From page 6 of my The Real World of Poldark: Cornwall 1783-1820 ... On television, we saw Ross Poldark galloping along the cliff tops, crystal clear in the sparkling sunlight. Back in 1795, an anonymous visitor was more concerned with the smoke that enveloped the mining district. Redruth was ‘in a cloud of smoke ... … Continue reading The hollow jarring of the distant steam engines
The Real World of Poldark is now published and should be available on amazon at some point over the Easter weekend. There is a paperback version of 201 pages at £9.99 and an e-book version for £4.99. It can be ordered in the UK here and in the States here. The book includes a preface … Continue reading No April fool. The Real World of Poldark
When writing his Poldark books, Winston Graham made use of real placenames. Many will know that the name Demelza came from a place near Bodmin, originally Dyn Maelda, or Maelda’s fort. The Poldarks' home of Nampara was another real place, a small hamlet near Graham’s home. It was formerly Nansbara, or bread valley. By the … Continue reading Who was living at Nampara in the 1800s?
It’s fair to say that Winston Graham’s Poldark saga, the story of a minor gentry family from the 1780s to 1820, has sometimes elicited a love-hate response from Cornish insiders. This is despite the fact that the history Graham included in his books provided, on the whole, a fair picture of the life of those … Continue reading Rescuing Poldark from the tourist gaze
It's the weekend, traditionally the time to play and watch sport, although at the moment watching is a mite more difficult than normal. Three hundred years ago the most watched sport in Cornwall would have been wrestling. The other sport associated with Cornwall was hurling. Here's an extract from chapter 7 of my forthcoming Poldark's … Continue reading A game fit only for barbarians
The last TV series may have veered sharply off the rails. However, re-reading the early novels of Winston Graham’s Poldark saga is a reminder of how he wove his plot around some not inaccurate historical observations. Cornwall was a place of major change in the Poldark years from 1783 to 1820. High pressure steam engines … Continue reading Contextualising Poldark: cottage conditions
Work on an insider’s guide to Poldark’s Cornwall is proceeding apace. A month has passed and I now have first drafts of four chapters. These are The Mine, The Cottage, The Road and The Chapel. In the meantime - a taster from The Mine. ‘pick out the hard ore by the glimmering of a small … Continue reading Poldark’s Cornwall
Tomorrow is the anniversary of the birth in 1908 of Winston Grime, who adopted the pen-name of Winston Graham when he authored the Poldark saga. The first in a series of books - Ross Poldark - was published in 1945. That was followed by eleven more, most written in the 1970s and 80s, with the … Continue reading Poldark: an insider’s guide?
Next weekend sees the anniversary of the birth of Charles Rashleigh in 1747. He was the tenth child of Jonathan and Mary Rashleigh of Menabilly near Fowey. With six older brothers and unlikely ever to succeed to the family estate, he became a property developer. His best known purchase was on the coast south east … Continue reading Charles Rashleigh and Charlestown
In the last few weeks over to Porthemmet they've been getting some excited by Poldark fever. Down the Cornish Arms, the only topic is how to say Poldark. Should the emphasis be placed on the first bit – 'POLdark? Or perhaps we should stress the second – Pol'DARK. As the argument rages to and fro … Continue reading Proper Poldark