Demelza by Winston Graham

Posted by Richard Vobes Richard Vobes
So this is the second book in the line of Poldark stories by the fabulous Winston Graham (sadly no longer with us). I read a little about his approach to writing this book from his autobiography 'Memoirs of a Private Man'. He spent a lot of time thinking and many rewrites to parts of the novel. As a self-publish author, I read and listen to blogs and podcasts telling me the importance of getting new books out quickly in order to gain traction on the online retailers web sites, but what I love about the old traditional way of publishing was the time an author like Winston Graham took 'thinking' about his characters and the unfolding story. I am probably looking at that through rose tinted glasses, of course.

Anyway, tor me, the shadow of Jim Carter is what haunts this book. He is sent to prison for poaching in book one and in the second outing he is transferred to Launceston Gaol, a far worse place for health and well being. Dark, dank and overcrowded where goal fever (Typhoid) was rife. I have been to the ruins of the castle and I can picture the grim, miserable hole this must have been in the 18th century. I was heartbroken that Jim dies after the effort Ross takes to get him out.

Ross is haunted to by the boy's death and part of me was annoyed that Ross hadn't visited the boy earlier or more frequently.

Although the book is entitled Demelza, and she meddles in the Poldark family's way of life, causing major problems for the her husband, I found myself drawn to the supporting characters more so; Keren, Enys, Mark and Verty and wanting to know more of their plight and stories.

The remote setting is beautiful tackled, as is all of Winston Graham's writing and the pictures in my held flow so well. I wish I could write so apparently effortlessly. :)

As before, I will read other novels/non-fiction and then approach the next in the series.

I am also interested to see how the new BBC (I think) TV series is going to turn out and hope they do it justice. I have been following @Poldark on Twitter and catching some behind the scenes photos. It looks sumptuous.