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A Taste of Cornwall, England, June 2018

We recently spent nine very nice days in Cornwall, based in Falmouth, with four days touring places I'd always wanted to visit - the Eden Project and the Lost Gardens of Heligan in particular. The weather was somewhat variable!

BTW: If you would like to see some great pictures of Cornwall, may I direct you to the fine pages of Reflections.

Falmouth (Click the image for the photoblog)

The Eden Project (Click the image for the photoblog)

The Lost Gardens of Heligan (Click the image for the photoblog)

St Ives, St Michael's Mount, Fowey, Land's End - and the filming locations of BBC's "Poldark"
(Click the image for the photoblog)

Some posts about our recent visit to Cornwall appear below (or click a picture to go to a particular one).

If you would like to skip them, then (as usual) click the chevrons (>>) below to move on to my next “normal” post

Poldark (the BBC TV productions and the books by Winston Graham)

Two reasons why the 2015 BBC remake of its 1975 original was so popular are not hard to find...

Aidan Turner as Ross Poldark. Aidan was previously best known for playing Kili, an improbably handsome dwarf, in Peter Jackson's adaptation of The Hobbit.

Eleanor Tomlinson as Demelza. Eleanor's best role (prior to Poldark) was probably Georgiana Darcy in the excellent BBC adaptation of P.D. James' Death Comes to Pemberley.

The name “Demelza” is apparently Old Cornish for “Fort of Maeldaf” or “Fort on the Hill”, but Winston Graham is said to have derived it to mean “Thy Sweetness”, with “Melza” being originally derived from an old French word for honey.

Whatever, Demelza will always be associated for me with a feisty red-haired Cornish waif, who develops through hardships and class barriers in a way that still resonates today.

It was Angharad Rees's memorable portrayal of her in the 1975 TV series (right) that made her perhaps Britain's best-loved redhead (Demelza is a dark-haired lass in Winston Graham's novels). When I started watching the new series I felt that Angharad as Demelza would be a tough act to follow... but Eleanor has done the series proud.

I didn't start reading the 12 Poldark novels until I had watched the recent TV series, which brings me to another reason why the latest BBC remake has been so successful: the stories on which it is based (the first two novels, and a bit of the third novel).

Winston Graham's writing combines an almost cinematic quality of description with powerful character relationships that drive the suspenseful story, a fascinating historical background, and (in Ross Poldark) a humane view of the injustices and hardships of the times and a positive struggle to do something about them.

The latest TV adaptation has taken full advantage, doing a great job of conveying the first few novels to the screen. This isn't Downton Abbey, BTW - it's a much grittier and deeper story altogether.

(BTW, if you have watched the 2015 remake on PBS in the USA, you may know that PBS cut several small, important scenes from your version to suit its schedule - an act of artistic vandalism IMO. Buy the uncut DVDs!)

The above image was taken from a truly excellent blog post by Michael J. Bayly - a link well worth following.

I also strongly recommend Winston Graham’s Demelza: developing an 18th century Cornish world, a very thoughtful and deep analysis of the second novel, which will also tell you a great deal about the others.

The title of the third novel, BTW, is a little misleading (at least to me). It gave me the impression that the novels were a saga spanning generations, whereas in fact Jeremy Poldark is an unborn infant for most of that novel. I am currently reading The Black Moon (written after a gap of 20 years, although there is no sign of this in the writing), but so far as I can tell, the principal characters remain throughout the whole series.

So far, I am experiencing that rare thing: a set of novels and a screen adaptation that are equally satisfying. I look forward to Season 2!

My wife and I have noted this for the next time that we're visiting Cornwall, as a wonderfully dog-friendly hotel.

It is also the home of Jean Shrimpton's family - see the next post above.

If you like this...

[My previous West Country posts]

From the page:

"Cornwall will always be a great place to go camping but Ekopod is making it a stylish one too. This cool and contemporary living space is a luxury low-carbon retreat that brings the best of modern life to the best of the countryside. You can sleep in a full-size double bed but still wake up with a panoramic view of the hills. Breakfast on the decking terrace before hiking across the moors, bathe in a wood-fired bath tub after a surfing lesson or lounge in canvas easy chairs snacking on local produce from the honesty shop, all with minimal environmental impact. It's amazing that something so white can be so green."

This is one offering from Alastair Sawday's "Canopy & Stars" selections. If you are thinking of holidaying in the UK or other parts of Europe, and a few other places too, and are looking for somewhere special to stay, then I can really recommend Alastair Sawday's site as a great starting point. You will find more about him in the first link below.

From my web site...

[Some Places to Enjoy Life...]
[Some Places to Enjoy Life... In England]