This third novel in Winston Graham’s Poldark series begins with Ross and Demelza Poldark in trouble. They are still grieving over the death of their baby daughter, and Ross is soon to come to trial for the incident of the shipwreck.
Although he certainly summoned the villagers to the wreck, some of the charges are trumped up. He never assaulted anyone or took any of the wreckage for himself, and he offered hospitality to some of the shipwrecked sailors. The worst looting and killing was done by unemployed miners.
Ross and Demelza soon have a misunderstanding that affects their marriage for months. This situation is not helped by a rapprochement between Ross and his cousin Francis, which brings Francis’s wife Elizabeth back into their orbit. Demelza is insecure around Elizabeth and envies her for her beauty and poise.
As all the Poldarks are suffering financially, Ross gets involved in some risky ventures. One could put him at odds with the law, and another could ruin him.
This novel is the first in the series that hasn’t been overshadowed for me by seeing the recent programs on Masterpiece. I think it is a good, solid series, with interesting characters and a well-researched historical background. The scene at the beginning of the novel of the election and its resulting chaos was particularly startling. I am enjoying this series.