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Ross Poldark by Winston Graham first edition 1945

Ross Poldark by Winston Graham first edition 1945


London and Melbourne: Ward, Lock & Co., Limited, 1945


8vo., salmon pink publisher’s cloth, backstrip lettered in black; in the original unclipped pictorial dust jacket (8/6 net), with wraparound image showing a view of Cornwall; pp. [iv], 5-352; a very good copy, corners bumped; spine sunned; internally very good with the odd spot and near-contemporary ownership name and date to the front paste-down; the totally unrestored jacket very good, backstrip sunned, general shelf wear and browning, with creasing along folds and upper edge, edges a little rubbed, with small nicks and chips to head of spine. 


First edition, on wartime economy paper. The first book in the Poldark series “which started it all”. 


Graham had moved to Cornwall in 1925 and, as an aspiring writer, was highly influenced by the landscape around him. He spent the next 34 years in the county, and it was there that he began writing the series for which he would become famous. In 1939 he married, and his wife became the inspiration for the character Demelza. One of his daughters later claimed “Father was the author but my mother helped with the details because she was very observant. She saw everything and remembered it all."


The first Poldark novel was published in 1945, and centred around the title protagonist, who returns from the American War of Independence to find that his love, believing him dead, is betrothed to his cousin. In an attempt to restore his fortunes he reopens the family copper mine and marries his servant, with whom he gradually falls in love. The book was followed by another 11 titles, concluding with Bella Poldark in 2002. 


After the BBC television adaptation in 1975, popularity of the series soared. Based upon the first seven novels, it is claimed that over 14 million people tuned in to watch the series, with some reports claiming that vicars cancelled church services in order that they did not clash with an upcoming episode. In 2015 the series was reissued and the nation’s interest was piqued again, with sales of the novel increasing by over 200% - likely caused by the swarthy Aidan Turner in the title role. 

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