Poldark Saga - Winston Graham discussion

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Ross Poldark - #1 > Why did Ross and Demelza marry?

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message 1: by Tanya, Moderator/Hostess (new)

Tanya | 640 comments Mod
Interesting analysis. Why do YOU think Ross and Demelza married? http://www.timvicary.com/why-did-ross...


message 2: by Cindy (new)

Cindy (claybakin247) Interesting article Tanya, thanks for sharing it!

I don't remember ever thinking he married her either wholly or in part in order to thumb his nose at society. He didn't have to wait til they slept together if that was his goal.

I just thought, naive tho I may be, that he wanted to do the right thing by her, and that a part of him truly wanted her. It was also another example of his often impulsive and reckless nature.

Ultimately, it was probably a lil bit of everything that drove his decision.


message 3: by Ann (new)

Ann | 17 comments Sounds like a good analysis to me. Having read all the books, I was often amazed at how wise Demelza was under many circumstances all thru the series as written by WG. In so many ways, Ross was lucky to have her as his life partner with all that life sent their way, a strong partnership. Will see how the PBS series does this tho we know the written words carry more weight than minutes portrayed on the TV screen.


message 4: by Spam Alert (last edited Oct 13, 2016 07:22PM) (new)

Spam Alert | 6 comments I think Ross married Demelza, because it was a good fit. They got along well together. Perhaps there was no other reason beyond that, which is a little disconcerting, because society demands marriage within the same class, marriage with passion, marriage with premeditated attraction. But with Demelza, the shoe just fit, and it happened.

I know that Winston Graham studies this question in his books though, because it comes up again in another book between two different characters. The factors that drive that marriage together are completely different than those that drive Demelza and Ross together. So the author makes a study of the question in the series.....

I'm not sure I agree with Tim Vicary's explanation for the marriage....anger....but I will reread and see.... I think Winston Graham had more noble reasons for the union, such as the shoe just fitting....


message 5: by Trisha (new)

Trisha (meraanam) | 8 comments I also think he married her for the reasons some mentioned above, namely:

1) it was 'the right thing'
2) he liked her enough to want to do that right thing

I think the mention above if his recklessness is apt too.


message 6: by Trisha (new)

Trisha (meraanam) | 8 comments *of, not if


message 7: by Evelyn (new)

Evelyn | 28 comments I'm sorry but I couldn't even finish this article. I was less than a quarter through it and gave up in anger. Written by a man who clearly had no idea who Graham had based Demelza on, and for that matter would have coped the wrath of abuse from Graham. Demelza was based on Graham's wife, not some seedy desperate urchin looking to "seduce" her master into bed and therefore marry her. It clearly states in the book that she felt beaten and heart broken and wanted one thing to remember Ross by for all the years she would spend alone back with her father. At no point in time did she act like a man eater as this Tim guy suggests.

As for Ross, who knows why he married her. Perhaps he was impressed at he being an independent woman, which was the total opposite of Elizabeth, who rejected him for Francis and then played games with him after her marriage. I guess that's the point in time Elizabeth's charms started to wear off enough for Ross to "move on"?????


message 8: by Brenda (new)

Brenda McDonald | 74 comments Evelyn wrote: "I'm sorry but I couldn't even finish this article. I was less than a quarter through it and gave up in anger. Written by a man who clearly had no idea who Graham had based Demelza on, and for that ..."

Evelyn, I felt exactly as you do about that article. Some of the comments were horrible too.


message 9: by Deb (new)

Deb | 7 comments I have to say I agreed with Tim up to a point. Anger was part of Ross' psyche, as was rebellion and impulsiveness. He had just had a major, public disagreement with 'The Establishment' (represented by his old schoolmaster, Rev. Halse) over Jim Carter, & lost. He was disappointed in love and disillusioned by his wartime experiences & the cynicism of his own class. He'd lived with Demelza without sleeping with her for several years already & knew the gossip going the rounds of the neighbourhood. It could be said that he had the upbringing of a gentleman without acquiring the morality of one - that she was available and he could have slept with her whenever he wanted to. Why he hadn't - she was a child and a peasant and his servant. Perhaps a degree of noblesse oblige prevailed. Perhaps he was still wrapped up in his romantic fantasies about Elizabeth. Perhaps there was an element of knee-jerk frustration at life in general when he took what Demelza offered.

Tim correctly observes that the 1970's version made Demelza out to be sluttier than WG's portrayal, or the current adaptation. Before the 'blue dress' occasion, she hadn't made any moves on Ross sexually. The trigger for her seemed to be her father's visit & threats to take her home to be his 2nd wife's unpaid skivvy.

So why did they marry? Ross was 'doing the right thing' by her, even though no-one would have expected it, even Demelza. They were required to observe Church law, & call banns for 3(?) Sundays, so weren't married within the 2 days, but he apparently proposed to her within the 2 days.

Demelza wanted and needed a place to belong & she identified him and Nampara as her emotional centre. She was grateful to him, and knew how to please him (apart from sexually) & meet his needs as wife & life companion.

Ultimately, it began as a marriage of convenience for them both and happily developed into a true life partnership.


message 10: by Samantha (new)

Samantha | 41 comments Deb wrote: "I have to say I agreed with Tim up to a point. Anger was part of Ross' psyche, as was rebellion and impulsiveness. He had just had a major, public disagreement with 'The Establishment' (represented..."

That's kind of what I think....I think part of it was Ross took care of Demelza so she wouldn't have to go back to her abusive father and they fell in love after they got married.


message 11: by Anne OK (new)

Anne OK (anne-ok) | 1 comments Deb wrote: "I have to say I agreed with Tim up to a point. Anger was part of Ross' psyche, as was rebellion and impulsiveness. He had just had a major, public disagreement with 'The Establishment' (represented..."

I am of the same opinion -- and feel it was an assortment of many different feelings and reactions to certain events that brought Ross and Demelza together. Deb you did such an eloquent job of expressing all those in your post.


message 12: by Mara (last edited Jan 30, 2017 11:00AM) (new)

Mara | 111 comments "His decision to marry her was...that...such a course was the obvious way out". Ch. 27, 2nd ph.

The obvious way out of what? "...the previous night held something distasteful...arising out of the history of their association." "His rejection of her in the parlor had been the only sane course." Marrying Demelza was the way out of the shame that he feels as reflected in Shakespeare's sonnet that keeps running through his mind: "the expense of spirit in a waste of shame is lust in action...past reason hated".

So I don't think it's about what anyone else thinks of him but what he thinks of HIMSELF in this situation. I think the decision to marry Demelza helps him BECOME who he ends up being in his "attempts to find a philosophy of his own".

In the parlor it's the memory of his mother, "Grace", that stops him from progressing with Demelza. Then in his bedroom there's the memory of his father calling him a "Young prude!" for restraining himself. The result is that Ross manages to follow both of these influences in his decision to both sleep with Demelza and then to marry her. The Joshua in him found her desirable and the Grace in him honored her with his name. The result is the character that we come to adore, Ross Poldark, the man who flouts convention and marries his maid instead of just sleeping with her.

The seeming rejection of his class in his decision to marry Demelza is a RESULT of his decision, not the cause and probably not even a factor. He doesn't care about what others think of his actions only about what he himself can live with.

Finally, there's also the impact Demelza herself made on Ross since day one, "He suddenly found that...if she would not desert a friend, neither could he."




message 13: by mmmusings (new)

mmmusings | 12 comments Brilliant analysis!


message 14: by Belle-Bookworm99 (new)

Belle-Bookworm99 | 4 comments Hello,

Unfortunately I'm still trying to get around to reading Poldark, but I found Ross's and Demelza's decision to marry very interesting. I believe part of his decision to marry Demelza was subconsciously a way to rebel against his family and convince himself he was over Elizabeth. It was only later I believe he fell in love with her and managed to heal his brokenheart with loving Demelza who was a perfect fit for Ross.

Please could someone tell me if Ross and Demelza stay together and are happy once more? I hope they can heal their marriage and Ross will truly leave his feelings for Elizabeth in the past where they belong.

I'm very excited to start reading Poldark but as I'm half way through a series of books I'll have to wait alittle longer!!!


message 15: by MaryAnn (new)

MaryAnn Dodd (stitchingrandy) | 8 comments Hello Belle. I'm not certain of Goodreads' Spoiler policy. As you probably know, there are twelve books. Ross and Demelza are in them all. I have read all of them and reread them. They are hard to put down. I say it is a saga of a marriage with all that that entails. Good times, bad times and the obstacle course that they maneuver
MaryAnn


message 16: by Tanya, Moderator/Hostess (new)

Tanya | 640 comments Mod
Belle-Bookworm99 wrote: "Please could someone tell me if Ross and Demelza stay together and are happy once more?"

This discussion group has a strict "no spoilers" policy. Spoilers must be identified or hidden (preferred). For more information, you can see more about that in the Group Site Map thread here https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Having said that, I usually respond to the question by saying...there are 12 books and Ross and Demelza are featured in each of them, so that should give you an idea. ;-)


message 17: by MaryAnn (new)

MaryAnn Dodd (stitchingrandy) | 8 comments Thank you for the "heads up".


message 18: by Hannah (new)

Hannah | 14 comments I couldn't disagree more with the article. As a previous poster says, the realisation that he'd made himself a social pariah came afterwards. It was not a deciding factor. I've read and re-read this part of the books so many times and each time see it in a new light. Ross's reasonings and motives are complex and it's a shame the author of this article reeduces it to something so simple.

There's some excellent points made in this thread so far but I don't believe anyone has mentioned Ross's sense of loneliness. It's a theme that recurs several times in the book at crucial points and is a motivating factor in some of his more impulsive actions. For example, when propositioned by Margaret after the ball, his first instinct was to push her away but "but at the last his loneliness and dismay caught up with him like a slow-poisoning fog." (Book 1, chapter 5, part 2).

Loneliness is mentioned again at the being of book 2 of the novel, when we are being reintroduced to the characters after the time jump, we see that Ross has withdrawn even more socially. He has little contact with his family other than a monthly visit to Charles's bedside. Demelza has become his only real companion. In this, she has replaced Verity (book 2, chapter 2, part 2).

The morning after he sleeps with Demelza, he reflects upon his feelings of frustration and discontent. It states that "the sense of separateness from others, of loneliness, had not often been so strong as this morning." (Book 2, chapter 8, part 1).

It's interesting to note that this is only the second time in 3 years that Ross has a sexual encounter (that we know of, at least!) He reflects afterwards that he feels just as frustrated the next morning as he did the night before, when he flees to his room after turning Demelza down. Clearly spending the night with somebody reminds him of what is missing in his life, plugging the hole, but only temporarily, leaving him bereft. It is, of course the day after his night with Margaret that he impulsively decides to take Demelza in. Now, having been freshly reminded of his loneliness and discontent (which is only compounded by Elizabeth's visit), he looks to fill the gap again. The solution is right there in front of him. "She had grown in to his life in a way he had hardly realised" (book 3, chapter 1, part one). She fills all the needs that a wife would. She cares for his house, provides companionship and see satisfies his sexual needs. Marrying her truly is the 'obvious way out'. Luckily it works out for the both of them!


message 19: by MaryAnn (new)

MaryAnn Dodd (stitchingrandy) | 8 comments My belief is Ross married Demelza because he had a sexual attraction to her and he knew she loved him. He needed to be loved because he was lonely. He admired her and respected her openness and she was bright. Lacking in formal education, she had common sense. He married her because it was the right thing to do and he admired her spirit and he liked her and she was a friend. She knew his likes and dislikes. He didn't want to see her have to go live with the abusive father.


message 20: by Belle-Bookworm99 (new)

Belle-Bookworm99 | 4 comments MaryAnn wrote: "Thank you for the "heads up"."
Sorry... I didn't want anyone to get in trouble!!! Thank you for the heads up and thank you for replying, My fingers are crossed for Ross and Demelza!!! I really need to read the books, I honestly didn't know how many books the Poldark series had but I'm definetly reading all twelve of them and my mum will be delighted to know, especially when theres hope for Ross and Demelza, we can't stop talking about it!!!! Thanks again Xxx

Belle Xxx


message 21: by Belle-Bookworm99 (new)

Belle-Bookworm99 | 4 comments Tanya wrote: "Belle-Bookworm99 wrote: "Please could someone tell me if Ross and Demelza stay together and are happy once more?"

This discussion group has a strict "no spoilers" policy. Spoilers must be identifi..."


I definitely have a good idea now!!! I'm over the moon... People must ask you that all the time...
I'm sorry if I caused any trouble or nearly broke any rules... The things you do for your love of Poldark ♡. Reading all this on here has really made me want to read the books, so I'll quickly finish Harry Potter (I'm on book 4 so alittle way to go until I've finished) and then hopefully won't need to almost break the rules on spoilers :). Sorry and thank you for the hint ♡.

Belle Xxx


message 22: by Belle-Bookworm99 (new)

Belle-Bookworm99 | 4 comments MaryAnn wrote: "Hello Belle. I'm not certain of Goodreads' Spoiler policy. As you probably know, there are twelve books. Ross and Demelza are in them all. I have read all of them and reread them. They are hard to ..."
Thank you MaryAnn... Xxx


message 23: by Sonia (new)

Sonia Koonce | 85 comments I have read all the 12 books, and hoping this new Poldark series is filmed to the end. I didn't see the first filming in the late 1970s. Does anyone know how many books there were then as I have read where Winston Graham started writing more books on Poldark after the last filming (1970s). Judging by the Published dates would that have been seventh novel 1977 "The Angry Tide". I am looking forward to Oct. 1st here in the USA for Poldark 3rd series.


message 24: by Tanya, Moderator/Hostess (new)

Tanya | 640 comments Mod
Sonia wrote: "I have read all the 12 books, and hoping this new Poldark series is filmed to the end. I didn't see the first filming in the late 1970s. Does anyone know how many books there were then ..."

You are correct, The Angry Tide was the last book at the time of the original Poldark series. The TV show went through the end of that book.


message 25: by Drush76 (new)

Drush76 | 16 comments I have no idea why Ross married Demelza. I only know that he did not marry her for love. He wasn't in love with her at the time of her wedding.

Perhaps he was impressed at he being an independent woman, which was the total opposite of Elizabeth, who rejected him for Francis and then played games with him after her marriage.

When did that happen? In what chapter was it stated that Elizabeth was playing games with Ross after her marriage to Francis? And why do so many fans keep trying to paint Elizabeth as some merciless flirt or manipulator? Are they really that upset that Ross' feelings for her had persisted, following his marriage to Demelza?


message 26: by Kristen (new)

Kristen I think he was trying to do the "right" thing and it seemed like he was attracted to her and admired her somewhat at the time.


message 27: by Grace (new)

Grace | 6 comments Drush76, in the beginning of Warleggan she tells Ross that she still loves him, and seems to assume that he still loves her. But I agree, I don’t think he marries D because he thinks she is better for him than E. He doesn’t come to that conclusion until much later...I think it is more like Drake’s decision to marry Rosina...


message 28: by Val (new)

Val Ivey | 50 comments Drush76 wrote: "I have no idea why Ross married Demelza. I only know that he did not marry her for love. He wasn't in love with her at the time of her wedding..."

I believe that he basically understood the importance that Demelza held in the house and in his life. Her take charge attitude; her growing companionship; the gap she filled since the loss of his mother, even though he didn’t realize it until after the incident with his mothers frock, when she sat on his lap. The fact that his involvement with her was the first true love and kindness he’d felt in forever. All these things and more made Demelza the one he could not part from, whether or not he was “in Love” with her or only loved her because of all she brought to his life.


message 29: by Tanya, Moderator/Hostess (new)

Tanya | 640 comments Mod
Val wrote: "All these things and more made Demelza the one he could not part from, whether or not he was “in Love” with her or only loved her because of all she brought to his life."

On the occasion of his 19th wedding anniversary, Kevin Smith said this... "that’s the backwards thing nobody ever explains about marriage: you tie the knot first and THEN you fall in love over the course a lifetime."

I think Winston Graham knew this and expressed it through Ross.


message 30: by John (new)

John David | 40 comments Dear Tanya,

Have there been any comments on Poldark themes since April 27th? I haven't had anything by email. Have contributors stopped commenting or is there something wrong with my email? John David.


message 31: by Stella (new)

Stella Day | 391 comments Dear Tanya

Can we have a new thread for Poldark series 4 please? I went to the Preview on 2nd May and it was the best ever. We were shown the whole of episode 1 and it was very impressive. I say this as someone who has been very critical of series 3. There is to be a series 5.


message 32: by Tanya, Moderator/Hostess (new)

Tanya | 640 comments Mod
John wrote: "Dear Tanya,

Have there been any comments on Poldark themes since April 27th? I haven't had anything by email. Have contributors stopped commenting or is there something wrong with my email? John D..."

The last comments were posted on Apr 25 in the Season 4 speculation thread. If you go to the main group page, you can select "Unread" to see anything you may have missed. Or just use this link! https://www.goodreads.com/topic/unrea...


message 33: by Tanya, Moderator/Hostess (new)

Tanya | 640 comments Mod
Stella wrote: "Dear Tanya

Can we have a new thread for Poldark series 4 please? I went to the Preview on 2nd May and it was the best ever. We were shown the whole of episode 1 and it was very impressive. I say ..."


Here you go Stella. https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


message 34: by Nina (last edited Jul 11, 2018 05:03PM) (new)

Nina (ninakins) | 2 comments Ross married Demelza for multiple reasons, several of which are mentioned in the book (e.g. her capable management of his home and farm, her agreeable nature, his own impoverishment rendering the match more suitable than it would otherwise be, the unexciting prospect of finding a dull heiress to marry instead, etc.) However, I think that the main reason that he did it was to protect her.

Though "a man who slept with his kitchen maid only aroused sly gossip," a woman who slept with any man other than her husband aroused harsh condemnation from society. Ross doesn't care much about what society thinks of him, but he cares enough about Demelza to defy society's expectation that a man of his rank and position must be utterly correct in his treatment of "genteel" women, but can sleep with any number of women of a lower social class and leave them to suffer the consequences. The fates of "fallen" women could be very dire and Demelza's reputation had already been tarnished simply by the fact that she was living in his household. To a large extent, that was his fault.

Ross would not have described his feelings for Demelza as love at the time of their wedding, but he clearly cared for her and felt responsible for her well-being. One should also bear in mind how young Demelza was and how long she and Ross had known each other prior to their marriage. Though the chronology is less clear in the tv adaptations (for obvious reasons related to casting), Demelza is supposed to be only 13 years old when Ross takes her in and only 17 years old when he marries her. During the 4 years in between, Ross watches her grow from an ill-mannered waif into an intelligent, capable, attractive young woman, "half servant, half sister, comradely and obedient". She had "grown into his life" and he didn't want to let her out of it again.

He married her because he liked her. He married her because he felt responsible for her. He married her because it was the right thing to do. He married her because he felt she deserved better than the fate that society would deem appropriate for a woman of her social class. In the end, it was probably the best decision he ever made.


message 35: by Val (new)

Val Ivey | 50 comments Nina wrote: "Ross married Demelza for multiple reasons, several of which are mentioned in the book (e.g. her capable management of his home and farm, her agreeable nature, his own impoverishment rendering the m..."


So nicely said!


message 36: by Susan (new)

Susan (slinuxgal) | 3 comments Val wrote: "Drush76 wrote: "I have no idea why Ross

He married her because she was there. She wanted it and made it her issue. that's why she thinks of him as a pet and puppy -- she had always gotten her way with him as the marriage wore on he realized that and resented her manipulations and finally grew strong enough to do his own thing.


message 37: by Stella (new)

Stella Day | 391 comments Susan wrote: "Val wrote: "Drush76 wrote: "I have no idea why Ross

He married her because she was there. She wanted it and made it her issue. that's why she thinks of him as a pet and puppy -- she had always go..."

Susan - can you give examples of Demelza thinking of Ross as her pet and puppy please? I don't see Demelza in this way at all. On the contrary - she had to learn fast how to be Ross' wife and how to be a lady, at least when the occasions arose.


message 38: by Beth A. Cox (new)

Beth A. Cox | 7 comments AMEN....WELL SAID, STELLA DAY!!


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