Sunday, 3 May 2009

Poldark


I first started to read the Poldark series of books when I was 23 ish. We were on holiday in Herefordshire, and the cottage had a bookcase crammedw ith books. I started on the first novel, and by the end of the holiday I had read all of them. As soon as I came home, I bought my own set and started again.

There are very few books that I enjoy re-reading, and the Poldark saga is one of them...although I now stop before I get to the later books, as they go off at a bit of a tangent. I vaguely remembered seeing Poldark on TV as a child, and I got the videos and watched them too.

I thought they were a reasonable adaptation of the books, although there were a few things about the changes in the adaptations which really bugged me, such as Ross only marrying Demelza because she was pregnant (not true), the ending of series one, and so on. Still, with the restrictions of a TV series, on the whole they did a good job.

Many years later I got hold of Winston Graham's book about Cornwall and Poldark, and I was amused to read that the people of Cornwall didn't particularly like it, and weren't too happy when tourists came round looking for Poldark stuff.

I was sure that things would have changed by now, so I was expecting to see lots of Poldark stuff when we were on holiday. Nope.

Even in places where they had books about Cornwall - including fiction - there was nothing about Poldark. Such a shame, I can't be the only tourist interested in seeing where it was filmed, or what the real villages were?

We did find one reference to Poldark, and that was a tin mine. Ross Poldark's fortunes depended on tin and copper mining, and in the stories he had more than one mine. We had already decided we would like to see a tin mine, so it might as well be this one.

Except it was, of course, nothing to do with Poldark. In fact, the only references to Poldark were (a) the name of the mine; and (b) a promised exhibit of "Captain Poldark's Drawing Room" , which wasn't there. We couldn't work out if it had been there and had been removed, or whether it was going to be there but wasn't there yet. Oh, and this was the only place that had any of Winston Graham's books in the shop.

There were no other references to Poldark at all, which is a shame. They could have talked about the naming of the mines, the fortunes, the hold the smelting companies had; they could easily cross reference the books. But no.

Still, it was interesting enough. Some pumping engines outside, kept DH amused; and the mine tour was surprisingly good. We couldn't go all the way down as it was flooded at the bottom, but we got down about 140 feet. You can also post a letter or card at the bottom, in the UK's lowest postbox but, as they hadn't said anything about it at the top, no-one had brought anything to post. I made a suggestion that they could sell preprinted & stamped postcards where you bought your mine tour ticket, and people could post them when they came down.

Lots more to do, but we were a bit early in the season so some of the additional shops/attractions were closed.


2 comments:

  1. Hi WHH

    Not sure how you missed it but enter Poldark into Google and click on the Winston Graham & Poldark Lit. Soc., it's the top entry. Check out their lively forum too, you'll find you're in good company.

    Hope this helps :-)

    Peter

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for that Peter, I'll check that out later today!

    ReplyDelete

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