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The Four Swans

(The Poldark Saga #6)

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  6,186 ratings  ·  412 reviews
Four Swans
Paperback, 599 pages
Published June 1st 2017 by PAN (first published 1976)
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Donna June I'm about half way through the book, but I took notice he mentions birds a lot throughout the story. I think the four swans are a metaphor of the…moreI'm about half way through the book, but I took notice he mentions birds a lot throughout the story. I think the four swans are a metaphor of the three main female characters Demelza, Morenna, Caroline, and Elizabeth : all graceful and beautiful in their own way(less)
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Average rating 4.26  · 
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 ·  6,186 ratings  ·  412 reviews


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Jaline
Ross Poldark watches four beautiful swans on a pond and likens them to four women in his life whose connection to himself, through family links, have influenced the course of his life so far. In this sixth novel of the Poldark series, we experience those connections and links in vivid detail – and the ventures and adventures, some purposeful and some by happenstance have far-ranging consequences – and far-reaching further links and connections.

Ross and Demelza themselves are tested, and the
...more
Candi
"… even where there is love there is misunderstanding. We try to speak to each other like through a glass, all of us."

Either I'm getting increasingly sentimental with each passing year, or Winston Graham had special powers that shine through in his writing! Perhaps a little of both! I felt so emotional reading this book, and I might have to say this is my favorite in the series thus far. This is the sixth book in the spectacular Poldark series set in late 1700s Cornwall. Each installment has
...more
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Still loving them!

Mel
...more
``Laurie Henderson
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
...more
Karen
Feb 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Piper

"Oh, Ross, will you not hold me?"
"Yes,
he said, doing it.
"Please hold me and never let me go."
"Nor shall I, if you give me the chance."
"Not till we die. Ross, I could not live without you."




What can I say that I have not said already?
This book. This series. These characters.
Such a brilliant author, Winston Graham. I would have liked to have known him.




Previous review:

The swans were moving away now, pale, dignified, enigmatical, out of his life forever. Double mirrored in the soundless pool,
...more
Sara
Mar 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: romantics, realists, anyone who loves historical fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jeannie
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
I'm so glad I decided to finish this one. At the half way point I set it aside. There is a very despicable man in this story and it made me not want to finish, he made me so angry! I couldn't stop thinking about all of the other characters though, and I had to find out what happened to them. This book made me cry, not many books do that. I think I have grown attached to these characters.

"Near the bank were four swans, almost stationary, moving so slowly that they appeared only to be drifting
...more
Diane Barnes
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Swans. Graceful things. White things. Like women. Unpredictable. Gentle. Fierce. Faithful or unfaithful. Loyal or traitorous. God, who knew?"

Number six in this series certainly did not disappoint. In the late 18th century, men ruled in business and politics, but strong women controlled those men. With love, manipulation, subtlety, sometimes outright deception, smart women figured out how to get what they wanted. Winston Graham's women in this series are indeed strong and powerful in their own
...more
Manisha
I’m probably repeating myself, but no one writes complex female characters quite like Winston Graham.

Graham writes such characters that live deep in their own convictions, while being open to change. The women, especially, are those who not only move forward in life in an attempt to make their own choices, but they influence others to act accordingly, be it by kindness, thought or action.

In this book, Ross thinks of the four swans in his life:

Caroline Penvenen:

A woman who marries below her
...more
Marilyn
Dec 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
*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
...more
ZaRi
Sep 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Karen
Jan 10, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Sarah
Oct 16, 2015 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 ...more
D.D. Syrdal
May 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As much as I enjoy Graham's writing, the whole side-story of Ossie and Morwenna really could have been left out, or at least greatly reduced. Shocking turn of events as Morwenna stands up to Ossie and tells him how things are going to be. (Sidenote: Near the end of the book her sister Rowella is called "Rowena" which threw me for a minute.) It was good to see George start to feel the effects of his backstabbing and ruthless social climbing. This is a character with no redeeming qualities in the ...more
Victoria
Starting to get really really irritated with Ross and Demelza. Ross for still mooning over Elizabeth and not talking to Demelza and Demelza choosing to run into the arms of another man rather than talking to Ross about what is happening between him and Elizabeth. I'm ready to bang their heads together. These issues almost destroyed their marriage and it seems like they haven't learned anything
Tasha
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-reads
Another good installment, my favorite so far.
Geo Kwnstantinou
Aug 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Whatsoever love hath ordained it is not fit to despise"
Tanya
Sep 11, 2015 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 ...more
Lupinus Texensis
I would like to file a complaint with...I dunno...the FCC? THE NEXT BOOK ISN'T ON AUDIBLE. I'm going to have to READ it with my EYES. Also, I may have to wait a hot minute because the full collector's set I ordered is coming from across the pond. Je regrette rien!

(PS - This one gets three stars because I don't believe a damn word of Demelza's story line.
Susan
Apr 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
QNPoohBear
The French Revolution has descended to bloody madness and the British government is afraid the Revolution will spread. A series of bad harvests in Cornwall means starvation, disease and anger. None of these things directly affect Ross Poldark. With a prosperous tin mine producing enough income to fix up Nampara, a beautiful wife and two thriving young children, he has all a man could want. However, there is that unspoken lingering .... something... for Elizabeth. There's also the matter of the ...more
Ana
Jun 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
“Four women in his life? Four with whom he had been concerned this year? Demelza and Elizabeth, of course. Caroline? Who was the fourth? One of the swans had a damaged wing, feathers awry and stained. On Sawle Feast day, Ross had been turning to leave his pew when Morwenna had smiled at Drake, and he had caught a glimpse of the smile. The damaged swan. Appropriate image.
Goldilocks Reads (Jenna Vahue)
The Four Swans that glide through the life of Ross Poldark's life are beautiful creatures all special in their own way. Caroline, Elizabeth, Demelza, and Morwenna are graceful but each face various trials. This was a wonderful installment in the Poldark series and I couldn't stop reading it. I read 600 pages in under two weeks with it constantly in my satchel for easy access. The swan metaphor to describe the Cornwall ladies was well done and artfully articulated how fascinating swans can be.



...more
Olivia
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Quidquid Amor Jussit, Non Est Contemnere Tutum”.

You know you're reading a good series when (1) You've already watched the show and know the plot and (2) You've managed to get through half the series in about a month!

I don't want to read this series too quickly and finish the series. I'm going to slow it down now and take my time moving on to 'The Angry Tide', as I don't want to let go of these wonderful and complicated characters.

In this novel, we get to see more of the four 'swans': Demelza,
...more
Shiloah
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tracey
It didn’t quite have the flow of the last book , though still an enjoyable read.
Sarah-Vita
WAAAAY better than The Black Moon!! Totally redeemed itself. Not that Poldark ever had to though.
But damn. So, Hugh the Homewrecker, as I've fondly taken to calling him... Seriously, I hate this guy. He all but basically tricked Demelza! Though I do have to give her A LITTLE credit here, he did have to work hard to do it. I'm so glad that after she was plagued with guilt and didn't even know why she did anything! We don't either, Demelza!!
And Caroline and Dwight!!!!! EEEEEKK!!!! A BABY!!!!! I
...more
LemonLinda
Aug 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This Poldark saga closely follows four women who are all closely tied to Ross Poldark and are all facing a crisis in their lives. Demelza, his wife, Elizabeth, his "former" fiancée, Caroline, a close friend and Morwenna, Elizabeth's niece all figure prominently in this book as do two of Demelza's brothers. When you bring in the slick, slimy Warleggans and pit them directly versus Ross, it is certain to bring conflict and violence set in late 18th century Cornwall, this book also gives us insight ...more
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859 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 ...more

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)
“Tenderness is not like money: the more you give to one, the more you have for others.” 11 likes
“No man wants his wife to be a woman that other men don't desire....But every man wants his wife to be a woman that other men don't get.” 11 likes
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