02 August 2015

Ross Poldark/Demelza by Winston Graham (The Poldark Saga #1 and #2) - Blog Tour and Giveaway

If Jane Austen met Charlotte Bronte and they drank too much port, the Poldark Saga would be their literary love child.” — Poldarkian.com  

Captain Ross Poldark rides again in the new Sourcebooks Landmark tie-in editions of Ross Poldark and Demelza, the first two novels in the acclaimed Poldark Saga by Winston Graham, adapted into the inaugural season of the new Masterpiece Classic PBS’s series Poldark, airing June 21 – August 2 on PBS.

In celebration, July 6th through August 3rd, The Ross Poldark Blog Tour will visit thirty popular book blogs specializing in historical, romance and Austenesque fiction. Featuring spotlights, previews, excerpts and book reviews of these two acclaimed historical fiction novels, the tour will also offer readers a chance at a fabulous giveaway contest including copies of the books and a stunning Anglophile-themed prize package (details below).

In the first novel in Winston Graham’s hit series, a weary Ross Poldark returns to England from war, looking forward to a joyful homecoming with his beloved Elizabeth. But instead he discovers his father has died, his home is overrun by livestock and drunken servants, and Elizabeth—believing Ross to be dead—is now engaged to his cousin. Ross has no choice but to start his life anew.

Thus begins the Poldark series, a heartwarming, gripping saga set in the windswept landscape of Cornwall. With an unforgettable cast of characters that spans loves, lives, and generations, this extraordinary masterwork from Winston Graham is a story you will never forget.

In the enchanting second novel in Winston Graham’s beloved Poldark series, Demelza Carne, an impoverished miner’s daughter Ross Poldark rescued from a fairground brawl, now happily finds herself his wife. But the events of these turbulent years test their marriage and their love. As Ross launches into a bitter struggle for the right of the mining communities, Demelza’s efforts to adapt to the ways of the gentry (and her husband) place her in increasingly odd and embarrassing situations. When tragedy strikes and sows the seeds of an enduring rivalry between Ross and the powerful George Warleggan, will Demelza manage to bridge their differences before they destroy her and her husband’s chance at happiness? 

Against the stunning backdrop of eighteenth century Cornwall, Demelza sweeps readers into one of the greatest love stories of all time.

Have you read all your Jane Austen novels, including the juvenilia, several times?  Read all your Brontes?  Are you running out of Georgette Heyer novels?  Specifically, did you like the historical sweep of An Infamous Army?  Hankering for a bit of Dickensian social justice?  But are you a bit hesitant to jump into a long, more military historical series like Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin series or CS Forrester's Horatio Hornblower?

Winston Graham's Poldark Saga is a happy medium, then.  The vivid, snapping characterizations and dialogue of an Austen, the emotional reach of a Bronte, the historical accuracy of a Heyer, the crusading reform of a Dickens, and the long-ranging sweep of time like O'Brian and Forrester.  Graham Winston brings late-Georgian Cornwall to life with the tale of Ross Poldark's homecoming, his disappointment, and his struggle to remain on the land that is his birthright and do right by his family, tenants, and laborers in the first book of the saga, Ross Poldark.  It is a novel of class differences, family loyalty, and betrayal.  It is a novel of a changing England as it moves into the Industrial age.  In this way, the Poldark novels, much as they are set in an England that had just lost it's American colonies, reflect both our society as it was in post-World War II Britain and look forward to our own time.  Our changing economies, the struggles of the lower social class against an upper class who look down and blame the poor, the struggle for a woman to have her own life and autonomy, and the struggle for appropriate justice.

Set against this backdrop is a romance for the ages and it is delicious.  Ross is appropriately broody and conflicted, Elizabeth is appropriately spoiled and needy, Francis is appropriately bratty, and Demelza is appropriately sassy and courageous.  Demelza picks up where Ross Poldark ends and so on through twelve novels ending in post-Napoleonic War England and France - we can only hope that Sourcebooks Landmark will keep putting out gorgeous new paperbacks that long.

The BBC has adapted the first two Poldark novels into a new miniseries.  As usual for any historical production with the BBC (though the original production company was purchased by ITV, so we'll see for Series 2), the production values are stellar and the cast is excellent.  First and foremost, the countryside of Cornwall is breathtaking with sweeping shots of the cliffs and sea.  Aiden Turner (the dwarf half of the shoehorned-in dwarf-elf romance in the Hobbit movies) is wonderful as the driven, conflicted, rash - and occasionally delightfully shirtless - Ross.  Ruby Bentall, whom I loved as Mary Bennet in Lost in Austen, plays Verity to the hilt and I like her almost better here than in the book.  Kyle Soller, as the gutless wonder Francis, looks exactly right in a frock coat and breeches losing his family inheritance.  Old BBC regulars like Phil Davis and Richard Harrington (Bleak House) appear.  The only casting choice I thought questionable was Eleanor Tomlinson as Demelza.  In the books, Demelza is a scrawny fourteen and introduced while dressed as a boy.  For the adaptation, Demelza's age has been bumped up to fit a more compressed timeline, so it does line more with Tomlinson's real age, but she doesn't quite find her way into Demelza's awkward, all-elbows roughness (having last seen her as a luminous Georgiana Darcy in Death Comes to Pemberley the role is a bit of a stretch, gorgeous red hair dye aside).  She gets it right about episode three but I think they should have double cast the role with a young teen actress for the first few scenes.

The two-hour season finale airs tonight, August 2, on your local PBS station - check your local schedule.


Grand Giveaway Contest

Win One of Three Fabulous Prizes

In celebration of the re-release of Ross Poldark and Demelza, Sourcebooks Landmark is offering three chances to win copies of the books or a grand prize, an Anglophile-themed gift package.

Two lucky winners will each receive one trade paperback copy of Ross Poldark and Demelza, and one grand prize winner will receive a prize package containing the following items:

(2 ) Old Britain Castles Pink Pottery Mugs by Johnson Brothers
(1) Twelve-inch Old Britain Castles Pink Pottery Plate by Johnson Brothers
(1) London Telephone Box Tin of Ahmad English Breakfast Tea
(1) Jar of Mrs. Bridges Marmalade
(1) Package of Duchy Originals Organic Oaten Biscuits
(2) Packets of Blue Boy Cornflower Seeds by Renee's Garden Heirloom 
(1) Trade Paperback Copy of Ross Poldark & Demelza, by Winston Graham

(That picture makes me wish I hadn't agreed to do the blog tour so I could enter the giveaway.)

To enter the giveaway contest simply leave a comment on any or all of the blog stops on the Ross Poldark Blog Tour starting July 06, 2015 through 11:59 pm PT, August 10, 2015. Winners will be drawn at random from all of the entrants and announced on the Buzz at Sourcebooks blog on August 13, 2015. Winners have until August 20, 2015 to claim their prize. The giveaway contest is open to US residents and the prizes will be shipped to US addresses. Good luck to all!


July 06 My Jane Austen Book Club (Preview)
July 07 Booktalk & More (Excerpt)
July 09 vvb32 Reads (Preview)
July 10 The Paige Turner (Review)
July 10 My Kids Led Me Back To P & P (Excerpt)
July 11 Austenprose (Review)
July 12 Laura's Reviews (Preview)
July 13 Peeking Between the Pages (Review)
July 13 Reflections of a Book Addict (Preview)
July 14 Living Read Girl (Review)
July 16 vvb32 Reads (Review)
July 17 Paige Turner (Review)
July 18 Truth, Beauty, Freedom & Books (Preview)
July 20 Laura's Reviews (Review)
July 20 The Calico Critic (Review)
July 21 Poof Books (Excerpt)
July 22 Babblings of a Bookworm (Review)
July 23 Austenprose (Review)
July 24 Peeking Between the Pages (Review)
July 25 My Love for Jane Austen (Excerpt)
July 25 Living Read Girl (Review)
July 26 Delighted Reader (Review)
July 27 My Jane Austen Book Club (Review)
July 27 Austenesque Reviews (Review)
July 27 Laura's Reviews (Review)
July 28 She Is Too Fond Of Books (Review)
July 30 vvb32 Reads (Review)
July 30 Babblings of a Bookworm (Review)
July 31 CozyNookBks (Excerpt)
Aug 01 The Calico Critic (Review)
Aug 01 More Agreeably Engaged (Review)


  1. thanx for giveaway. I have really enjoyed Aidan and Poldark this summer

  2. i love the show love Aidan love Poldark denise smith

  3. Looking forward to reading the books.

  4. Great giveaway! I love the TV series and I would love to read the books. :) Ross is an interesting character. <3

    1. Loving this series and would love to read the books as well. Thank you for hosting in the giveaway!

  5. Awesome giveaway! I love the TV show and can't wait to check out the books.

  6. Thanks for being a part of hosting this blog tour! I've enjoyed it as I watch the new TV series and am excited to check out the books soon too!

  7. I've been enjoying the TV series so much. I am excited to read the books next!

  8. An amazing giveaway chance. Thank you for the poost. I'd love to read these books. I'm really loving the excerpts & reviews.
    Caarol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  9. I kind of hate to see the book blog tour ending because I have enjoyed reading the reviews and checking out the many blogs who have hosted it. I was sorry to see the tv show end tonight. Ross and Julia were so beautiful together. And the touching way he called Demelza "my love". Who could ask for more in a man?
    I would like to read the books and get a more in-depth picture of the people and the land. Thank you for offering us the chance to win this giveaway.

  10. I have enjoyed the POLDARK series! The blog tour has been fabulous. I can't wait to read the books.

  11. Loving this series and would love to read the books as well. Thank you for hosting in the giveaway!

  12. I loved the show and I want to read the books!

  13. I love your descriptions of the characters in the books! I was surprised to find out Demelza was so young at the start of the book! 13? o.o BUT when I read that the books span 40 years, I was hopeful Demelza's and Poldark's relationship grows with time. Wonderful review. Like your talking points. Will definitely visit your blog again! :)

  14. Thanks for posting this great giveaway chance! I love the show and would love to read the books too!

  15. Interesting about the difference in Demelza between book and TV series. I liked the way Ross described her as "a bit feral" in an early episode but no, I wouldn't have thought of her as boyish at all. I'm glad to hear the books are historically accurate like Heyer. Love, love, love Heyer.

  16. Thank you for hosting this giveaway. As a new fan of English history and watching Poldark on PBS, I would love to read the books.

  17. I'm just finishing Poldark now on my DVR and I don't want it to end! I think the perfect remedy is to start reading the Saga! What a lovely giveaway -thank you so much for the opportunity!

    ruthannon at gmail dot com

  18. Now that the prize includes the DVD of the series it's an amazing giveaway opportunity.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  19. Now that the prize includes the DVD of the series it's an amazing giveaway opportunity.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  20. I enjoyed your review and am looking forward, even more, to reading the series since it is historically accurate. Looking forward to watching the miniseries in its entirety.

  21. I enjoyed your review and am looking forward, even more, to reading the series since it is historically accurate. Looking forward to watching the miniseries in its entirety.

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  23. I adored the PBS series and can't wait to read the books as well. glindathegood@bellsouth.net

  24. my daughter & I love Sunday nights watching PBS, this show is amazing and we look forward to next season-it can't come soon enough!