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In the enchanting second novel in Winston Graham’s beloved Poldark series, Demelza Carne, an impoverished miner’s daughter Ross Poldark rescued from a fairground brawl, now happily finds herself his wife. But the events of these turbulent years test their marriage and their love. As Ross launches into a bitter struggle for the right of the mining communities, Demelza’s efforts to adapt to the ways of the gentry (and her husband) place her in increasingly odd and embarrassing situations. When tragedy strikes and sows the seeds of an enduring rivalry between Ross and the powerful George Warleggan, will Demelza manage to bridge their differences before they destroy her and her husband’s chance at happiness?

Against the stunning backdrop of eighteenth century Cornwall, Demelza sweeps readers into one of the greatest love stories of all time.

413 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1946

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About the author

Winston Graham

116 books1,032 followers
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 (FRSL) and in 1983 was invested an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE). In his death, he left behind a son and daughter.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,172 reviews
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,401 reviews9,535 followers
February 7, 2018
I will always be Team Demelza

At the back of his mind, Ross was aware of the sound of wind rushing about in the distance. Once, when he glanced out of the bedroom window, his eyes confirmed that the swell had, in fact, quite broken up and the sea was stippled with white-lipped waves, which crossed and recrossed each other in confusion, running heedlessly, colliding, and breaking up into wisps of futile spray. The wind was as yet only gusty on the land, but here and there eddies rushed over the water, little winds, vicious and lost.

***A Bit Of Spoilery Below**

And wee little Julia was born to Demelza and Ross ♥

I love these characters so much. Well, not the evil ones but I have to admit they are played wonderfully in their own right.

I am team Demelza all the way. I don't like Elizabeth and I feel for Demelza that she has to feel second best. And I course, I know what's going to happen down the line so don't even get me started.

Demelza is selfless. She does for others that she otherwise doesn't care for. She takes care of the sick and does her best to make sure no one dies.

I also love how she fights for Verity and Captain Blamey's love. She knew it was right even when everyone else were being jerks.

But there is a tragedy that strikes and it's so damn heartbreaking.

I look forward to the rest of the series in the books and the show.

Happy Reading!

Mel ♥

MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List

Profile Image for Mischenko.
1,014 reviews97 followers
February 26, 2018
This book is featured on Shabby Sunday @ https://readrantrockandroll.com/2018/...

This is one of my favorites out of all the Poldark books. In this installment, Ross Poldark and Demelza are now happily married and giving birth to their first child, Julia. She struggles with the marriage because there are great challenges including Elizabeth’s shadow over Ross. Even though Elizabeth is married to Francis, she will never forget that Ross once loved her and she’s determined to create the best marriage and life possible with him, to win his true love. Demelza’s character matures and grows as she becomes more confident in society and she proves herself to Ross and everyone else equally.

Much happens in this installment with the birth of Julia and also Demelza’s persistence with getting Verity coupled with Captain Blamey. She knows that Verity deserves to have a life of love–like everyone else–even if it’s against the family’s wishes. Ross spends much time away from home and deals with his business ventures. The drama between the Warleggans’ and the Poldarks’ ensues…

“George stared across the street. ‘There is only one trouble with the Poldarks,’ he said after a moment. ‘They cannot take a beating.’
‘And only one trouble with the Warleggans,’ said Ross. ‘They never know when they are not wanted.’
George’s color deepened. ‘But they can appreciate and remember an insult.’
‘Well, I trust you will remember this one.’ Ross turned his back and went down the steps into the tavern.”

I love all the primary and secondary characters in this series! They’re well developed and all the books are full of scenes that keep you reading until the last page. I love the world Winston Graham created and all the drama to go with it including the love, jealously, murder, crime, death, grief, and hate. There’s so much going on here and in just one novel.

I admire my edition of Demelza because it was published during my year of birth and I think the cover is very interesting. Even though I don’t like small paperbacks that much, I made an exception with this one because it matches my set. The pages are faded a bit, but it’s in fairly decent shape for its age at forty years.

Profile Image for Jaline.
444 reviews1,603 followers
February 8, 2019
In this second novel of the Poldark family saga from the late 1780’s in Cornwall, Ross makes an off-hand comment about a couple of possible ways to break the monopoly of the companies bidding for copper and keeping the prices at less than poverty level. As a result, he ends up spending the better part of two years organizing the efforts of several gentlemen who have realized it is a case of do - or close down their mines.

Demelza, meanwhile, conspires on Verity’s behalf to do something about her single state. Demelza loves and admires Verity (Ross’ cousin) and doesn’t feel it is fair for her to give her life over to looking after her brother Francis, his wife Elizabeth, and their son and elderly great-aunt.

Unfortunately, it is Demelza’s plans coming to fruition that nearly de-rail Ross’ plans for the mines. It is also her charitableness and kindness that indirectly cause a scarring tragedy in their lives.

Two scenes from this novel, in particular, highlighted for me the amazing talent of Winston Graham’s writing. In my review of the first book (Ross Poldark), I mentioned that the novel was written in 1945. There was a gap of 8 years and then the next three novels were all published in 1953. If we watch movies from that vintage, very few have the directorial strength (for me) of the two scenes that caught my imagination in this novel.

The first is at a ball. There is dancing, drinking, gambling in a side room, and socializing – including gossip and flirtations. This entire evening of the ball played like a movie in my mind – swirling through the ballroom and adjacent rooms in a series of cut-scenes where snippets of action and talk give way to other sequences. All these separate scenes are spliced together with perfect timing and gave me the feeling of being a camera moving from one group of people to the next and on to the next. These scenes are fast-moving, and one of the most interesting aspects is that all of the sights and sounds – all of the conversations and interactions – all are relevant information for later on. By the time everyone was leaving the ball, I felt like I had been caught up in a whirlwind world of intrigues, tensions, and the always present masking of motivations that people affected.

The second is on a cold winter’s night when two ships are wrecked in the bay near where the Poldarks live. When a ship is wrecked on the coast, village people arrive en masse to scavenge for whatever they can. By the time the locals had picked the bones of the first ship clean, a second ship was foundering and over one thousand desperate and starving people (mostly miners) from two neighbouring villages joined in. Old rivalries added to the revelries and not even a squadron of officials could stem the tide of pillaging and drunkenness and fighting.

Once again, I loved reading about this family, their concerns, and their surroundings. And already I am looking forward to reading the third book next month.
Profile Image for Candi.
607 reviews4,585 followers
December 21, 2021
"Loyalty is not a thing to be bought: it is freely given or withheld."

5 radiant stars! I thought I could perhaps get hooked on the Poldark series, but Demelza, the second book in the series, really sealed the deal for me! There is absolutely no turning back now – I am thoroughly invested in the lives of these complex characters. Winston Graham breathes so much life into each and every one that you feel as if you’ve already known these folks for a long time. You live with them, you love them, you feel anger towards them, you sympathize with them, you hope for them, and you ache with them.

The backdrop of late eighteenth century Cornwall is as stunning as I have come to expect, not only from this series but from other English novelists as well. You really get a sense of time and place with these books. Some readers may turn away from this series, with the mistaken belief that the genre is merely romance. Perhaps the modern covers that depict the man and woman from the television series throw you off a bit. Perhaps the fact that many fans nearly slobber over Aidan Turner, leading man in the dramatization, convinces you of this erroneous conclusion. (Okay, many of us, including yours truly, are guilty on that count!) However, what this series really amounts to is excellent historical fiction (with only a splash of romance). The characters in this book are burdened by real struggles, and a great degree of social unrest exists during this time. In parallel with the social and political upheavals in France existing at this time, the people of Cornwall are beginning to question authority. They want job stability, food on the table, and begin to dispute the justice of class distinctions. Graham writes so masterfully that the descriptions of the countryside itself presage turmoil on the horizon.

"For hours a blight had stalked across it. So much salt was in the terrible wind that nothing escaped. The young green leaves of the trees turned black and withered, and when a breeze moved them they rattled like dry biscuits. Even the dandelions and the nettles went black. The hay was damaged and the potato crop, and the young peas and beans shriveled and died. The rose-buds never opened, and the stream was choked with the debris of a murdered spring."

In this installment, we discern characters making choices, many of them quite difficult. Loyalties are manifested, while others are tested. Just like real life, decisions are not always straightforward. Doing the right thing for one, may cause mischief with another. We are left with some cliffhangers that compel you to grab the next in the series – which is fine for me as I have already dived into book three; this being a shift for me as I rarely read series books back to back. Undoubtedly, Demelza is the one that shines in this particular novel. We see her growth as a young woman, her budding allure which she will learn to use not just for her own advantage but for that of others as well. "Demelza was beginning to feel like a lion tamer who has been putting his pets through their paces and finds them getting out of hand." I adore her – a splendid leading woman who does not forget her roots.

I highly recommend this series to anyone that enjoys engaging historical fiction with superior character development. You really must read the series in order, as the story is quite linear in time. As for the PBS series – yes, I have watched but not in real time. I am making sure to read first, and then watch only as much as I can without revealing any spoilers before proceeding. Watching it makes for a completely gratifying experience!
Profile Image for Anna.
430 reviews46 followers
April 29, 2015
The BBC's new version of Poldark ended this weekend with heartbreak and a literal cliff-hanger. Over the past eight episodes (which covered the first two books) I fell head over heels in love with Ross and Demelza, played by the ridiculously handsome Aidan Turner and the beautiful Eleanor Tomlinson. They had so much chemistry, conveying so much emotion, passion and confliction, and they turned me into a swooning pile of mush!

After it finished, I wanted to immediately read the third book in the series to find out what happens next, but knew it made more sense to go back and read the first two, which I now have. I hate to say it but I much prefer the TV version to the books. The Ross and Demelza in the books just don't have the same spark, the same tingle as they do on TV. True, in Ross Poldark they shared some beautifully tender moments during their fledgling romance, but I didn't feel it as much in Demelza. Had I just read the books, I'd have gently enjoyed them but wouldn't be the slightly obsessed fangirl I am now because of the adaptation, and for that I'm really disappointed.

As with all adaptations there are some tweaks to be had, but it mostly stayed true to Winston Graham's writing. The one big change though was towards the end when on TV there was a visitor to a sickbed, and Ross's response to it had me all but punching the air in delight; his words were exactly what I'd be wanting to hear and I couldn't wait to re-live that scene in the book, but it wasn't there, it was made up by the adaptation. Even though it obviously wasn't Graham's fault, I somehow felt cheated. Not fair of me I know, but the way I feel.

I'm now in a dilemma. I really want to know how the story progresses, but do I wait for the second TV series next year with my Ross and Demelza, or do I carry on with the books that don't hold the same magic? Hmmm....
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56k followers
December 6, 2021
Demelza (Poldark, #2) , Winston Graham

Demelza is the second of twelve novels in Poldark, a series of historical novels by Winston Graham, continues the story of Ross Poldark and his wife, Demelza.

Demelza Carne, the impoverished miner's daughter Ross Poldark rescued from a fairground rabble, is now his wife. But the events of these turbulent years test their marriage and their love.

As Ross launches into a bitter struggle for the right of the mining communities, Demelza's efforts to adapt to the ways of the gentry (and her husband) place her in increasingly odd and embarrassing situations.

When tragedy strikes and sows the seeds of an enduring rivalry between Ross and the powerful George Warleggan, will Demelza manage to bridge their differences before they destroy her and her husband's chance at happiness?

Demelza: A novel Cornwall 1788 - 1790, Winston Graham, Collins: Fontana books, 1976 = 1355, in 382 Pages.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: سالها پیش از امروز نسخه ی اصلی کتاب را در شهر «لندن» خوانده ام

عنوان: دملزا کتاب دوم از سری پولدارک؛ نویسنده: وینستون گراهام؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان بریتانیا - سده20م

سال1783میلادی است، و «راس پولدارک»، از جنگ استقلال «آمریکا»، به خانه ی خویش باز گشته است؛ خانه‌ ای که در بحران و رکود، فرو رفته؛ «راس پولدارک» پس از بازگشت، با شرایط ناامید کننده‌ ای رودرروست، او درمییابد در نبودش، پدرش درگذشته، خانه و معادنش ویران شده، و نامزدش، که از دوران کودکی او را دوست میداشته، با پسر عموی خویش نامزد کرده است؛ «راس» اکنون احساس می‌کند، که همگی چیزهایی که دوست میداشته، به او خیانت کرده‌ اند؛ «راس» میخواهد، کارهای تازه ای را آغاز کند؛ او به زودی دشمنانی، و هم‌چنین یک عشق تازه را، در جایی پیدا می‌کند، که انتظارش را ندارد؛ این عشق داستان این کتاب است

دملزا کارنه، دختر یک معدنچی فقیر است، و اکنون او همسر «راس پولدارک» نجیبزاده نیز هست، اما رویدادهای آن سالهای پرآشوب، ازدواج و عشق آنها را در بوته خویش میسنجد؛ «راس» به یک مبارزه ی تلخ و دشوار برای حقوق «جوامع معدنی» وارد میشود، تلاشهای «دملزا» برای کنار آمدن با روشهای نجیب زادگی، و کنار آمدن با همسرش، او را در موقعیتهای ناباورانه قرار میدهند؛ هنگامی که تراژدی رخ میدهد، و بذرهای جنگ و گریز پایدار را، بین «راس» و «جورج وارلگان» توانمند میکارد، «دملزا» شاید بتواند، پیش از اینکه آن دیگران، شانسِ او و همسرش، برای خوشبختی را، از بین ببرند، به درگیریها پایان دهد؛ ...؛

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 14/09/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Karen.
799 reviews1,005 followers
August 9, 2016

I am completely engrossed in this series now. This is the second book in the Poldark series which was first published back in the 1940's. I was encouraged to read the books after first watching the recently released television series on BBC.

The series centers around the life of Ross Poldark, who is a dark and broody character, arrogant and strong, yet often overly compassionate in his nature. It is the late 1780's and he has returned from war to his home in Cornwall, England, only to find that his father has died and left him nearly destitute, and the girl he was promised to marry has become engaged to his cousin, Francis.

In this book some years have passed since his return, and the young Demelza Carne, who he had hired as a kitchen wench at the age of thirteen has now grown up, and has started to catch his eye. She is not beautiful in the same elegant way of his Elizabeth, but there is something in her manner that is utterly irresistible, and just the salve for his dying heart.

I love Demelza's character. There is something of the ragged mutt in her, yet her nature simply exudes the joy of life. She invokes happiness in everything she does and everyone she meets. Even those who are set to despise her find it nearly impossible to do so. And she is strong, in the way of getting by, but at the same time she is humble and timid, almost demanding to be treasured like a child demands to be cared for. And it seems she has become just what Ross needs to soothe his tortured soul.

I highly recommend these books to anyone who loves a good historical drama/romance. These characters are timeless and meaty. Brilliantly written. The only draw back I can see here is the length of the series. Alas there are 12 books in the series and I have ten yet to go. But at this moment, I look forward to each and every one.
Profile Image for Linda.
1,192 reviews1,243 followers
September 13, 2016
Ross sighed. "You have married into a peculiar family. You must never expect the Poldarks to behave in the most rational manner. I have long since given up expecting it. We are hasty -- quite incredibly hasty, it seems -- and sharp-tempered, strong in our likes and dislikes and unreasonable in them."

Demelza is the second book in the Poldark Series by Winston Graham. This story builds beautifully upon the first book in the series. Ross Poldark, returning to the ruins of his beloved family estate of Nampara, marries the daughter of an impoverished miner. Ross is forever searching for peace and stability in a very unstable world in Cornwall.

Demelza is a free spirit who continues to see beauty before her in spite of the beatings and ill-treatment she received at the hands of her own family. Ross appears to have married Demelza more out of duty than out of love. He pines away for the loss of his delicate Elizabeth who has married his cousin, Francis. Will Demelza ever be able to enter into the depths of this very dark and unwelcoming heart?

Believe me, I am not drawn to romance novels. Period. The Poldark Series is far, far more than that.
It is solid historical fiction that depicts several generations of people suffering from the receiving end of decisions made at their own hands and by the hands of others. Ruthless, careless, demeaning decisions that visit upon doorsteps and take residence there. Even good intentions carry an impact unforeseen.

Demelza, herself, leads often with her heart. "Extravagant and contrary in all things, he thought. Her loyalties, her griefs. She betrays me, deceives me without a flicker. Am I to blame her, who knows so much about conflicting and divided loyalties? The enormity of it bringing perhaps failure and ruin."

I have embraced the Poldark Series with open arms as well as the PBS Series based on the Winston Graham books. Even if you are not usually pulled into the genre of historical fiction, I believe you will find this series satisfying. Graham has laid bare the interactions of male/female, upper class/lower class, rich/poor, honest/deceitful, mixed with the inner workings of humanity at its best and at its worst. Somehow time changes nothing........
Profile Image for Ken.
2,133 reviews1,316 followers
February 7, 2019
I’m really enjoying the latest BBC adaptation of the Poldark saga, so of course I had to read the books!

What I find really interesting is for a normal page to screen adaptation, it follows a book per series format.
But with this show they’d opted for a two novels per season.
That’s a 500+ page novel condensed to just 4 episodes!

The reason why these books are so popular is due to the strength of both the characters and the setting they find themselves in.
Cornwall is really vividly brought to life, in a way it’s a character in itself.

As the title suggests there’s more of a focus on Demelza, the miners daughter now wife to Ross and mother to Julia as she struggles to adapt to a different way of life. There’s some great character development as she matured throughout this instalment.
Unlike the previous volume, this entry just spans 3 years (1788-90) and the gradual growth is more apparent.

I like how the class system is so integral to the series, whilst the day to day life of the late eighteenth century including working conditions and infectious diseases can be deadly.
This makes for one great series!
Profile Image for Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ .
784 reviews565 followers
January 12, 2022
This is my first completed book of 2022, & it could well be my best fiction read of the year -I loved it that much!

This book continues Ross & Demelza's journey, & while I don't think the beginning was a strong as Ross Poldark, from around the 40% mark it becomes a very powerful book. While Ross is a very complex character, Demelza is simple in the best possible meaning of the word - when something feels right to her that is what she does - then, thinks about the consequences later.

But all the characters, whatever their way of life, are well realised & easy for me to remember.

Graham writes beautifully;

He was not a man who spoke his innermost feelings easily, but now he saw himself powerless to help her, and only words of his and not actions would give her aid. 'Nothing else matters but you,' he said. 'Remember that. All my relatives and friends - and Elizabeth, and this house and the mine... I'd throw them in the dust and you know it - you know it. If you don't know it, then all these months I've failed and no words I can give you now will make it otherwise. I love you, Demelza and we've had such happiness. And we're going to have it again. Take hold of that, my sweet. Hold it and keep it, for no one else can.'

Of course this being Ross, there are hidden layers...

I won't be able to wait too long to continue this saga. &, in a piece of rare good fortune, I went to an op (charity) shop looking for the next two books (Jeremy Poldark & Warleggan) - & there they were.

Should have bought a Lotto ticket!

Profile Image for Lori  Keeton.
453 reviews92 followers
February 24, 2022
Demelza had known that when Julia grew up she would be proud of her father; it had not occurred to her that she might also be proud of her mother. A splendid thought, shining like that sun on the sea. She would do all she could. Learn to be a lady, learn to grow old with grace and charm. She was only young yet, so there was still a chance to learn.

Book 2 of the beloved Poldark series begins exactly where Book 1 ends and centers upon Demelza, Ross’s wife and mother of his daughter, Julia. Julia is born at the beginning and Demelza decides to host two christening parties, one for the gentry and another for the country folk. When her miner father turned religious zealot shows up at the wrong party, Demelza is embarrassed by the insults toward her guests. Demelza says to Ross, …I thought I would show ‘em I was a fit wife for you, that I could wear fine clothes and behave genteel an’ not disgrace you. An’ instead they will all ride home snickering behind their hands…

From the start, we are aware of the struggle that Demelza will face, to be accepted as Ross’s wife. She provides this story with its emotional heartstrings and we immediately empathize with her and begin to wish her success. She has such a kind and good heart and wishes to appease a sticky situation between Ross and his cousin Frances. She intervenes in reuniting cousin Verity with the man who wasn’t accepted by her brother Frances and cousin Ross. Demelza is intent on Verity’s happiness but keeps her involvement from Ross. Her loyalty to the Poldark family is seen when a crisis occurs in which she may be at risk by helping out.

Ross, a man of action and decency, has his own share of problems with the domination of the copper smelting companies that are keeping prices unnaturally low. Ross’s investors in the new Carnmore Copper Company are buying up the copper and smelting it themselves for the benefit of the miners. His largest struggle is trying to keep the wicked Warleggan family out of his new venture. This begins a rivalry between two families that proves to be vehement.

I have already become invested in the people that I have met in Cornwall. I know them and want the best for them. New characters are introduced, such as Dr. Dwight Enys, who provide extraneous storylines to the overall plot. The fact that we are involved in the lives of the people surrounding Ross and Demelza makes this a highly appealing story to read. You want to know what happens and why to their servants, tenants, relatives and neighbors. I love the vast sphere of social interactions that are represented by this era - late 18th century. Ross and Demelza pursue their individual interests that help define and solidify their character and personalities. But the love story is still at the center and we get to experience the ups and downs of all of these connected characters.

Whatever she suffered, whatever loss came to her, she would throw it off, for it was not in her nature to go under. Although she was the woman and he a fierce and sometimes arrogant man, hers was the stronger nature because the pliant.
Profile Image for Judith E.
531 reviews188 followers
August 30, 2019
The second of this series does not disappoint. Again, the Cornwall landscape is lyrically described and reflects human emotions and moods. The multitude of characters’ personalities are deep and extremely interesting. Their actions reflect the social structure, customs and political atmosphere of the times. The Cornwall speech patterns of the residents can be mystifying at times and adding Polly Choate’s lisp to it pushes it to hilarity (“They came to the Athembly like they wath two tigerth thtalking after pwey”).

Ross and Demelza Poldark’s struggle through everyday life with their families and businesses reflect British society of the mid 18th century. A large portion of the population is starving, big money holds the upper hand on copper prices, there are repercussions of the French Revolution, and age old vices of drunkenness, gambling and adultery rears its head.

Was this author really a male? His ability to write the female side of this tale is admirable. Can’t wait to read #3.
Profile Image for Piper.
302 reviews76 followers
August 20, 2016
"Ross," she said, "I should like you to make it up with Francis sometime. It would be better all around."
"Sometime soon."
"Sometime soon."
He had no heart to argue with her.

The sun shone full upon her face, showing the thin cheeks and the pallid skin.

"When something happens," she said, "like what has just happened to us, it makes all our quarrels seem small and mean, as if we were quarreling when we hadn't the right. Didn't we ought to find all the friendship we can?"
"If friendship is to be found!"
"Yes. But didn't we ought to seek it? Can't all our quarrels be buried and forgotten?"

Ross was silent. "I believe yours is the only wisdom, Demelza," he said at length.

(I realize I used this quote in my first review but it is so profound that I found myself helpless to leave it said but only once.)

If I could give Demelza more than five stars— I surely would. I actually would have given it more the first time I read it and it was even better the second time around. These books that Winston Graham wrote seem to be a part of me now. I know that sounds a bit strange but his writing just takes me there and it's as if I am living and breathing with all these characters in the late 1700's to the early 1800's. JUST.SO.GOOD. On to the third book for a re-read. It will be this book, Jeremy, and the 4th, Warleggan that the 2nd season of the BBC drama will cover. If you have not yet entered this world of Poldark— it's not too late. You will not be sorry!!

*****This is a previous review from the first time I read Demelza*****

Demelza, the second installment of the Poldark saga, was just as excellent as the first. It is a story of love, loss and hardship. It entertains us with a fabulous cast of characters (and a few not so fabulous) and incites so many emotions. As was with the first book, I knew much of what was going to take place, seeing as I had watched the BBC TV adaptation. It made reading it that much sweeter IMO and also offered invaluable detail into the thoughts of Demelza and Ross that can only be realized thru the written word.

My status updates tell much of the story of Ross and Demelza, so I am not including many more pictures. I will share a few of the other main characters though.

Francis Poldark is Ross’s cousin. I don’t like him very much. He is spoiled and self-absorbed. He wouldn’t know (much less appreciate) a good thing if it slapped him in the face.

Elizabeth is the wife of Francis but an old flame of Ross. If you ask me- she made a grave mistake in her choice of husbands.

Then we have sweet Verity. She is Francis’s sister and thankfully is the complete opposite of him. She is so deserving of finding happiness.

George Warleggan is an interesting fellow and I’m very curious to see where the author takes his character. He is a successful, cunning banker for many of the businessmen in the story.

I realize I have not actually explained what this book is about, but there are so many aspects to this story (and I am not at all eloquent in my writing of reviews). So I will just say that if you are at all interested- then you should just read it. Also, I highly recommend the television series as a companion to the book(s). It's like icing on the cake!!!
Profile Image for Sara.
Author 1 book462 followers
February 7, 2017
Demelza, the second book in the Poldark series, is what second books should be, even better than the first. The story builds to a crescendo, and even though I knew from watching the TV series exactly what was in store, I was glued to every page and full of emotion by the end.

What I love the most about this story is that every character is fully developed and very real. No one is always right, no one always wrong. They do things without fully understanding the consequences of their actions; they endeavor to right things and frequently make them worse; they love and hate--and sometimes both emotions are thrown at the same individual. There are complicated family relationships (and who doesn’t have those?) and there is jealousy and greed and every other aspect of being human and fallible.

I am not one who generally reads a series. I seldom want to commit that kind of time and energy to one story, and I fear that, like a TV show that goes on too long, the author will begin to short change his audience because he should have closed out a story that he is milking along. If the second book of this series is any indicator, I will be glad that I made an exception in this case.
Profile Image for Vikki Patis.
Author 10 books183 followers
March 21, 2015
I chose to read Demelza, the second in the Poldark series by Winston Graham, for the Cornish Reading Challenge.

If you haven't heard about Poldark yet, where the hell have you been? The brand new series, starring Aiden Turner as Ross Poldark, is currently showing on BBC One (Sundays at 9pm). The show covers the first two books in the series.

I fell in love with the world of Poldark as soon as I picked up the first book, Ross Poldark. Due to my love for Cornwall, I knew I would adore everything about the series. And I do.

Demelza Carne, the impoverished miner's daughter Ross Poldark rescued from a fairground rabble, is now his wife. But the events of these turbulent years test their marriage and their love.

Demelza's efforts to adapt to the ways of the gentry - and her husband - bring her confusion and heartache, despite her joy in the birth of their first child. Ross begins a bitter struggle for the rights of the mining communities - and sows the seed of an enduring enmity with powerful George Warleggan.

I'm a big fan of Demelza. A fantastic woman, she takes life by the horns and deals with the trials thrown at her with strength and grace. She knows her own mind, and despite her loyalty to Ross, still goes her own way when she firmly believes in something. Ross is seen as a strong man, a figure within his community, but it is Demelza who begins to impress those around her, and takes centre stage in this brilliant novel.

I don't want to give too much away, because the TV show is still ongoing, and I want everyone to read the books. I found Demelza completely absorbing, full of the same beauty as the first novel, and just as thrilling.
Profile Image for Sophia.
Author 5 books329 followers
September 5, 2015
After reading the first book in the Poldark Saga, I was eager for more of the gritty, atmospheric world set along the Cornish coast in the late eighteen hundreds. The writing, tone, characters, dialogue and setting were of the finest I have read. I was not disappointed when I continued with the story in this second book of the series which really needs to be read in order.

As the title states clearly, this is Demelza's book. She was a waif and an emerging woman in the first book, but this book shows her coming into her own through the trials of life as friend, lady of their lands, mother, and wife. She both errs and she grows, but her character does not alter.

In the beginning of the story, Demelza desires to show herself ready to be the lady of a gentleman so she uses little Julia's christening as an opportunity to host a party. But ready to be lady or not, she still has her insecurities and it is up to Ross to reassure her:

"Nothing else matters, but you," he said. "Remember that. All my relatives and friends- and Elizabeth, and this house and the mine...I'd throw them in the dust and you know it- and you know it. If you don't know it, then all these months I've failed and no words I can give you now will make it otherwise. I love you, Demelza... p. 6 Ross from Demelza

Demelza wants to make those she loves happy so she meddles and schemes even behind Ross' back. She learns that what she meant for good may have dire consequences even within her own marriage.

Ross has his own worries what with the situation of the copper industry, the Warleggan strangle-hold on the financial power in their area of Cornwall, and trouble within his own family and people. He must find a way to steer his way through it all. In the end, tragedies and joys come and it is Demelza's sunny nature that soothes his dark Poldark one.

This truly is a saga of the Poldark family, but also that of the Cornish people at the time. The story moves along steadily accumulating plot threads and players on the scene surrounding the key players. It's not hard to follow the story and very easy to become vested in the circumstances. I love that this historical is not about the upper classes, but the gentry and the working poor. Instead of their lives being bland; they are rich and emotions are engaged.

Ross and Demelza's marriage and daily life are still center, but the dark clouds of low rates for the copper, tough times for their people, strained relations with their neighbors even family, and most of all, the rising conflict with the Warleggans make for continued page turning. Demelza's activities strained things and I can see storm clouds brewing as a continued result of what she set in motion. My emotions were gripped. I was both saddened and gladdened by events of the story. I would add that this is romantic storytelling without being a romance.

The historical setting of Georgian era Cornwall continues to be a strength. The author waxes poetic a few times and nearly brought me to tears over a mine closure and later I was thrilled breathless by a shipwreck and a wrecker's party on the beach. The writing includes strong nods to the distinction of classes and society with local speech employed for miners and workers that is amusing to work out at times.

All in all, the strength, depth, and richness of this story kept me reading on even when other claims on my time called to me. I loved getting lost in the Poldark world and I look forward to picking up the next book in the series. I heartily recommend this series to those who love historical fiction with drama.

My thanks to Sourcebooks Landmark for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Diane Barnes.
1,229 reviews451 followers
February 12, 2018
The second book is this series was every bit as good as the first, and did not disappoint me at all. At this point, I feel as though I live on the Cornish coast with not only the landed gentry, but the miners and their families as well. And now I can watch the first season of this Masterpiece Theater production, which encompasses the first two novels. Still have a crush on Ross, am best friends with his wife, and there's still a lot of characters to hate and gossip about. Good writing takes this family saga over the top.
Profile Image for Jessica.
Author 28 books5,607 followers
June 14, 2021
I used to call the TV show "Ross Makes Terrible Life Choices," but really, this book makes it clear that it's not his fault. Everyone is making terrible choices here, except of course my darling Demelza and my darling Verity. I had forgotten what an ass Francis was, too!
Profile Image for Lori.
167 reviews6 followers
February 7, 2017
After reading this second book in the Poldark series I am even more captivated with these characters. Graham writes naturally, adding no unnecessary details that take you out of the story. His characters are complex yet entertaining. The views of the Cornish coastline, written in panoramic detail, are stunning. Even if I weren't thoroughly bewitched by Demelza Poldark this would be a worthwhile read.

But at the heart of this offering is Demelza's story. In this installment she blossoms and matures into a young woman who is governed by her virtues. Against a backdrop of tension and fear she maintains a positive outlook. There is much for Demelza to overcome, but overcome she does and beautifully I might add. This book is a reminder of how uncertain life can be and those who cling to their belief that things will get better will surely endure.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Holly.
57 reviews36 followers
November 4, 2017
This is some of the best historical fiction I've read in a while. I loved the characters, the setting, the relationships... everything. Some of the scenes dealing with the copper company were a bit dull but for the most part I loved it.
Profile Image for Coco.
1,007 reviews413 followers
June 10, 2016
Demasiado bonico, aunque me han hecho mucho de sufrir.
Profile Image for Jeannie.
202 reviews
September 23, 2018
4.5 I'm starting to get attached to these characters. I feel like I know them. I love the poetic writing.

"The stars moved up the sky, climbing and turning on their endless roundabout. A gentle wind stirred and sighed among the bracken and the brake, stirred and moved and then lay down again to sleep. A cricket began to saw among the gorse, and somewhere overhead a nighthawk cried."

I highly recommend for those who like historical fiction!

Profile Image for Karen.
799 reviews1,005 followers
August 21, 2016
Re-read was even better than the first time around!
Profile Image for Pilar.
Author 4 books72 followers
January 19, 2017
3,5 Soy fan de el personaje de Demelza, pero tanta descripción minera me lo ha hecho algo pesado. Sin embargo, seguiré con los otros aunque sea con calma.
Profile Image for QNPoohBear.
2,956 reviews1,478 followers
January 26, 2017
Demelza picks up where Ross Poldark left off. With the birth of their first child and the Wheal Leisure project progressing, Ross and Demelza are content. However, the country has been plunged into a depression and many are out of work. Ross champions his friends and workers against a system that increasingly favors the wealthy gentry and nobility. His cousin Francis is on a downward spiral as well and cousin Verity is fading into an unhappy spinster. Demelza, with love in her heart, also champions the side of happiness and true love over the expectations of her husband's class. Can she ever truly be one of them? Ross continues to find ways to save his mines and keep out of debtors' prison. Will he be able to find a solution or will his hot temper get in the way? Business triumph turns to despair and personal tragedy brings Ross closer than ever to the brink of ruin. Only his wife's open and loving heart can help him overcome his setbacks.

This story has a lot more action than the first book. There's childbirth, work, courtship, intense emotion, marriage, adultery, murder, card games, illness and shipwreck to keep the reader involved. Having seen the series, I wasn't quite as involved in the story as I would have been otherwise. I noticed some differences in the two plots and the timeline was very condensed in the series. I have to give an A+ to the screenwriter for being faithful to the plot and adding a woman's romantic touch and a cliffhanger to the shocking ending.

The writing is excellent. As in the first book, the descriptions of scenery and the weather are so incredibly vivid, I can easily imagine 18th century Cornwall in all its splendid glory. The writing lends itself so easily to the sweeping, cinematic style of the BBC/PBS Masterpiece now that it must have been an easy choice to choose to adapt this series. Cornwall is a major character as much as the people. I only have a few minor quibbles where the author fell into the stereotypes of his day and the time period he wrote about (George's looks, Ross's feelings towards Demelza's innocent actions, attitudes towards Keren). I really liked most of the history except for the details of the mining business. I don't understand that and skimmed some of it in favor of advancing the plot.

The human characters are also very vivid. Here their personalities start to come out more. Ross is boiling just below the surface, trying to keep his anger at the inequality of social justice at bay. He wants to do the right thing by everyone and is very proud-almost too proud and stubborn to do the right thing. His hair trigger temper gets the better of him at times. There was one scene with his wife I didn't care much for but he didn't go completely off the deep end yet. I can empathize with his temper and his strong sense of social justice. If Ross represents the darkness of raw emotion, then Demelza represents the light of a pure heart. She's so sweet and somewhat naive. She doubts herself too much. She is starting to come into her own here and become a true partner to Ross. They're not quite equals yet but she is learning to speak her mind. They have an easy camaraderie and balance each other nicely. Winston Graham's wife must have been an exceptional woman and he must have loved her very much to base this amazing young woman after her. I also love Verity, Ross's spinster cousin. Her feelings are so raw and so strong on the page, I can feel them. I sympathize with her and wish I had half the patience and goodness she has. I was rooting for her to find happiness.

I'm less enthusiastic about Francis and Elizabeth. Francis is a whiny, spoiled baby who needs to man up. Elizabeth wants her cake and to eat it too. She doesn't have a huge role here. I give her credit for being a devoted mother but that's about it. George's character is starting to develop towards the end of the novel. He is also spoiled and has a chip on his shoulder. He doesn't like to lose but he's not as much of a villain as he is in the series at this point. The other gentry men who appear here don't get much love from me. While they admire Demelza, they admire her for the wrong reasons. The gentrywomen all come across as catty. Demelza's father returns with a new wife and new personality. He is quite the character and adds some comic relief (unintentionally on his part).

A brand new character here is Dr. Dwight Enys, a young surgeon specializing in mine diseases. He's good at what he does and a million times more modern than Dr. Choake. Enys has a good heart though he lost respect in my eyes from something he let happen. Equally vivid are the miners and their families. New here is Mark Daniel, an uneducated miner who falls madly for a beautiful young actress. Keren is a young woman who has never had a real home. She's very naive in many ways but she's also a minx. I tried to make allowances for her lack of upbringing but it's hard. She lacks common sense and thinks too highly of herself. Her actions are selfish but Mark's actions and the reactions of the cottagers are not acceptable to me. Again, making allowances for the time period is tough, especially right now. The more things change, the more things stay the same.

This is an excellent series that period drama fans will enjoy.
Profile Image for Maria João (A Biblioteca da João).
1,103 reviews168 followers
May 16, 2019
8 de 10*

“A Força de uma Mulher” é a continuação de “O Regresso de um Estranho”. O primeiro livro da série ficou um pouco aquém do que eu esperava desta história, felizmente a sua continuação ganhou um novo alento e acabou por se tornar uma leitura muito interessante.

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Profile Image for Ceri.
283 reviews92 followers
July 31, 2015
This review was first published in Babblings of a Bookworm: http://babblingsofabookworm.blogspot....

This is book 2 in the Poldark series, so the following may contain some spoilers in relation to the events of book 1, though I've tried to keep them minimal. Read on at your own risk!

Here Demelza begins to really bloom into herself. She begins to gain confidence, both in her marriage and within society, finding that she can hold her own against uncharitable people, and discovering, to her amazement, that she has the power to attract men. However, Demelza’s origins are humble, and there are those who won’t let her forget it. I particularly felt for Demelza where the two worlds collide, absolutely excruciating!

‘She knew that however the day might turn, it was a black failure to her. Full-flavored meat for the gossips. Well, let it come. There was nothing more she could do. She had tried to be one of them and failed. She would never try again. Let them all go home, ride off at once, so that she might have done with everything. Only that she might be left alone.’

However, this helps Demelza grow as a character, she needs to accept herself for herself, not for her place in society through her marriage. As Demelza’s confidence grows she takes some steps that change the course of her family’s lives. All the decisions we make have a knock on effect on other events; often the effect is so small it’s unnoticeable, but some of the decisions Demelza makes have large repercussions, some of which she could never have imagined or foreseen. I think it’s likely that some of the repercussions haven’t been felt even yet, by the close of the book.

You might be wondering what has been happening with our hero, Ross. Well, he is trying to make a success of his business venture, the mine, but finding that others are determined to have him as their leader in a new venture. This means that he is almost forced into a position where he is likely to make some powerful enemies. Though Ross can be reckless in anger or times of great distress, as we saw in book 1 of the series, he remains an admirable and modest man for the most part:

‘Without Ross too they would have been lost, although he did not realise it. He was the stiffening, the unyielding element, and a large part of the driving power. Men accepted his integrity where with another they would have asked “What has he to gain?”

In the first book, there wasn’t a huge amount of romance in Demelza’s marriage, or if there was, it was a bit one-sided. However, the marriage is proving to be generally quite happy, and a lot more equal than might have been supposed. Though her husband is away from home more than is ideal, the relationship between them is lovely. There was some lovely banter between them:

“Something has excited you. Kiss me.”

She kissed him.

“Now I know it is not rum,” he added.

“Oh! Judas!” She wiped her mouth distastefully. “What insult next! If that is all you kiss me for, to pry and spy into my liquors...”

“It’s a sure way.”

“Then next time you suspect him I hope you’ll try it on Jud.”

As you can see from that last quote, the humour, one of the things I particularly enjoyed about the first book, is still present here. There were some snippets that really made me giggle, and as expected, Jud was involved in most of them:

‘She found she could see the lane outside. She edged nearer the window. Jud’s shiny head. A woman selling oranges. He was swearing at her. She was swearing back. Jud seemed scandalized that anyone could match his own bad words.’

I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed this book. It was a real rollercoaster. There was excruciating embarrassment; there was pride in Demelza and how she was maturing and coming into her own; there was the wish to stop her from taking certain steps; there was pain and distress at some events. This was a book that made me both laugh and cry and actually made me have trouble sleeping because my head was still in Cornwall! I so wanted to discuss it with somebody and begin wild speculation about what is coming next, as Winston Graham is not afraid to have hardships befall his characters, and I am worried that more are coming! There are some gritty themes in this book, but there are also some real emotions and subtle touches, it’s a real mix. Would I recommend this book? Absolutely. I enjoyed the first book, but this book I was more completely involved in, I thought it was wonderful! A five star read.

*I was provided with an ebook of Demelza for my honest review as part of the Poldark blog tour.
Profile Image for Lucia.
733 reviews798 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
March 4, 2016

Unfortunately, second book in Poldark series isn't as engaging as first one so I'm putting it aside for now. Hopefully the right mood will strike me one day so I can finish it.
337 reviews1 follower
June 30, 2015
Poldark series; Ross, Demelza, Jeremy and Warleggan by Winston Graham

Addictive! This is the word to describe what happens when you start reading the first book in this
series. Winston Graham has written historical fiction at its best. Cornwall in the end of the 18th century, where people are mainly depending on the tin and copper mines.

The story starts when Ross, a young man from the higher classes, but without money, comes back after having fought in the American wars. Being rather disillusioned by his experience, he is on his way home. Already in the stage coach he gets news that his father has died. Deciding at the spur of the moment, not to go directly home, but visit his uncle to inquire more about the circumstances, he get his second chock when he learns that his first love, Elizabeth, is to marry his cousin Francis. With these devastating news he goes back to his house, Nampara, where he grew up. It is in an appalling state, and no money to take care of it. However, he is determined to take it back to how it once was. The other part of his inheritance is a couple of mines, where his father already had given up on finding anything. His prospects does not look that good.

I don’t want to reveal too much for you, who are still happy enough, to have the enjoyment of reading the books ahead of you. It is a family saga of the Poldark family, and the people surrounding them. It is a tale of family, love and betrayal, the rich and the poor, the mining business which seemed to have thrived during the time, but now in decline, the miners and their miserable life, but with highlights at times, the people making money on banks and businesses, not always fair, the unrest in France, the smugglers of the Cornwall coast and much more. They just go about their daily life, but Winston Graham has managed to make it into a very exciting and eventful time.

How did he manage? Mainly, I would say, in the narrative. It is written in a cool, almost neutral kind of way, but he still manages to put sparkles on the pages. He tells the story of a number of different kinds of people in a very inspiring way. He lets their life be shadowed by real life events, but otherwise you have the feeling that this is the world as it exists. It is highlighted in all the things that is happening with the mines, the village, the workers, the family situations and is woven into a beautiful ‘piece of cloth’.

The other remarkable thing is the characters he has created. They overtake everything, especially the main characters Ross and Demelza. Even when the story is told with other actors, their characters are lingering over the story. Apart from that, you have the people working in Nampara, Ross’ cousin Francis and his wife Elizabeth, George Warleggan, a newly rich banker who is also in love with Elizabeth, other countryside gentry, the miners and people in the village. After four books they are all you friends. Hmm, maybe not all of them!

Just a few notes on the main characters, which hopefully will not destroy it for anyone else.

Ross is a fantastic romantic character. Strong willed, making friends over the class borders, a natural, thinking of other people (most of the time). He is sometimes a little bit too emotional and lets his anger take the better of him, which puts him in difficult situations. There are times when you don’t like him so much, but he always manage to justify the means in the end.

Demelza is another fantastic character moulded out of a miner’s daughter and coming to Nampara by coincidence. She is the one who makes the longest ‘journey’ over the class borders, and has enough power to overcome the obstacles. Slowly, slowly, she works herself into the confidence of people and they very soon realise, that when she is not there, they miss her.

Francis, is a good natured boy, too kind, too easy to lure into a wrong path. Getting disappointed in his marriage rather early, he starts playing and loosing his money. He always have a minority complex towards Ross.

Elizabeth is beautiful and sensitive. Like a beautiful flower who is there to get admiring looks from men, but will bend with the first wind. It is difficult to understand what the men see in her, but maybe this was the ideal at the time. She is the one most difficult to get a grasp of.

Winston Graham wrote many books, and being so impressed by the way he tells a story, I think it is a must to try some of the rest. The first four books in the Poldark series were written in the fifties. It was only twenty years later, that he continued with the other eight(!) books. I only bought the first four, but I have to admit that I just have to read the others as well. Cannot leave this story without knowing how it will be developed. However, since I tend to get so captivated by the books, and have a lot of other books to read, I will not yet buy the rest! I hope you realise how disciplined I am in this venture?

I have some favourite books when it comes to strong stories and characters. Cathy and Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights, Scarlett and Rhett in Gone With the Wind, and Claire and Jamie in the Outlander series. To this list I can now add Ross and Demelza.

He also wrote Marnie which was a successful Hitchcock film with Sean Connery and Tippi Hedren.

From my blog: thecontentreader.blogspot.com
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