Sunday 28 June 2015

'Poldark's Cornwall': Delightful in Every Way

The first thing you notice when you open Poldark's Cornwall are the stunning photographs. The wonderful shots of the coast, the countryside and the villages are enough to make you fall in love with Cornwall there and then.  As a lovely surprise there are pictures of Aidan Turner and Eleanor Tomlinson, who play Ross and Demelza in the 2015 TV adaptation of  Poldark, in it too. Yes!
 As a visual book Poldark's Cornwall is quite beautiful.

But it is the text that is the real delight of this book. I had expected it to be information on this church or that cove but when, halfway through the introduction, I had tears in my eyes, I realised I had seriously misunderstood what this book is about. It is, in fact, a charming tale of Winston Graham's life in Cornwall, full of wonderful stories and anecdotes. I never expected to be reading the ghostly tale of the warm bedside chair and the curate's wife, of conversations in the Gents, or Graham's self-effacing account of a stranger talking to him about Cornwall getting spoiled as a result of authors like '...this chap Winston Graham...' writing about it for their own profit.

Poldark's Cornwall is described as a companion to the Poldark novels and that is truly what it is. If you want to understand the backdrop to Graham's writing, then this is the book for you.

Poldark's Cornwall is published by Macmillan and costs £20. It is also available in ebook at £12.99.

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