    I've been hearing a lot about the new Poldark TV-series that's being filmed for the BBC and thought the multi-generational saga sounded like something I'd enjoy, so I decided to give the first book a read. I'm so glad I did! I was instantly drawn into the story of Ross Poldark, the young officer who returns to Cornwall after fighting in the Revolutionary War, sporting a scar on his face and a limp, to find that his father is dead, his family home is in ruins, and his love, the beautiful and gent ...more
    At 122 pages I'm bailing. It may be that I'm just not in the mood. I did enjoy the humor at the beginning but after a while the story kind of dragged. I was hoping to feel a bit more invested in the characters as well but it never really happened for me. oh well. Cant win them all. But looking at all the 5 star reviews I think there might be something wrong with

    The shame is that I own the first three books in the series (with the nice covers) and now don't know if I'll ever read them...
    Misfit, I think you will love this saga....The first Poldark novel. This saga continues with Demelza, Jeremy Poldark, Waeleggan....
    Rating 3.5 stars

    The BBC recently aired their new version of Poldark, and whilst I and a nation of women went gaga for the brooding and shirtless Aidan Turner (oh dear God *drool*), I also adored the beautiful Eleanor Tomlinson and the sizzling chemistry they had together. When Ross and Demelza fell first in passion (the dress scene *swoon*) and then in love (the singing scene *sigh*), so did I with them. Just gorgeous.

    Away from the TV show, the first book in the series, Ross Poldark, took a whi
    Rebecca Huston
    Set in Cornwall at the end of the eighteenth century, this novel introduces the Poldark family. Most of the story revolves around Ross Poldark, returning home from the Revolutionary war, scarred and limping, only to find out that his father has died and his home in a shambles. Worse still, his engagement with the beautiful Elizabeth Chenowith has ended with her getting ready to marry Ross' cousin, Francis. Facing reality, Ross starts to rebuild his life, and a new person enters his life -- the w ...more
    Apr 02, 2008 Kathy rated it 5 of 5 stars
    Recommends it for: anyone
    If you like a really long saga, this is the series for you. The Poldark saga takes place in Cornwall and tells the story of the Poldark family through several generations. Excellent reading and in depth development of each persons characteristics and values. I loved these books and would recommend them to anyone who loves historical fiction.
    I read this series in the 1990s. Must read them again :)
    Dec 20, 2009 CLM rated it 5 of 5 stars
    Recommended to CLM by: SLM

    One of the best series you've never read...
    I'm rating this novel (the first in the series) on two levels. On one hand I enjoyed the depiction of the Cornish mining, the mining conditions and struggle. For me that was very well presented.
    It was the relationship between Ross Poldark and Demelza, that didn't quite gel for me. As the start of a long lasting romance and marriage it lacked depth and to some extent credibility considering the period it is depicted in.
    The writing style is fluid and story does move along but I'm not (at the stage
    Kate Sherrod
    I first encountered the romantic (and Romantic) figure of Ross Poldark, veteran of the British side of the American Revolutionary War, on television, via the glorious BBC adaptation that PBS aired when I was a kid. I knew that someday I'd have to get my hands on these books to read them, because I could just tell that stuff was getting left out.

    Oddly, though, this does not seem to be the case, much; the television show has proven to be very faithful to the books, or at least to this first one*.
    Ross Poldark's story begins being told after the passing of his father. At this time, the prodigal son returns home to find that his young sweetheart has been betrothed to another. This is the tale of the evolution of one man's heartbreak, and how he comes to mend it over time. This period piece set in pastoral Cornish countryside also illustrates the inner workings of society. Hardworking folks juxtapose against drunkards and scoundrels, poachers and paragons. And the tongues start wagging when ...more
    Tim Vicary
    This site is called Goodreads and this book, together with the eleven other Poldark novels which follow it, is one of the best reads you could possibly find. Winston Graham is not just a good writer - he is in in my view a great writer. He has all the gifts and skills you could possibly want in a novelist: he creates wonderful, well-drawn characters, he has a brilliant, accurate ear for dialogue, he writes beautiful, concise description, he creates dramatic, page-turning plots - what more could ...more
    I've read this book quite a few times now over the years and love it even more.
    The relationship between Ross and Demelza soon develops and grows.
    The new drama is to be shown in March.
    I have fond memories of the 1970's drama with a rather dashing Robin Ellis as Ross Poldark.
    Just what you want to watch of a Sunday evening.
    They did change a few things and that is why I always prefer the books.
    A lovely re-read which I'm sure I'll read again.
    KERMIT FLAIL: re-visit 2015 via new BBC series

    Episode 1 of 8: Cornwall, 1783. Ross Poldark returns from the battlefield to find his father dead, the estate in ruins and his sweetheart Elizabeth engaged to his cousin. On impulse, Ross rescues young urchin Demelza and resolves to forge a new life in the face of hostile forces.

    Episode 2 of 8:Ross resolves to reopen his family mine with Francis. Demelza struggles to fit in at Nampara, and Verity makes an unsuitable match.

    Episode 3/8: Ross celebrates
    Here we become acquainted with Ross Poldark and the life, society, and natural beauty of Cornwall.

    Ross returns from America in 1783 (after a stint in the Army), world-weary, seeking the security of home and hearth to recoup his spirit. For a time, he is emotionally adrift as he goes about the business of making needed improvements to the family estate and opening a mine.

    Through Winston Graham's writing, you become fully immersed in the lives of Ross, his relations, and friends.

    Like a fine win
    Karen Hogan
    If you're looking for a lot of action, you wont find it in this book. This is a character study of the gentry and the common folk in Cornwall during the 1700's. If you like historical fiction, this story will probably hold your interest. There is some cornish dialect, but not so much that it detracts from the storyline. A young squire comes home from the Revolutionary War in America, to find his sweetheart engaged to his best friend and cousin.
    This is the umpteenth time I've read this and I am so grateful to our local PBS station to have aired the Poldark series years ago. I absolutely loved this series enough to seek out the novels. Though the story line took a different path from the books, I still enjoyed reading about the lives, history and events that took place in Cornwall. Will read this again in the future, I'm sure.
    Actual Rating: 3.5 Stars

    I read a post talking about a new BBC series coming to the small screen and it seemed intriguing. Quick trip to the library and I was ready to go.

    I never was one for historical fiction...something about that cross over between fact and fiction annoys me as I was always frustrated/skeptical about whether the author had done their research adequately and whether or not I should trust in their abilities without fact checking (which kind of takes away the enjoyment). However
    I generally enjoy historical fiction but was sorely disappointed with this book. There seemed to be absolutely no story telling technique. The prose was grammatical but uninteresting and, when I got to the end, I was left wondering what happened to the second half of the book.

    The reading by Tony Britton was excellent.
    Mar 21, 2015 Karen rated it 4 of 5 stars
    Recommends it for: Historical Fiction
    In anticipation of the upcoming remake of the "Ross Poldark" series, I decided to read at least the first book in order to form my own mental images before being influenced by the show. The plot summary was intriguing - "young man arrives home to Cornwall after fighting in the American war to find his father dead and his girl engaged to his cousin". Add the fact that the story takes place between 1783 to 1787 and family research shows that my ancestors lived in the area around then, I was entice ...more
    Helen White
    I enjoyed this more than I expected. With a sly humour in the main character Ross,some brilliant character development in Demelza and the Cornish landscape to top it off I would highly recommend this.
    I grew up watching (and loving) the 70's Poldark series, so I already knew the story quite well. Despite knowing the plot, as soon as I started reading the book I was hooked. First of all, I completely love Winston Graham's writing style! He is very straight forward with occasional descriptions that are so lovely and well written that I often found myself re-reading passages two or three times. Second of all, I found that I liked all of the characters better in the book than in the mini series. ...more
    Vikki Patis
    I loved Ross Poldark. Such rich, fascinating characters, living in a rough yet beautiful place. The rugged landscape that surrounds Nampara is truly brought to life by Graham's prose.

    Ross is an incredibly complex character, sometimes dark, sometimes lonely, but with an almost hidden kindness. His time in America, the death of his father and the shocks that await him on his return to Cornwall, all contribute to this troubled character. But it is in Demelza that Ross finds a kind of peace, and as
    Ross Poldark returns home to Cornwall after fighting in the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783) to many unwelcome changes. Born into a family of good lineage, Ross is part of the landed gentry in Cornwall. The family money has diminished over the years and their estate and numerous mines are becoming derelict. Ross shows a compassion for his poor neighbours which his peers find hard to understand. Demelza is a poor, young girl that Ross helps as he intervenes in a scene in the street and he r ...more
    I had some high expectations for this book based on the reviews and whatnot and unfortunately I was a little disappointed.

    The story seemed to be as much about the villagers on Ross's estate as Ross himself. And I couldn't help feel that every time the plot got pulled off in the direction of one of these other characters, that the story has just lost its focus. One instance of this was, at the marriage of two of the villagers (which Ross was not at) there was almost an entire chapter dedicated t
    I marked this as a surpriser. It took me awhile to get into and fell in love by the end. Mind you, it really could have gone the other way. Once you get to know the characters, you just want to know more and more.
    I wouldn't recommend this author for those who don't know how to read between the lines. It's definitely not a typical historical romance like I'm used to but I thoroughly enjoyed it and will continue on to the next.
    Not one for historical romances or Austen-chat, I adored the first of the Poldark books. Funny, real (characters with believable, complex and shifting world views?!) and captivating, this book was a treasure. Graham writes so wonderfully ("flames leapt up the chimney like chained hounds"). I closed the final page and am enjoying my contentment.
    Joy H.
    Mar 02, 2010 Joy H. marked it as keep-in-mind
    Shelves: adapted-to-film
    RE: "Ross Poldark" (Poldark, #1)
    An online friend from the UK told me about this series.
    Wiki says: "There are a total of twelve novels. The first seven novels are set during the 18th century, until Christmas 1799. The remaining five are concerned with the early years of the 19th century and the lives of the children of the main characters of the previous novels."

    There are movie adaptations too:
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    topics  posts  views  last activity   
    Ross and Elizabeth - could they have been happy? 12 175 Apr 20, 2015 06:31AM  
    Poldark Returns to Masterpiece Theatre! 1 14 May 16, 2014 04:41PM  
    What books " grabbed" you from the first page? 8 25 Feb 28, 2014 12:44PM  
    • The Green Gauntlet
    • Penmarric
    • The Founding (The Morland Dynasty, #1)
    • The Marsh King's Daughter
    • The King's General
    • The Cornish Heiress (Royal Dynasty, #2)
    • Netherwood
    • Niccolò Rising (The House of Niccolò, #1)
    • The Brothers of Gwynedd (Brothers of Gwynedd #1-4)
    • The Moon in The Water (Heron, #1)
    • Csardas
    • Mary of Carisbrooke: The Girl Who Would Not Betray Her King
    • The Battle of the Queens (Plantagenet Saga, #5)
    • Zemindar
    • The de Lacy Inheritance
    • Jack Frake (Sparrowhawk, #1)
    Winston 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 ...more
    More about Winston Graham...

    Other Books in the Series

    The Poldark Saga (1 - 10 of 12 books)
    • Demelza (Poldark, #2)
    • Jeremy Poldark (Poldark, #3)
    • Warleggan (Poldark, #4)
    • The Black Moon (Poldark, #5)
    • The Four Swans (Poldark, #6)
    • The Angry Tide (Poldark, #7)
    • The Stranger from the Sea (Poldark, #8)
    • The Miller's Dance (Poldark, #9)
    • The Loving Cup (Poldark, #10)
    • The Twisted Sword (Poldark, #11)
    Demelza (Poldark, #2) Jeremy Poldark (Poldark, #3) Warleggan (Poldark, #4) The Black Moon (Poldark, #5) The Four Swans (Poldark, #6)

    Share This Book

    “The case is closed, Mr. Poldark. You will kindly step down.” “Otherwise,” said Dr. Halse, “we will have you committed for contempt of court.” Ross bowed slightly. “I can only assure you, sir, that such a committal would be a reading of my inmost thoughts.” 1 likes
    “I said to myself, ‘He has done this and he has paid for it. Isn’t that enough? Is a man to be condemned forever? Why do I go to church and repeat the Lord’s Prayer if I don’t hold to it, if there is no forgiveness? Is our own behavior higher than the founder of Christianity, that we should set a higher standard for others?” 0 likes
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