A Paper Delivered at a meeting of the East Central Region of American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies conference

Penn State, State College, November 3-6, 2011. "'Liberty in historical, post-colonial and rewritten novels set in the long 18th century ." Chairperson: Ellen Moody. Panelists: Talissa Ford, "Jack Manson and West-Indian Liberty [William Earle's Obi, or, the History of Three-Fingered Jack, Geoffrey Sill: "Col. Jack, Tom Jones, and The Sot-Weed Factor: A Trans-national, Trans-Atlantic Dialogue;, Sylvia Kasey Marks, "Another Jane: A Foreign Grandison [Jane Porter's Thaddeus of Warsaw"] I publish the paper on this website to make the paper widely available, complete with scholarly notes and bibliography.

"'I have a right to choose my own life:' Liberty in Winston Graham's Poldark Novels"

by Ellen Moody

1980s cover of Ross Poldark

It is the argument of this paper that Winston Graham's historical fiction brings into focus areas and perspectives on experience essential to understanding the nature of civil liberty. In Graham's treatment of women's lack of rights, he centers their stories on their experience of rape, how class works to prevent them coping with abrasive sexual encounters, and on sexual discord, dissatisfaction and abuse within marriage from the woman's angle. In Graham's Poldark novels what gets in the way of liberty for women is they are answerable with their bodies in situations where they have inadequate or no control (Pateman; Vickery 24). A main heroine, Elizabeth Chynoweth defends her life and her son Valentine's, from destructive assault by her husband, George Warleggan, by swearing “I have never, never given my body to any man except my first husband, Francis, and to you, George. Is that enough?” (FS, II:9, 390). Her body is the issue and her problem that she had sexual intercourse with Graham's hero, Ross Poldark, and Valentine is Ross's son. She did not “give her body” since Ross raped her.1

Graham's treatment of men's lack of rights is unusual for popular historical fiction (de Groot 78-92).2 Ross Poldark identifies with those who strike and act violently to seize bread products at prices they can afford or for free; with poachers, hanged men, and those thrown into prison. Ross incites scavenging, breaks unjust laws, and smuggles. In Graham's Poldark novels what gets in the way of liberty for men are laws or customs which exclude individuals from achieving a subsistence standard of life (let along a comfortable one) except through individual patronage or servitude, situations enforced by courts and monopolies (AT I:3, 48-49). Citing Thomas Paine, Ross argues no man can act meaningfully for other's rights “until there is some change in the method of election:” “Seats should not be bought and sold as if they were private property. Electors must not be bribed . . . and the electorate must be free” (FS, I:12, 223-24).

Except for Marnie (the basis of Hitchcock's controversial film centered on marital rape, Hitchcock 28-40), Graham has not attracted feminist readings and only his mystery-suspense novels have been analyzed by academic critics (see M 117).3 His important work is in historical fiction: 15 altogether, painstakingly researched, all but one set in Cornwall, all but two in the long 18th century (Barker; PC 15, 73, 102, passim). He is “an instinctive feminist” and belongs to writers of the left who use historical and genre fiction to produce a progressive take on the past (M 142, 146-47; Crapa). In all the fiction by him I've read thus far (19 books), his women are handed “a rough deal,” their characters are “formed” by “the abjection of women within society” (Moral 4-5, 19).4 Robin Ellis, the actor who so ably played Ross, remarked Ross is a blend of a Stewart Grainger type and an eighteenth century Che Guevara renegade (Making Poldark 20, 57). Pivotal incidents in the Poldark novels read like dramatizations of chapters from Albion's Fatal Tree and Waugh's Smuggling in Cornwall, down to including the desire of an executed man's friends to rescue his corpse from body snatching (cf. Albion's 65-117; FS III:4, 478).5

The twelve Poldark novels differ a lot from the two wildly popular mini-series(Wikipedia).6 They begin with a quartet: Ross Poldark (begun in 1945, the wake of World War Two); Demelza; Jeremy Poldark; Warleggan. The focus is the life story of a male revenant, Ross Poldark, a declining landowner's surviving son, who struggles and frequently fails, to thrive as a mine-owner against local monopoly, legal and policing systems. When Demelza Carne, a penniless abused girl, whom he hires as a servant becomes his lover, he marries her. Demelza, the second novel, tells “a young woman's entrance into the world” story, which stresses her inability to cope with the contradictory demands of sexist hierarchies (D II:10, 198-200).7 Demelza enables Verity Poldark, Ross's cousin, to marry someone the Poldarks reprobate; consequences include Ross's bankruptcy, his bitter rage at Demelza's independent action (D III:10 & 11, 288-89, 294-95), their first child's death, and a wreckage riot leading to a trial that climaxes the third novel, Jeremy Poldark. In the fourth novel, Warleggan (published 1953), through a back-story, Elizabeth Chynoweth and George Warleggan become characters equal in importance to Ross and Demelza (PC 144). The eldest marriageable female of an ancient now bankrupt Cornish family, Elizabeth broke her engagement to Ross to marry Francis Poldark, the heir; now widowed she marries into the Warleggan clan, which functions as a major site of unameliorated capitalism.9

A second set of Poldark novels was conceived as a trilogy twenty years later. Through many new characters' stories, these novels mirror the changing sexual mores of the 1970s, and prophetically the reactionary 1980s to come: Black Moon (begun 1973); The Four Swans, The Angry Tide (PC 153-63; M 189-90; Friedman 1-34). Morwenna Chynoweth, Elizabeth's cousin, is hired as a governess; Drake and Sam Carne, Demelza's methodist brothers, come to their brother-in-law for jobs; and Osborne Whitworth, a relentlessly worldly tenaciously ambitious vicar, is imposed on Morwenna as her husband after she and Drake fall in love. Graham dramatizes this coerced marriage as shaped by the spouses' nightlife: these are scenes of marital rape, sadism on his part and anguish on hers, beginning with the wedding night (BM III:12, 532). Anticipating Graham's presentation of mental and other disabilities in the second quartet of Poldark novels,10 Drake displays self-destructive depressed behavior as a result of his class exclusion (BM III:9, 480; FS I:3, 53-55, AT I:1, 15-16, II:8, 284-87, III:1, 367-68). In Sam Carne's building a separate church community we see why Methodism was as great a threat to the hierarchy as demands for political liberty (BM I:2, 31-32, I:4, 58-59, I:7, 112-19). The trilogy's depiction of the economic and political world of later 18th century Cornwall is ambitious, and includes scenes dramatizing corrupt Cornish borough elections, methodist careerists extracting obedience from congregations, politicking dinners at great country houses, engineered bank failures and mining disasters, French counter-revolutionaries, and English domestic terror-tactics.11

The words “liberty,” “individual rights,” “the law” and “tyranny” are repeated by male characters throughout the series (e.g., JP I:7, 96-97; W I:4, 88, 91; BM I:8, 145; FS I:12, 224). Tellingly, their use of these terms often rings ironically. Aristocratic and educated men (physicians), merchants, businessmen and officers of all sorts expect to enjoy political and social “liberty” and they react forcefully to slights. Angered by the Warleggan clan's use of their ownership of a press to print “scurrilous sheets” about Ross Poldark just before his trial, Francis Poldark declares: “What are they doing but taking the law into their own hands trying to poison the public's mind before the trial. It's a monstrous encroachment on individual rights. I'll wreck every one I come across” (JP I:8, 96-97). Smuggler Trencomb takes out time to discuss “the foreign situation” with respect to “the great difficulty of the trade . . . the tiresome business of the landing of the goods:” where once “customhouse officers” were content to be “given a percentage of the profit” “they have been made newly vigilant over the “laws” to stop rebellion or treason and are buying “informers” so bringing his “business almost at a standstill” (JP II:6, 252-53; II:7, 267; cf D, I:9, 282-83). When a local powerful Tory Viscount Falmouth treats the Truro electors derisively and tries to impose an MP on them without even appearing to consult them, he is told he has treated the “loyalty of the borough” so ”improperly” the “corporation” will assert its “openness and independence” and no longer “be treated like chattel to be disposed of at your Lordship's will” (FS, I:8, 133-40).

In contrast, women lack this language or at least do not use it to assert “rights” to “liberty” as individuals of whatever caste. Their most forthright claim is to a “right” to “a choice of life” (RP I;13, 138), a “right” to break away from a husband, brother, or father, and deny his claim on their obedience or body, if they feel he has broken a customary understood bargain (W IV:465-66; FS, II:7, 358). Subdued and oppressed by loaded phrases like “your natural place,” “your bounden duty” (RP II:5, 206; BM II:1, 222), “a false and romantic idea,” “obduracy” rather than the “gratitude” due someone (BM II:4, 276, III:12, 519), they fall back on vague mutterings like “I cannot see myself . . . I cannot think that this is [to be my life]” (BM, II:4, 277). They apply to themselves self-denigrating terms: they are “sold”, shut up in a room, emotionally inside a “core of friendlessness and isolation” (RP I:14 143); “chattel [taken] up and down at will” (W IV:7, 461). “The law” is something which if disobeyed will take direct reprisals on them through their men; Elizabeth feels unable openly to countermand her husband George's plans for Morwenna, asking herself “why she was not more afraid of him” (BM II:1, 221-24). “Flight” is an option, but without funds, robbery, violence, and rape lurk nearby (RP I:14; 18, 168; D II:3). Maneuvered by George into marrying him without delay, Elizabeth inwardly cries: “God, I am in a cage! Lost for ever? why did Ross come? . . . God, I am in a cage. Lost for ever” (W III, 10, 367).

Female agency in the 1970 trilogy anticipates the thrust of recent post-feminism: Poldark strong women accept compromised action, see genuine usefulness for themselves within a family refuge: the prudential Verity at first thinks that not to accept the life her Poldark male relatives decree for her would make her “a social outcast.” She is content with the power to be “useful” “among relatives and friends” “sheltered” and “peaceful” (RP I, 15: 145). Recalling Madame Roland, as county women, Elizabeth and the series' witty gay lady, Caroline Penvenen exercise the power of self-display and give dinners (FS II:5, 317-21; AT I:2, 26). When Demelza matures, she too is proud to hold dinners and facilitate conversaton where “bargaining” over “claims” in which she can exert no personal stake goes on (FS, III:7, 505-8).13

Two sets of scenes of hard-fought recovery and retrieval epitomize the particulars of Graham's treatment of liberty. Morwenna's husband, Osborne Whitworth, has been murdered, an event which releases her from her body's but not her mind's bondage. She behaves with intense distress, seems “crazed” to her family; when Drake comes to see her, she “shuts” a door on him, demands all leave her be. She withdraws (AT II:3, 273-75, 13:351, III:10, 493), but finding herself now again at risk of commitment to an asylum, again required to appear complaisant to the norms that led to her marriage, and which she now loathes, again bullied, she abandons her son to her mother-in-law, and in a rare female assertion of absolute unqualified “right” to a freedom of action declares that now as a widow, divested of her child, “no one [[else] had any right” to stop or control her. Taking a “heavy bag” (her clothes and personal possessions), covering herself with a protective “long coat” she wanderingly walks a very long walk, finally ending up at Drake's blacksmith forge and carpenter shop (III:500-9). Although she says she has not come to stay, in fact she has – after explaining how she has come to be “damaged – crippled . . . inside my mind” from years of coerced marriage to a man who became in all ways anathema to her (III:10, 500-9).

The value of the story lies in its candor, explicitness, and aftermath: immediately another experience which because of her neurotic deteriorated state shatters her further (III:12, 528-32, 13, 541-46, 549-50). Thirteen years later, Morwenna has never quite recovered, can relapse when brought back to the physical places where she originally suffered violation (LC, I:7, 100; 14, 209-11; 15, 219-21). There is no meretricious healing. She is a close parallel for Genlis's Countess of C*** in Adele and Theodore (Moody “People that marry can never part ...”), a late 20th century version of what would have been Sidney Biddulph's experience of marriage and love if only Francis Sheridan had dared, what we see inflicted on Clarissa Harlowe and would been her fate had she married Solmes or Lovelace.

My second set of scenes dramatize the novels' struggle against the stranglehold of economic monopoly (RP II:1, 175-78), shown to result in curtailment of political and civil liberty, decrease in income, and increase in rent-racking and homelessness through enclosures. In The Angry Tide, Pascoe's bank where Ross had kept his savings and the money he uses to run his business (AT III: 9, 290-97; 10, 310-16) has failed. When George made “heavy personal drawings” on the Warleggan bank to buy large amounts of property in a nearby borough to control that borough, and was questioned by his worried father, he learnt that a Poldark partisan, Pascoe's partner, Nathaniel Pearce, had been embezzling funds from Pascoe's (AT I:5, 70-79). George seized the opportunity to call in large loans from his customers (AT II:5, 231-36), which they could pay only by removing further funds from Pascoe's. George's agents then spread rumors that Pascoe has also invested recklessly and is running out of money (AT III:8, 280-83). This precipitates the run on Pascoe's that forced him to close his doors (e.g., D, II: 5, 325-29; JP II:6, 245-49).

In the first quartet of novels such situations were resolved mostly by a deus ex machina, such as gifts, loans, unexpected lodes of copper or tin found (W II:4-5, 146-47, 151-52; IV:1, 378), and they are dramatized in scenes of high quarreling, physical fights, and striking utterances. When in Jeremy Poldark George can order a mine closed that Ross has shares in and force Ross and Henshawe (a partner) to fire miners or find jobs for them elsewhere because George wants bigger profits from investments, a loan from a friend could enable Ross to have the money to change the situation so that next time they would have “freedom to call our souls our own” (D I:15, 121-23; JP II:11, 310-11).14 The increased verisimilitude of the trilogy allows us to watch a historically accurate (Buckley 104-17) but less than satisfactory amalgamation secure Ross and his partners' economic liberty.

First, Demelza's gallant failure. When the crisis becomes public, and Ross is away, she acts to fund Pascoe herself by borrowing from interest Ross is owed from a local businessman, who does her a great favor as she is not the share-owner. She ostentatiously puts in the bank the loan money and what she had on hand to make a payroll. But she can only stave off closure (AT III:10, 297-304). She has negotiating courage and nerve (which we have seen her exercise before), but because she knows herself to be an originally low status woman and wife, and hasn't actual ownership, concomitant boldness, or sense of a right to conceive a wider vision, it is unthinkable for her to set up a larger scheme of investors to re-secure Pascoe.

When Ross returns to Cornwall, we witness what a sense of self-hood, a sense of being an agent with rights and having an assured power within an understood culture derived from a sense of personal status can do. He asks Pascoe to wait before acting further and then approaches one by one men with enough wealth to help him re-capitalize Pascoe's: they decline (AT III:10, 310-21). Eventually he must turn to the immensely wealthy Whig magnate Sir Francis Basset. Ross has hitherto refused Basset's offers of place, clashed with Basset over political beliefs, aligned himself in Parliament with the offensive Falmouth, and proposed legislation Basset does not approve of (for example, some of Pitt's reformist schemes). Basset alone has the controlling shares in further banks to set up an amalgamated enterprise (AT II:12, 330-42, 358-59). Ross partly “blackmails” Basset: he implies he can take some large investors from Basset's concerns to yet another bank, and that by refusing to help Ross's associates, Basset risks alienating a faction of substantial citizens.15 Ross speaks of his “personal conviction,” but these would get nowhere (whether or not Basset agreed with them) without many years hard-learned experience (seven books worth) of how to compromise, negotiate without offending, which bargaining chits can be turned into power and eventually money, to say nothing of his gender, rank and family, ownership of land and two small mines.

Liberty. How is it, as it sometimes undoubtedly is, taken from us? If we feel we have it to exercise, in what situations do we actually manifest it and what can such exercise bring? The franchise is but one manifestation of liberty. What I missed in reading most of the famous voices on liberty (Constant, Berlin, Carol Pateman though not Mill and Vickery),16 was some adequate accounting for an inward self-prompting sense of right and capability and the resulting courage that exercising a right to liberty demands before any negotiation can be opened. This is the crucial psychological area the Poldark novels explore. We watch Morwenna Chynoweth cave in to her relatives under “a landslide of pressure and emotion and panic and duty” that “grip her like an avalanche.” She is “defeated” into “bitter” acquiescence because persuaded to discount as unimportant and “selfish” a personal honesty of feeling and reaction against what she is told is the “safety” of “conformity;” she is argued out of her instincts by incessant references to her duty, to what other women do, and everyone's refusal to admit that she has a right or effective liberty to decide on her own (BM III:12, 516, 520, 523-25). In Ross Poldark's heroism we can grasp why the word “choice” seems to have such resonance with people today. He never lets himself become a commodity to be trafficked among men because, partly through the novels' access to the idealism of romance, he builds within himself a stubborn independence of mind that does not come from exclusion, but from feeling he has the right to gain inclusion on his own terms.

Winston Graham's historical fiction has been unjustly ignored by academics primarily because of the continuing denigration of verisimilar historical romance. That he was a book-of-the-month club author has not helped.17 I have discovered they repay study and partake of the post-modern turn (M 178-79; Forgotten Story 1-6; Cordelia 1).18 And that they are not alone in misrepresentation: a myth reigns that not only women's historical romance, but also mid-century marginalized male as well as female novelists are all nostalgic conservatives (e.g., Light 1-8, but see Dowson 1-25 and passim). Not so (Wallace; Beauman; Jones; Baker).19 In the increasingly reactionary era we are now in, the writers of our last century's fine historical fiction set in the 18th century can teach us much. Graham's Poldark novels provide one fertile place to begin.

Drake (Kevin McNally) and Morwenna (Jane Wymark) talk after the murder of Whitworth and she has returned to him (1977-78 Poldark II)


1 Rape, marital, simple, or aggravated, figures centrally in the Poldak novels and three of the six non-Poldark novels I've read thus far; for the distinctions on kinds of rape see Moody, “What right have you to detain me here' ...”?). Graham wrote of the first seven novels: “the death of Elizabeth brought the whole conception full circle” (M 210). A coda, Bella, was published in 2002. It concludes on the tragic death of Valentine and haunting dream of Ross over his failure to acknowledge Valentine as his son and do anything for him, shows the central event of all the novels was the rape and death of Elizabeth, and birth of Ross's son, Valentine and Ross's failure to be a father to him

2 Popular historical fiction, especially the kind which includes adventures written for men, has been highly conservative in its biases since the close of the 19th century. There are exceptions beyond Winston Graham, often other novelists of the 1930s, e.g., Alexander Baron, Joseph Priestley, David Graham Philips, Winston Churchill. Women's popular historical fiction differs in that is it more dialogic: it does question not the larger order but how women are treated sexually. See Wallace 1-15.

3 Graham's twelve Poldark novels have never fallen out of print since they were first published (1945-2002); numbers of his books have been chosen as Book-of-the-Month club selections in the US, and another six of them (mystery and realistic novels) successfully filmed for cinema, and various of his books have been noticed as, or received awards for excellence (most notably his 1955 The Little Walls earned a Gold Dagger award and he an OBE in 1983). Yet his novels are consistently omitted from every discussion of historical fiction, popular or otherwise that I have come across except a very few texts specifically dedicated to him or his books. And these are mostly about his suspense-mystery-detection novels set in the twentieth century.

4 One example, in Take My Life (final script writtten by Margaret Kennedy): the back-story is the experience of a woman at first used by our hero (a trip away where she thought he would marry her, a child out of wedlock, dead at birth by him which he takes no thought of); and then physically abused woman by her apparently impeccable schoolmaster husband (he beats her) who murders her when she seeks a divorce. She writes a note to the hero which all interpret as wanting to renew an affair; it could also be a cry for help. Interestingly her name is Elizabeth — the heroine whose death to cover a rape, an illegimate child by a hero against the abuse of the protagonist-villain of the Poldark novels, Graham says his original tale of the Poldarks was meant to end on.

5 One can make a similar case for the relationship of the eighth Poldark novel, The Stranger from the Sea, partly set in Portugal 1800-10, with Escaile's The Peninsula War and the eleventh, The Twisted Sword, which contains an extended dramatization of the Battle of Waterloo, with “Waterloo, June 18th, 1815, in Keegan's The Face of Battle. Due to time constraints, I summarize only the first seven novels and their distinctive themes, and for the most part take all details from these. “The abominable slave trade” is not forgotten: in a characteristic rejoinder to Wilberforce in Parliament, Ross likens it to “lesser but no less evil forms on the doorstep of every one of us in the House” (FS III, 2, 447, 453; AT I:3, 48; see also JS III:14, 339).

6 The popular understanding of the books has been emphatically shaped by these mini-series and a resulting protective fan club. It is apparently not widely-known among academic scholars or even mentioned in any film adaptations studies that after the 1995 BBC/A&E Pride and Prejudice (famously starring Colin Firth as Darcy), the best-selling video cassettes of a mini-series made for British TV, has been the 1975-76 and 1977-78 Poldark mini-series. They were aired again in 2010 and 2012 on the new British satellite channels. See Graham on how continued devotion to the two mini-series was responsible for the failure of the 1996 two-hour film adaptation of The Stranger from the Sea (M 230-33).

7 Graham's novels have scenes imitating and alluding to Austen's & other 18th century texts: e.g., RP II:9, 301-5: Elizabeth plays erudite music like Handel on the harp with exquisite execution but Demelza pleases more by her unaccompanied folk-singing, a scene which recalls how Jane Fairfax's piano playing is superior in execution to Emma's, but Emma's more pleasing to Harriet because supposedly superior in feeling and what Harriet can understand easily. W II:4, 139-44: Dwight Enys, is a surgeon-physician-apothecary (tradesman in effect) and defies Ray Penvenen, a wealthy landowner who forbids Enys to engage himself to Penvenen's niece, Caroline Penvenen, an heiress, in terms which recall Elizabeth Bennet's defiance of Lady Catherine de Bourgh: Dwight is a gentleman, they are in love and owe an obligation to themselves and their choice of life before their family connections. In a marriage proposal scene reminiscent of The Way of The World, the series' witty gay lady, Caroline Penvenen, the agent of the novel's plot-design, demands her betrothed, Dwight, give up his practice to live with her on her money in Bath (W II:7, 187).

8 The first mini-series (1975-76) distorts memories of the books because it takes the story of Elizabeth first developed in Warleggan as flashbacks (a remembered back-story in this novel) and presents it as present-time drama chronologically interwoven with the early romance and marriage of Ross and Demelza in Ross Poldark Cf especially Part 1 of the first (1975-76) mini-series, with RP III passim and W III:2, 306-12.

9 Graham tells how he picked Warleggan's name with the same care and intensity as he did that of Ross Poldark and Demelza. “Warleggan” is the name of an old village on the Bodmin moors: “a lonely place, and one almost impossible to get to without traversing the desolate moorland.” Cold, wet, swathed in fog, grey, much “moorland granite, harsh-wind scoured countryside” — just right for this character. The family did flourish in the 18th and 19th centuries in Cornwall. PC 190-96.

10 A second quartet was begun in 1981: The Stranger from the Sea, The Miller's Dance, The Loving Cup (published 1981, 1982 and 1984 respectively) and finally finished at the opening of the 1990s: The Twisted Sword (published 6 years later, 1990).

11 Typical new minor characters: Ralph-Allen Daniels, a wealthy and therefore independent local merchant who presses Ross to take a position as Justice of the Peace (BM I:8, 138-46); Sir Christopher Hawkins, lawyer, MP, one-time High Sheriff of Cornwall who advises George Warleggan on how to buy boroughs (AT, I:2, 26-33); the Rev Champion who pressures Sam to exploit his power in a newly built Methodist church to extract whatever money Sam can from his congregation (BM I:7, 115-19; FS I:10, 178-83; III:6, 504); Tholly Tregirls, an amoral Sancho Panza comrade to Ross's Don Quixote (BM I:5, 82-89); Chouan officers, including the Marquis de Sombreuil (BM, III:6, 433-41).

12 Lockean language re-gendered frequently fits their plight -- if we take him in reverse: “Every [woman] does [not] have have a Property in [her] own Person” Pateman 52; Nussbaum 22.

13 The country estate and salon scenes of the trilogy recall Madame Roland's description of her public life as a politician (Heroine 95-96), partly because Roland does what she can to diminish her role. Alone among the Poldark wives Caroline Penvenen Enys consciously sets up her dinner for herself to enjoy this power.

14 A little later Ross and associates had refused to have any dealings with the Warleggans: D I:9, 76-81, 10, 86-87, II:1, 128-35; IV:3, 312-14)

15 Due to the roles they play in the novels' plot-design Falmouth and Basset become major characters across the later novels too. See FS I:4 & 5, 75-89, 92-95; 8, 133-40; 12, 219-226.

16 Behind Closed Doors often concentrates on this inward lack, see (just 2 early examples), 43, 53.

17 Nor seven further commercial film adaptations Graham says it hurt his career that he never went to university because he failed to make the contacts he would have (M 35-39 ). He also never became part of university circles nor the coterie prize cultures of the 1980s on, his historical novels having been originally marketed as regional popular novels, specifically Cornish (M 83). Conceding his awareness of a critical neglect of the Poldarks, Graham suggests they have been ignored as too optimistic; they are written “a little more in the sun than in the shadow” (PC 215-16).

18 Both Forgotten Story and Cordelia begin with documents that arouse scepticism on the full validity of the narrative to come. The very point of Forgotten Story is to show that the main events of the story were deliberately erased; Cordelia takes off from a dubious carving of a name and year on a mantelpiece. It is the one historical fiction by Graham that is not set in Cornwall; but it is also rooted in his life story as his earliest years before moving to Cornwall were spent in the suburbs of Manchester where the novel takes place.

19 It's no coincidence that in order to appease Graham's dissatisfaction with the first mini-series, the film-makers hired Alexander Baron to do the first four episodes of the second mini-series.

Verity Poldark (Norma Streader) and Captain Blamey (Jonathan Newth), a clandestine engagement (1975-76 Poldark I)


Baker, Wm. “Baron, (Joseph) Alexander (1917-1999)” ODNB. Oxford UP . Accessed 7 Oct 2011.

Barker, Dennis. “Graham,Winston Mawdsley” (1908?-2003)” ODNB, Oxford UP , Accessed 7 Oct 2011.

Beauman, Nicola. A Very Great Profession: The Woman's Novel, 1914-39. London: Virago, 1984.

Berlin, Isaiah. “Two Concepts of Liberty.” Liberty. Ed. Henry Hardy. Oxford: Clarenon, 1969.

Buckley, Allen. The Story of Mining in Cornwall: A World of Payable Ground. Fowey, Cornwall: Cornwall Editions Lts, 2005.

Burstein, Miriam Elizabeth. “The fictional afterlife of Anne Boleyn: how to do things with the Queen, 1901-2006, Clio 37:1 (2007):

Crapa, Joseph Robert. “Progressives in search of a usable past: the role of a native tradition of idealism in the social novels of David Graham Phillips, Winston Churchill, and Robert Herrick, 1900-17. Unpub. Doct. Diss. Univ of Arizona, 1975.

Dowson, Jane, ed. Women's Poetry of the 1930s: A Critical Anthology. London: Routledge, 1996.

Ellis, Robin. Making Poldark. Cornwall: Bossiney Books, 1978.

Esdaile, Charles. The Peninsula War. New York: Penguin, 2002.

Friedman, Lester, ed. Fires Were Started: British Cinema and Thatcherism. Minneapolis: Univ of Minnesota Press, 1993.

Graham, Winston. Cordelia. New York: Doubleday, 1949.

---------------------. Marnie, Greek Fire, The Forgotten Story. London: Chapmans, 1992.

---------------------. Memoirs of a Private Man . London: Macmillan, 2003. M

---------------------. The Poldark Series: Ross Poldark; Demelza. Naperville, Ill.: Sourcebooks, 2010. RP, D.

---------------------. The Poldark Series: Jeremy Poldark; Warleggan; The Black Moon; The Four Swans; The Angry Tide. Stranger from the Sea, The Miller's Dance; The Loving Cup; The Twisted Sword. Bella. London: Pan, 2008. JP, W, BM, FS, AT, LC.

---------------------. Poldark's Cornwall. London: Bodley Head, 1983. With photographs by Simon McBride. PC

--------------------. Take My Life. New York: Doubleday, 1967.

de Groot, Jerome. The Historical Novel. London: Routledge, 2010.

Hay, Douglas, Peter Linebaugh, John G. Rule, E. P. Thompson, and Cal Winslow. Albion's Fatal Tree: Crime and Society in Eighteenth Century England. London: Pantheon, 1975.

Jones, Rosalind Ann. “Mills & Boon meets feminism. The Progress of Romance: The Politics of Popular Fiction. Ed. Jean Radford. London: Routledge, 1986.

Keegan, John. The Face of Battle: A Study of Agincourt, Waterloo and the Somme. New York: Vintage, 1977.

Light, Alison. Forever England: Femininity, Literature, and Conservatism Between the Wars. London: Routledge, 1999.

Mill, John Stuart. The Subjection of Women. New York: Broadview Pr, 2000.

--------------------. “On Liberty.” The English Philosophers from Bacon to Mill Ed. Edwin A. Burtt. New York: Modern Library, 1939. 949-1041.

Moody, Ellen. “'People that marry can never part': An Intertextual Reading of Northanger Abbey, Persuasions Online:31:1, Winter 2010. Online ,

----------------. “'What right have you to detain me here?' Rape in Clarissa.” A Paper Delivered at a meeting of the American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies conference. Albuquerque, New Mexico, Va, March 26-29, 2010.

Moral, Tony Lee. Hitchcock and the making of Marnie. Maryland: Scarecrow, 2005.

Nussbaum, Felicity. Rival Queens: Actresses, Performance, and the Eighteenth Century British Theater. Philadelphia: Univ of Pennsylvania Pr, 2010

Pateman, Carol. The Sexual Contract. Stanford: Standford Univ Pr, 1988.

Poldark I. Dir. Christopher Barry, Kenneth Ives, Paul Arnett. Writers Jack Pullman, Peter Draper, Paul Wheeler, Jack Russell. Perf. Robin Ellis, Angharad Rees, Paul Curran, Mary Wimbush, Norma Steader, Clive Francis, Jill Townsend, Frank Middlemass, Ralph Bates, Judy Geeson, Richard Morant, Nicholas Selby, Stuart Doughty, Gillian Bailey, Donald Douglas, Forbes Collins, John Baskcomb, Jonathan Newth Diana Berriman, Leon Sinden. BBC, 1975-76.

Poldark II. Dir. Philip Dudley, Roger Jenkins. Writers Alexander Baron, Martin Worth. Perf. Robin Ellis, Angharad Rees, Paul Curran, Mary Wimbush, Jill Townsend, Ralph Bates, Eileen Way, Judy Geeson, Michael Cadman, Kevin McNally, Jane Wymark, Christopher Biggins, David Delve, Trudie Styler, Brian Stirner, Stefan Gates, Julie Dawn Cole, Malcolm Tierney, Hugh Dickson, Alan Tivern. BBC, 1977-78. Poldark: The Stranger from the Sea . Dir. Richard Laxton. Writer: Robin Mukbarjee. Perf. John Bowe, Mel Martin, Michael Attwell, Ioan Gufford, Kelly Reilly, Nicholas Greaves, Hans Mathesen, Sarah Carpenter, Andrew Readman. BBC, 1996.

Powell, David. Charles James Fox, Man of the People. London: Hutchinson, 1989. Roland, Marie-Jeanne Phlippon. The Memoirs of Madame Roland: A Heroine of the French Revolution, trans., ed. Evelyn Shuckburgh. New York: Moyer Bell, 1989.

Vickery, Amanda. Behind Closed Doors: At Home in Georgian England. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009.

------------------. “Don't Marry a Christian.” London Review of Books. 33:17 (2011):24-25.

Wallace, Diana. The Woman's Historical Novel: British Women Writers, 1900-2000. Hampshire: Palgrave, 2005.

Waugh, Mary. Smuggling in Devon and Cornwall, 1700-1815. Berkshire: Countryside, 1991.

Ross Poldark (Robin Ellis) and Demelza Poldark (Angharad Rees), before his trial (1975-76 Poldark I)

Contact Ellen Moody.
Pagemaster: Jim Moody.
Page Last Updated: 13 November 2011