Winston Graham wrote a series of books published from 1945 to 1953 and continued from 1973 to 2002. The series comprises 12 novels: the first seven are set in the 18th century, concluding in Christmas 1799; the remaining five are concerned with the early years of the 19th century and the lives of the descendants of the previous novels’ main characters. Graham wrote the first four Poldark books during the 1940s and 1950s. Following a long break, he decided to resume the series and published The Black Moon in 1973.
The main character Ross Poldark, a British Army officer returns home from the American Revolutionary War only to find that his fiancée Elizabeth Chynoweth, having believed him dead, is about to marry his cousin Francis Poldark.
Ross attempts to restore his own fortunes by reopening one of the family’s derelict Tin mines. After several years he marries Demelza Carne, a poor servant girl, and is gradually reconciled to the loss of Elizabeth’s love.
The BBC has adapted the series for television twice: Poldark first aired in 1975 and 1977, and a new version started in 2015. Series 5 has now been made and is due to be shown in 2019.
The stunning landscape of Cornwall is the backdrop for most of the series, although the close up street scenes and internal shots are generally filmed around the Bristol area where Mammoth Studios are based.
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