EXCITING NEWS!! PBS has contributed a DVD of season one of Poldark to the list of prizes! (See updated prize list below.) AND THERE IS STILL TIME FOR YOU TO LEAVE COMMENTS AND ENTER THE GIVEAWAY CONTEST until 11:59pm PT, AUGUST 10, 2015.
I am pleased to be a blog tour host for the first two books in the highly acclaimed POLDARK series: Poldark – Ross Poldark, and Poldark – Demelza. These are the books behind the major new television series from Masterpiece on PBS which airs from June 21- Aug 2.
QUICK FACTS FOR ROSS POLDARK:
• Book Title: Ross Poldark: A Novel of Cornwall, 1783-1787
• Author: Winston Graham
• Genre: Historical Fiction
• Book 1 of The Poldark Saga
• New tie-in edition to the Masterpiece Classic PBS series airing 6/21 – 8/2, 2015
• Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark (June 09, 2015) reprint of 1945
• Length: 400 pages
• Trade paperback & eBook ISBN: 9781492622079
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.
QUICK FACTS FOR DEMELZA:
• Book Title: Demelza: A Novel of Cornwall, 1788-1790
• Author: Winston Graham
• Genre: Historical Fiction
• Book 2 of The Poldark Saga
• New tie-in edition tor the Masterpiece Classic PBS series airing 6/21 – 8/2, 2015
• Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark (June 09, 2015) reprint of 1946
• Trade paperback & eBook ISBN: 9781492622109
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.
And now, here’s an excerpt from Chapter 13 of DEMELZA:
Jud had been fairly behaved for so long that Prudie overlooked the signs of a change. The settled domestic life of Nampara—so unlike old Joshua’s regime—had had a pacifying effect on her own impulses and she had come to think that the same was true of him. Ross left early in the morning—he was away three and four days a week—and when Demelza was out of sight, Prudie settled herself in the kitchen to brew a dish of tea and talk over the week’s scandal with Jinny Carter, overlooking the fact that an hour before she had caught Jud taking a sup of gin while he milked the cows.
Jinny, in an odd way, had come to fulfill for Prudie much the same function that Demelza had done; in short, she did most of the rough work of the house and left Prudie to potter and to brew her tea and gossip and complain of her feet. When Demelza was about, it wasn’t quite as easy as that, but when she went out, things settled into a very comfortable groove.
Jinny had been talking of Jim, of how thin and ill he had looked, of how she nightly prayed that the next eight months would slip away so that he might be free to come home. Prudie was glad to hear that she had no thought of leaving her work at Nampara. There was to be no more going down the mine for Jim, Jinny said. She had made him promise he would come back and work on the farm. He had never been so well as when he worked there and they never so happy. It wasn’t mining wages, but what did that matter? If she worked they could make do.
Prudie said, oh, there was no tellin’, things was upsy down, and it might be that them as worked on a farm would soon be earning more than them as went below, if half she’d heard tell of copper and tin was true. Look at Cap’n Ross, galloping about the countryside as if Old Scratch was at his coattails, and what was the use? What was the good of trying to puff life into a cold corpse? Better if he saved his smith’s fees and looked to his own taties.
During that, Jinny was in and out of the kitchen three or four times, and on her last return wore an anxious look on her thin young face.
“There’s someone in the cellar, Prudie. Truly. Just now as I were passing the door…”
“Nay,” said the other woman, wiggling her toes. “You’re mistook. ’Twas a rat maybe. Or wur it little Julia a-stirring in ’er cot, an? Go see, will ’ee, and save my poor feet.”
“Couldn’ be that,” said Jinny. “It were a man’s voice—grumble, grumble, grumble, like an old cart wheel—coming up from the cellar steps.”
Prudie was about to contradict her again, but then, with a thoughtful look, she pulled on her slippers and rose like the side of a mountain creakily out of her chair. She flapped out into the hall and peered through the cellar door, which opened in the angle made by the stairs.
For a few seconds the murmur was too indistinct to catch any words, but after a while, she heard:
There was an old couple an’ they was—was poor.
Tw-tw-tweedle, go tweedle, go twee.
“Tes Jud,” she said grimly to the anxious Jinny. “Drownin’ his guts in Cap’n Ross’s best gin. ’Ere, stay a breath, I’ll root en out.”
She flapped back to the kitchen. “Where’s that there broom ’andle?”
“In the stable,” said Jinny. “I seen it there this morning.”
Prudie went out to get it, Jinny with her, but when they came back, the song in the cellar had stopped. They lighted a candle from the kitchen fire and Prudie went down the stairs. There were several broken bottles about but no signs of Jud.
Prudie came up. “The knock-kneed ’ound’s wriggled out while we was away.”
“Hold a minute,” said Jinny.
Someone was singing gently in the parlor.
Jud was in Ross’s best chair, with his boots on the mantelpiece. On his head, hiding the fringe and the tonsure, was one of Ross’s hats, a black riding hat turned up at the brim. In one hand was a jar of gin and in the other a riding crop, with which he gently stirred the cradle in which Julia slept.
“Jud!” said Prudie. “Get out o’ that chair!”
Jud turned his head.
“Ah,” he said in a ridiculous voice. “C-come in, good women all, good women all, g-good women. Your servant, ma’am. Damn, ’tis handsome of ’ee to make this visit. Tedn what I’d of expected in a couple o’ bitches. But there, one ’as to take the rough wi’ the rough, an’ a fine couple of bitches ye be. Pedigree stock, sir. Never have I seen the likes. Judgin’ only by the quarters, ’tis more’n a fair guess to say there’s good blood in ’ee, an’ no missment.”
He gave the cradle a prod with his riding crop to keep it rocking.
Prudie grasped her broom.
“’Ere, dear,” she said to Jinny. “You go finish yer work. I’ll deal with this.”
“Can you manage him?” Jinny asked anxiously.
“Manage ’im. I’ll mince ’im. Only ’tis a question of the cradle. We don’t want the little mite upset.”
When Jinny had gone, Jud said, “What, no more’n one lef ? What a cunning crack ye am, Mishtress Paynter, getting’ quit o’ she so’s there’ll be less to share the gin.” His little eyes were bloodshot with drink and bleary with cunning. “Come us in, my dear, an’ lift your legs up. I’m the owner ’ere; Jud Paynter, eskewer, of Nampara, mashter of hounds, mashter of cemeteries, justice of the peace. ’Ave a sup!”
“Pah!” said Prudie. “Ye’ll laugh on the other side of yer head if Cap’n Ross catches ’ee wi’ yer breeches glued to ’is bettermost chair. Ah…ye dirty glut!”
He had upended his jar of gin and was drinking it in great gulps.
“Nay, don’t ’ee get scratchy, for I’ve two more by the chair. Ye’ve overfanged notions o’ the importance of Ross an’ his kitchen girl in the scum of things. ’Ere, ’ave a spur.”
Jud leaned over and put a half-empty jar on the table behind him. Prudie stared at it.
“Look!” she said. “Out o’ that chair or I’ll cleave open yer ’ead with this broom. An’ leave the cheeil alone!” The last words came in a screech, for he had given the cradle another poke.
Jud turned and looked at her assessingly; through the blear of his gaze he tried to see how far his head was in danger. But Ross’s hat gave him confidence.
“Gis along, you. ’Ere, there’s brandy in the cupboard. Fetch it down an’ I’ll mix ye a Sampson.”
It had once been Prudie’s favorite drink: brandy and cider and sugar. She stared at Jud as if he were the Devil tempting her to sell her soul.
She said, “If I want drink I’ll get it and not akse you, nor no other else.” She went to the cupboard and genteelly mixed half a Sampson. With greedy, glassy eyes Jud watched her.
“Now,” said Prudie fiercely, “out o’ that chair!”
Jud wiped a hand across his face. “Dear life, it makes me weep to see ’ee. Drink un up first. An’ mix me one too. Mix me a Sampson wi’ his hair on. There, there, be a good wife now.”
A “Sampson with his hair on” was the same drink but with double the brandy. Prudie took no notice and drank her own. Then, gloomily, she mixed herself another.
“Tend on yerself,” she said. “I never was yer wife, and well you know it. Never in church proper like a good maid should. Never no passon to breathe ’is blessing. Never no music. Never no wedden feast. Just I was. I wonder you sleep of nights.”
“Well, a fine load ye was,” said Jud. “An’ more’s been added. Half enough to fill a tin ship now. And you didn’ want no wedden. Gis along, you old suss. ’Twas all I could do to get ’ee ’ere decent. ’Ave a drink.”
Prudie reached for the half-empty jar.
“Me old mother wouldn’ have liked it,” she said. “Tes fair to say she was happier dead. The only one she reared, I was. One out of twelve. Tes hard to think on after all these years.”
“One in twelve’s a fair portion,” said Jud, giving the cot another push. “The world’s too full as ’tis, and some should be drownded. Ef I ’ad me way, which mebbe I never shall, an’ more’s the pity, for there’s precious few has got the head on ’em that Jud Paynter has got, though there’s jealous folk as pretend to think other, and one o’ these days they’ll ’ave the shock of their lives, for Jud Paynter’ll up and tell ’em down-souse that tes jealous thoughts an’ no more keeps away a recognition that, if he ’ad un, would be no more than any man’s due who’s got the head on ’im. Where was I?”
“Killin’ off me little brothers and sisters,” said Prudie.
“Ais,” said Jud. “One in twelve. That’s what I say, one in twelve. Not swarming like the Martins an’ the Viguses an’ the Daniels. Not swarming like this house’ll be before long. Put ’em in the tub I would, like they was chets.”
Prudie’s great nose was beginning to light up.
“I’ll have no sich talk in my kitchen,” she declared.
“We bain’t in your kitchen now, so hold yer tongue, you fat cow.”
“Cow yerself, and more,” said Prudie. “Dirty old gale. Dirty old ox. Dirty old wort. Pass me that jar. This one’s dry.”
Winston Graham (1908-2003) is the author of forty novels. His books have been widely translated and the Poldark series has been developed into two television series, shown in 22 countries. Six of Winston Graham’s books have been filmed for the big screen, the most notable being Marnie, directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Winston Graham is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and in 1983 was awarded the O.B.E.
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 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:
(1) DVD of season one of Poldark
(2 ) Old Britain Castles Pink Pottery Mugs by Johnson Brothers
(1) Twelve-inch Old Britain Castles Pink Pottery Plater 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
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.
SEE THE UPDATED ROSS POLDARK BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE:
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