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The Four Swans (The Poldark Saga #6)

4.21  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,475 Ratings  ·  75 Reviews
The sixth book in the legendary Poldark saga. Cornwall, 1795: Although Ross Poldark - now something of a war hero - seems secure in his hard-won prosperity, a new dilemma faces him in the sudden infatuation of a young naval officer for his wife Demelza. All four women - the four swans - whose lives touch Ross' face a crisis in these years. For his wife Demelza, his old lov ...more
Paperback, 581 pages
Published April 1st 1996 by MacMillan UK
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Tanya I hope you were able to find the eBook versions--I have them all on my Kindle.
Penmarric by Susan HowatchRoss Poldark by Winston GrahamRebecca by Daphne du MaurierDaphne du Maurier Collection by Daphne du MaurierThe King's General by Daphne du Maurier
Best Books Set in Cornwall
18th out of 111 books — 71 voters
Rebecca by Daphne du MaurierJamaica Inn by Daphne du MaurierFrenchman's Creek by Daphne du MaurierRoss Poldark by Winston GrahamThe Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher
Books set in Cornwall
30th out of 169 books — 53 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Karen
Mar 13, 2016 Karen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
5 STARS


Near the bank were four swans, almost stationary, moving so slowly that they appeared, only to be drifting with the tide. Each one mirrored, duplicated in the still water. It seemed sometimes that they could see their own reflections and were admiring themselves. Then one or another would break her reflection by dipping a delicate beak.
Graceful things.
White things.
Like women.
Unpredictable. Gentle. Fierce. Faithful or unfaithful. Loyal or traitorous. God who knew?


I can't remember the
...more
Kimberly Carrington-Fox
Impresionante que a estas alturas de la serie pueda sufrir y disfrutar tanto, ya me espero cualquier cosa. Me he quedado loca con algunas cosas quee pasan, determinados comportamientos de algunos personajes que no me esperaba. No sé explicarme pero me parece espectacular cómo consigue este escritor crear personajes tan profundos, con tantas aristas, cómo logra mantener la tensión y el interés hasta con los personajes secundarios. Y las tramas que se saca de la manga... La trama política es algo ...more
Piper
Mar 13, 2016 Piper rated it it was amazing
The swans were moving away now, pale, dignified, enigmatical, out of his life forever. Double mirrored in the soundless pool, they might have been representing some reverse side of their beings, like humans offering one image to the world and retaining another for private introspection.



Honestly, I do not have words to describe what I feel at this moment. Oh, my heart- it aches and rejoices equally. I am deeply touched to say the least.
This author is brilliant indeed- drawing out a myriad of
...more
Laurie
Sep 06, 2015 Laurie rated it really liked it
The Poldark saga continues with this book focusing on the four swans: Demelza, Caroline, Elizabeth and Morwenna. Demelza's 2 younger brothers join the cast and prove to be promising young men despite their challenging upbringing with dear ol' dad.

Plenty of romantic tragedy in this book which made for some dark reading at times. I had to put the book aside for awhile and read something a little lighter before I could finish Four Swans.
If you're looking for a dramatic and tragic romance this is th
...more
Marilyn
Jan 02, 2016 Marilyn rated it it was amazing
*SPOILER ALERT!*

Whatever else you might think of Winston Graham's writing, his characters are sterling. They screw up, redeem themselves, then screw up again. Real people, fascinating in their human-ness.

This time it's Demelza's turn to be a fool and throw all her happiness away...almost. That her marriage survives (at least for now) is partly due, I think, to the death of the young man infatuated with her. This book ended very differently than the others, which although they related horrible ev
...more
Tanya
Feb 11, 2016 Tanya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this sixth book of the Poldark Saga, the four swans are four women whose lives touch Ross: Demelza, Elizabeth, Caroline, and Morwenna. For a man that often seems to be rather ignorant of love beyond his past pining for Elizabeth, Ross has a remarkable romantic streak for the lives and relationships of others! This story perhaps falls more in the "romance" genre than the others as numerous men reconcile themselves to loves they cannot have--Demelza's brothers Sam and Drake and the besotted Hug ...more
Karen
Jan 10, 2010 Karen rated it really liked it
Winston Graham really does an excellent job of developing his characters. I see why this series was so popular in Britian. Book #1 was written in 1951, this book (#6) was written in 1976. The main character, Ross Poldark, goes thru a time of depression and the author says it so well in one of the most profound things I have ever read.. "It was not merely his own life but all life that was equally empty and purposeless. People, countless thousands, were hatched upon the earth like maggots every d ...more
Sarah
Nov 16, 2015 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well this ending didn't scare me as much as I thought it would! Ross really seems to be growing up! Demelza makes a mistake in this book, but Ross, maybe realizing he shouldn't throw stones, deals with it much more maturely than I would have thought. However, we STILL see his emotion and love for demelza even without him going off the deep end. This couple is all the stronger because they STAY and talk/work out their problems. It might take awhile for them to get to that point, but it happens wh ...more
Zari
Sep 26, 2015 Zari rated it really liked it
This book is the sixth one of twelve series of "Corwall" series has been written by Winston Graham. Four swans means for women: Demelza, Elizabeth, Verity and Caroline. Graham introduce a new character in this book; Hugh Armitage. A person who was saved from prison by Ross (Probably after that Ross damn himself!!) He was a poet and fall in love with Demelza in first sight. He always wrote romantic poems to her. It is the first time we find Demelza is attracted by another man except Ross. Finally ...more
Michele
Mar 25, 2016 Michele rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-books
I am completely caught up in the lives of the Poldarks. Even though I find their morality questionable at times, I just keep on going. I love how real the characters are, how flawed and so very mortal. His writing just gets better as well.

Example: Water wrinkled under the crouching clouds. pg. 211
Laura
Sep 11, 2011 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Bettie, Wanda, Hayes, Jeannette
The Four Swans is the sixth book on Poldark's saga. Who are the four swans? Demelza who unexpectedly finds a new lover; Elizabeth for whom Ross still has a special place in his heart for her, perhaps something else even more important than that; Caroline which marriage takes another step through motherhood; and Morwena with an unhappy marriage with Osborne Whitworth and the special attention given to her by Demelza's brother Drake Cane. As historical background, the Napoleonic war starts to blow ...more
Debbie
Just finished The Four Swans. Grab yer tissues you are going to need them. Ross finally confronts Elizabeth and is shocked when she infers that Valentine might be his. She also blinked when he said it wasn't much of a forcing. Young Hugh who escaped when Dwight was rescued casts puppy eyes at Demelza and writes her poetry. Ross is jealous of the calf eyes and declarations of love, when quizzed she said she wishes she were two women just once.
Hugh returns to duty but a year after they first met s
...more
Susan
Apr 26, 2014 Susan rated it it was amazing
What a crime that this series is so hard to find, and only the first 3 are available as ebooks! Got the first 3 at the library and have had to buy the rest used on Amazon. Shameful! Please read this series. You will love it! Also looking forward to reading his Marnie if I can find it!
Helen White
May 31, 2015 Helen White rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
Winston Graham what are you doing to me? This book perhaps more than the others is a rollercoaster - characters the reader cares about are now hurt, betrayed, cheated, victorious and elevated. On to the next book.
Bron Lloyd
Dec 30, 2014 Bron Lloyd rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone!
Reading for the umpteenth time and it's as good as ever!
Andrew
Mar 31, 2015 Andrew rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Those who enjoy a family saga , set in Cornwall
This is the sixth book in the Poldark series. First published in 1976. It covers the years from 1795 to 1799.

I really liked the way that this book returned to several of the family histories of earlier books. It would probably be worth reading as a one-off, but to appreciate the whole saga to date, I recommend reading the books in order.

This is certainly not a light read in terms of length, being nearly 600 pages.

I like the way the regional history and European history of the times is explored.
...more
Nooilforpacifists
Ross Poldark's Four Swans are Demelza (who gains the affections of a Naval Lt); Elizabeth (who must find a clever way of convincing George that she has been faithful and Valentine is their son); Carolina (who has to nurse Dwight back to health, while teaching him to be both a good husband and an acceptable country squire); and poor Rowena (married to the Vicar, but now has a second, younger "Chynoweth" sister as a maid).

Do you want to get transported into another world? Start reading Poldark's,
...more
Ellen
Dec 15, 2015 Ellen rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
I'm halfway through the series and still enjoying it, so I supposed that says something. I feel like the characters are well written, the author could certainly write characters that are terrible and despicable people. Even though Ross and Demelza both have their flaws, they have enough good qualities that I still like them and root for them. Even Elizabeth, as much as I still don't like her, isn't a completely awful person. But I really can't stand George Warleggan or Ossie, it's rare for me to ...more
Helena R-D
May 12, 2015 Helena R-D rated it it was amazing
It was yet another great addition to the series, taut with tension regarding Drake and Morwenna. I loved it, with the descriptions of the surroundings and how things moved at a steady clip to their conclusion. I can't say that Osbourne was good character, but he is a good villain. Makes George look normal.

I read this one at a pretty fast pace and enjoyed it, because it kept the story going in regards to Morwenna and is still setting up the story between Ross, Elizabeth and George.
Mandie
Nov 20, 2008 Mandie rated it really liked it
Winston Graham's Poldark books form a classic epic that spans generations. Having seen the televised version of the first books of the series it became a must to read them.
The first eight show that the series ran very closely attuned to the spirit and characters in the novel although momentum does seem to peter out as we get to the later part of the series. It reads very beleiveable and historically accurate and is a good introduction to Cornwall from the 18th century encompassing smuggling and
...more
Marie  Ash-Evans
Jul 07, 2011 Marie Ash-Evans rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Poldark Saga, of which this book is a part, has 12 books to it and I have read every one I can get and will finish the saga after I manage to obtain all of them. It is a historical novel set in 18th century Cornwall England in the copper mining district. It is well written and easy to read; very interesting to read of the social strata, the mores of the society of the day and how they conduct their day-to-day lives. Characters are well-drawn and sympathetic. The saga begins when the main cha ...more
Lesley
Mar 22, 2016 Lesley marked it as to-read
The Four Swans, which are part of a scene in which Ross reflects upon his life, seem to denote the four women closest to him and the turmoil they face. His wife Demelza has disastrously fallen in love with Hugh Armitage, a young officer Ross rescued along with Dr Enys. He's a poet, and he falls head over heels in love with Demelza, and right under Ross's nose. Caroline has married Dr Enys, but he is an invalid and weak, she has her work cut out. The third Swan is Elizabeth, his first love, who h ...more
Andrea
Jun 08, 2015 Andrea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Megan Jones
Feb 26, 2016 Megan Jones rated it really liked it
In this the sixth installment to the Poldark series, set 1795-1797, we once more enter their world and experience the difficulties of the four women, the four swans, in Ross's life; Demelza, Elizabeth, Caroline and Morwenna. For Demelza her trouble comes in the form of Hugh, a young naval officer who takes a shine to her and to her horror she to him. Elizabeth must deal with a surly George Warleggan and his continued jealousy and resentment of his son Valentine. Caroline is struggling to get Dwi ...more
Triss
Sep 21, 2007 Triss rated it really liked it
I know Alistair Cooke hated the Poldark series on Masterpiece Theatre, but I loved it and I loved the books. Great soap opera. And who can resist characters with names like Demelza and Morwenna? and evil reverends with fetishes for feet and toes? Ross Poldark is a hunk
Debbie Johansson
This book sees troubled times for all the main characters in the series. It is certainly not a happy one, but it is well written and emotionally charged, the reader is left wondering how some of the issues will be resolved. Historical romance at its best.
Freya
Oct 24, 2015 Freya rated it really liked it
Demelza, Demelza, Demelza! I really couldn't wait to see what would happen next. Ross and George are creeping toward middle age and still their animosity grows. Characters are further fleshed out. Domestic tranquility seems impossible.
Jeanne Johnston
Jun 21, 2015 Jeanne Johnston rated it it was amazing
Only halfway through the series, so I'm obviously not going to finish before the new series starts (tonight!), but I'll at least be ahead of it.

Lots of weirdness here, what with Demelza's infatuation (and more) with Hugh Armitage, Morwenna's sister screwing her husband and then scamming him, the Carne brothers and their determination to pursue the worst women, and Dwight and Caroline having to work way harder at marriage, now they've got it, than I expected (I'm guessing this stems as much from
...more
Alex
Nov 24, 2012 Alex rated it really liked it


The wonderful cast of characters continues to develop and grow. Everyone encounters some form of crisis, and watching them all deal with that was fascinating. It felt like the end of the half of the series.
Lili
Apr 22, 2012 Lili rated it liked it
Shelves: novel, paperback
If you love Cornwall you will love the Poldark Novels, but even if you've never been lucky enough to visit Cornwall then through Russ and Demelza you will fall in love with this beautiful County
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Poldark Saga - Wi...: Reviews 4 22 Feb 18, 2016 01:41PM  
Poldark Saga - Wi...: Hugh Armitage 5 28 Jan 16, 2016 12:06PM  
Poldark Saga - Wi...: New characters introduced in this book 1 10 Jan 13, 2016 08:22AM  
Poldark Saga discussion group 1 3 Nov 24, 2015 12:06PM  
Poldark Saga - Wi...: Diseases and Complaints of Childbirth 2 11 Nov 11, 2015 08:21AM  
Poldark Saga - Wi...: Favorites 11 18 Oct 15, 2015 09:57PM  
Poldark Saga - Wi...: Synopsis and Major Events-SPOILERS! 1 21 Oct 09, 2015 08:38AM  
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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)
  • Ross Poldark (Poldark, #1)
  • Demelza (Poldark, #2)
  • Jeremy Poldark (Poldark, #3)
  • Warleggan (Poldark, #4)
  • The Black Moon (Poldark, #5)
  • 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)

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“There's no paradise in love! It's--you're thinking in the wrong way. Love--the sort you're asking me for--is of the earth, earthy. Beautiful, maybe--sometimes it be like a gold mine that one digs into. But of the earth--earthy. Tis all wrong to speak of paradise. Love may be the nearest human beings can get--but it is still outside the gates--for it is human--easily lost--animal in the way it work, though more, much more than animal. Oftentimes it--uplifts, transports...but--but it should not be mistaken. It is a--a terrible mistake to pretend it is something quite different.” 2 likes
“Tenderness is not like money: the more you give to one, the more you have for others.” 2 likes
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