As an avid Poldarker I wasn't expecting there to be a great deal I didn't know, but was pleasantly surprised to find it an interesting read. The interviews with the crew were insightful and I enjoyed reading about the processes they go through to get everything just right. For instance, the care and time that goes into creating the right shades of colour for the costumes to compliment the actor's skin tones, creating the right effect for the character.
There are also snippets from the actors, including Aidan Turner and Eleanor Tomlinson, talking about their characters, as well as background on the novels and TV adaptation. I actually found the interviews with many of the supporting cast more interesting as they contained things I hadn't seen before. The book also explains the history of the period and a little more about Georgian life, which helps the reader to understand what drove the characters on screen and why some things were the way they were. It also highlights what a tough life it was back then, the restricted position of women and how the political upheaval of the age affected Cornish life.
Each chapter introduces us to an episode of Poldark, using the story in each episode as a springboard to explore the historical context of the events in the episode and what goes on behind the scenes. One of the most interesting passages is the interview with the production designer, Catrin Meredydd. But all topics are covered, from the rise of Methodism to mining, the real life basis for the Carnmore Copper Company and the Warleggans, to the care and detail that goes into dressing the sets, everything from food to flowers is carefully considered. Having historian, Hannah Greig, on board to advise everyone involved in the production was clearly essential in order to bring the authenticity of Winston Graham's world to life. History fans will find much to enjoy in passages about the social and political history of Britain, and Cornwall in particular, at the time.
If you're after extensive new interviews with Aidan Turner or bags of pictures you haven't seen before you won't find them, but if you want to find out more about how the show was made, what's involved in a production like this from the people who work on set, and learn a bit about the historical roots of Poldark, all in one glossy package, it's well worth asking Santa for.
The World of Poldark is published by Pan Macmillan and cost £6.99 on Amazon.
Buy The World of Poldark here
All photos by @poldarked