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Ross Poldark (1945)

by Winston Graham

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Poldark Saga (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
1,3296310,913 (3.99)1 / 265
Ross Poldark returns to Cornwall from war, looking forward to a joyful homecoming with his family and his beloved Elizabeth. But instead he discovers that his father has died, his home is overrun by livestock and drunken servants, and Elizabeth, having believed Ross dead, is now engaged to his cousin. Ross must start over, building a completely new path for his life, one that takes him in exciting and unexpected directions.… (more)
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    Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (Anonymous user)

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» See also 265 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 62 (next | show all)
Points for style. Graham had a sweeping, sometimes gritty, way of turning a phrase. Not quite as dramatic as the show. And talk about cliffhangers! I'm kinda bummed that I don't have time to read the next one. And that's got to be a good thing. ( )
  OutOfTheBestBooks | Sep 24, 2021 |
The Winston Graham books of Poldark and his times have been made into two very popular television series.
This first book is about Poldark returning to Cornwall after time in the Americas and finding his love, Elizabeth recently married to his cousin Francis. He rescues Demelza and subsequently falls in love and marries her.
The descriptions of country life in the eighteen century are both interesting and charming. The story moves at a pleasant pace.
I particularly enjoyed the old Cornish turn of phrase. It is probably not surprising that the book develops the two characters of Poldark and Demelza more fully than in either of the TV series.
I am so pleased to have picked up and read this old paperback. Life was harsh in those days and it has been useful to reflect as we battle Covid. ( )
  jannnyg | Sep 2, 2021 |
I made it halfway through this in March 2020. Then the quarantine began and I couldn't get back into it. Definitely not the fault of the book.
  bookworm12 | Jul 6, 2021 |
Captain Ross Poldark comes home to Cornwall after fighting for the British in the Revolutionary War. He has been dreaming of coming home...but everything has gone wrong. The woman he loves is marrying his cousin. His father is dead. The family home and lands are a rundown mess. But Ross is not a man to be defeated. He starts working to repair the house, plans to go into copper mining, and builds a new life for himself.

I have known about this book series for years and saw many commercials for the PBS series, plus the new series on Amazon. The concept sounded interesting, but I just never took the time to try the books or watch the shows. I saw several of the later books available for review...and decided it was time to finally jump in and discover the Poldark family for myself. I'm glad I did! The story and characters are engaging and interesting. The story had a bit more romance than I usually like, but it didn't over power the rest of the plot.

There are 12 books in The Poldark Saga. I enjoyed this first tale about Ross Poldark enough to read more in the series. It might take me awhile to work my way through all 12 books....but I will over time. And, now that I've read book 1, I can watch at least most of season 1 of the show. :) I will watch until I catch up with the book....then pause long enough to read book 2, Demelza.

I listened to the audio book version of this story. Narrated by Oliver Hembrough, the audio is just under 14.5 hours long. Hembrough reads at a steady pace and gives a good performance. A nice listening experience! I can tell people are enjoying this series and the television show. I tried to check out book 2 on audio from the library --- and the waiting list is 6 months long! Yikes! lol. Only had to wait a week for the ebook (they have many copies of that version)....so moving on to book 2! :) ( )
  JuliW | Nov 22, 2020 |
4.5* rounded up to five because of how surprised I was to enjoy this so much.

For those not all caught up on Masterpiece Theatre, the BBC/PBS have resurrected Winston Graham's epic, 12-novel series for its second miniseries treatment, following the 1975 production. While I've now seen both adaptations, these books passed me by until being reissued this summer.

Ross Poldark, our titular protagonist, returns home to Cornwall after fighting in the American Revolution. The war has matured him and developed his sympathies for the working poor, which is fortunate, as he returns to find his father dead, his fortune ruined, and his sweetheart engaged to his cousin. He copes with his ruined life (when not drinking) by advocating for and befriending a variety of poor neighbors and employees and resurrecting his family's mining operations. Along the way, he manages to offend various powerful members of his class and ruffle his family's feathers with his unconventional outlook.

I can't blame Masterpiece for getting on the epic-series-adaptation bandwagon, what with the crazy success of shows like [b:A Game of Thrones|13496|A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)|George R.R. Martin|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1436732693s/13496.jpg|1466917] and [b:Outlander|10964|Outlander (Outlander, #1)|Diana Gabaldon|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1402600310s/10964.jpg|2489796]. If you enjoy Outlander's great sense of history and place but are less drawn to its fantastical elements and occasional tendency towards minutiae, Poldark might fit the bill. In some ways, the vividness Graham's writing reminded me very much of [a:C.S. Forester|932179|C.S. Forester|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1218219226p2/932179.jpg]'s Horatio Hornblower books, with just slightly less self-loathing and a bit more self-awareness by our hero. If historical fiction with a well-developed male POV interests you, you could certainly do much worse; with season 2 forthcoming, this is a series to rediscover. ( )
  beautifulshell | Aug 27, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 62 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Graham, WinstonAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Britton, TonyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hembrough, OliverNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maloney, MichealReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Renner, Lisbethsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Joshua Poldark died in March 1783.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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aka The Renegade
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Wikipedia in English


Ross Poldark returns to Cornwall from war, looking forward to a joyful homecoming with his family and his beloved Elizabeth. But instead he discovers that his father has died, his home is overrun by livestock and drunken servants, and Elizabeth, having believed Ross dead, is now engaged to his cousin. Ross must start over, building a completely new path for his life, one that takes him in exciting and unexpected directions.

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Book description
Tired from a grim war in America, Ross Poldark returns to his land and his family. But the joyful homecoming he has anticipated turns sour, for his father is dead, his estate is derelict and the girl he loves is engaged to his cousin.

But his sympathy for the destitute miners and farmers of the district leads him to rescue a half-starved urchin girl from a fairground brawl and take her home - an act which alters the whole course of his life . . .
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Average: (3.99)
1 4
2 8
2.5 4
3 54
3.5 21
4 120
4.5 22
5 85

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