Fall down the rabbit hole with us! In our Reading Intersections series, we’ll give you a place to start and where to go next, piling titles on until you’re neck-deep in books, graphic novels and movies on a similar theme.
If you love English Georgian drama (or are just a Aidan Turner fan) then you are probably neck deep in the BBC’s Poldark. Well, we’ve got plenty more where that came from.
The first book in the series was published in 1945, and Winston Graham stated that the character of Ross Poldark was partially based on a fighter pilot he’d met on a train during World War II.
“Tired from a grim war in America, Ross Poldark returns to his land and his family. But the joyful homecoming he has looked forward to turns sour, for his father is dead, his estate is derelict, and the girl he loves is engaged to his cousin.”
The second book in the series covers the second half of the television series.
“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”
Although these two books make up the TV series so far the books series just goes on and on, written over the course of 55 years.
Susan Howatch. Penmarric.
Set a few decades after the Poldark series, Penmarric is a family saga that captures the sense of Cornwall as a place.
“We all want what we cannot have, but when Mark Castallack sees his longed-for inheritance Penmarric, a gothic mansion on the bleak cliffs of Cornwall, and the mysterious, mesmerizing Janna, he knows that he will make them his and nothing will stand in his way. Yet when Mark realizes his dreams, Penmarric only brings a legacy of conflict, jealousy, infidelity, and betrayal. Spanning the Victorian era to the Second World War, this gripping story of one man and his two feuding families chronicles the tempestuous clashes between warring sons, wives and mistresses, and between a house divided against itself”
A Little To The Left
Rosamunde Pilcher. Coming Home.
“Pilcher’s novel is big, both in size and scope. Yet its charm is in its details. The book’s heroine is Judith Dunbar, who is a schoolgirl of 13 when the tale begins in 1935. Sent to boarding school in Cornwall because her parents are posted to Singapore, Judith becomes friends with Loveday Carey-Lewis, who introduces her to a family and an estate, Nancherrow, that is to influence her for the rest of her life. Pilcher does a marvelous job of describing life in England before World War II. Readers, especially Anglophiles, will adore the care Pilcher gives to setting her scenes, decorating them with everything from Cornish wildflowers to china dogs to particular tartan plaids. The same care is evident later in the tale, as Pilcher chronicles the changes brought by the war to the fabric of British life. There is, of course, more to the novel than a carefully rendered historical backdrop. There is a story, too, and a quite involving one even if its outlines are familiar from other melodramas set against the dramatic events of history. As Judith makes her way to adulthood in the midst of great wealth, great tragedy, and, naturally, romance, Pilcher effectively balances the demands of plot with the pleasures of revisiting a different place and time. Fans of the author’s previous books, such as “September” (1990), will know what they’re getting into and willingly plunge in headfirst. A Literary Guild main selection and an 850,000 first printing indicate supreme confidence on the publisher’s part.”
Winston Graham. Poldark’s Cornwall.
Pictures of Cornwall…’nuff said.
“A lavishly illustrated companion to Winston Graham’s beloved Poldark novels, reissued as the new BBC series based on the novels is first broadcast. Graham’s saga of Cornish life in the eighteenth century has enthralled readers throughout the world for seventy years and the wild landscapes that inspired the novels have – even today – remained relatively unchanged. Cornwall then was a perilous world of pirates and shipwrecks: of rugged coast and mysterious smugglers’ coves, of windswept moors and picturesque villages such as Boscastle and Port Quin, and of beaches, tin mines and churches. With an introduction by Winston Graham’s son, Andrew, and illustrated with stunning photographs, Poldark’s Cornwall is a glorious evocation of the land of beauty, excitement, romance and imagination that Graham loved so well.”
Brian Wood and Andrea Mutti. Rebels.
This is a bit of stretch, I admit. It is a graphic novel from the perspective of the rebels in the American Revolution, and Ross returns to Cornwall from fighting in the American Revolution. It also hasn’t been released yet as a graphic novel, so you’ll either have to wait for it to come out or get the separate issues.
“In a rush of great public resistance to an oppressive and excessive government, a homegrown militia movement is formed in rural America. This is not 2015, but 1775. With the war for independence playing out across the colonies, young Seth and Mercy Abbott find their new marriage tested at every turn, as the demands of the frontlines and the home front collide.”
You can’t really do a Reading Intersections involving the Poldarks without mentioning the original Poldark television series, starring Robin Ellis and Angharad Rees. An added bonus, Ellis has a part in the new Poldark.
“British officer Ross Poldark returns to his native Cornwall after the Revolutionary War after escaping as a prisoner of war. He finds that because he was believed dead, his home has fallen into ruin and his estate has shifted to his mercenary uncle following the death of his father. His uncle has committed to selling the family copper and tin mines to a ruthless local land baron while his former fiancée has agreed to marry his cousin in his absence.”