Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Some page turning tales to accompany season two of Poldark

As I stated in a prior post, one of the highlights of the current fall TV season for me is the return of Poldark to PBS. The two hour premiere this past Sunday was sheer delight, offering plenty of drama and romance as well as grand performances by cast and crew alike.

While I did read the first two books in the Poldark series by Winston Graham during S1, I am holding off on starting book three(Jeremy Poldark) just yet, in order to be truly surprised by what happens next.

 However, there are plenty of other historically themed novels that offer very suitable company for this series and I am most happy to recommend a hearty trio to warm your bedside reading table during the cold autumn nights to come:

DEATH COMES TO PEMBERLEY: Since we began S2 with Ross on trial, that court room drama can be well reflected in P.D. James' sinister sequel to Pride and Prejudice that has Mr. Wickham being tried for murder committed on the title estate.

As  Mr. Darcy does his reluctant best to see justice done, a number of secrets and lies come tumbling out that effect more that one life caught in the balance. This book was also adapted as a mini series that did air on PBS, with one of the future stars of Poldark(Eleanor Tomlinson as Georgiana Darcy) in the cast.

Even if you're not fond of Jane Austen continuations, there's plenty of high drama and good old fashioned mystery that makes this an engaging read. The court case sections alone are quite entertaining:

THE TUTOR'S DAUGHTER: If you're looking for an old school style of story set in Cornwall,as Poldark is, Julie Klassen's novel about a dutiful young woman who joins her father at a remote teaching assignment seems to be ideal.

Emma Smallwood may be a stranger to Cornwall but not to two of the sons of the Weston family household,Henry and Phillip, both of whom were former students at her father's now failing school.

Renewing her relationship with the elder brothers while assisting with the education of the younger, Emma is subject to a number of mysterious events that cause her to not only play detective but make an unusual alliance with a man that she thought would never think the best of her. The story telling is delightfully compelling and I do hope that TTD does get made into a movie someday, as Emma Smallwood is a solid heroine who deserves to be better known:

THE PILLARS OF THE EARTH: For those who like the family saga portions of Poldark with it's down to earth tones, Ken Follett's full packed novel set in a small English town determined to build a cathedral is more than just your cup of tea. It's a brimming pot that serves up scores of story telling brew.

The family set at the heart of this multi-generational tale is led by Tom Builder, a man whose most humble dream is to be one of the many who work on a cathedral. It's a dream that is passed on to his sons, Alfred and Jack, with only one of them truly appreciating it as well as possessing the talent to do more than just build.

It's a long book, to be sure(and it's follow-up,World Without End, is just as lengthy) yet once you get into this engrossing saga and it's myriad of characters, time loses all meaning. Pillars of the Earth was made into a miniseries for Starz a few years ago, which could make for excellent winter time viewing once Poldark is done with(not that I'm in a hurry for S2 to end so soon!):

At some point, I will be reading Jeremy Poldark, along with the fourth book in the series called Warleggan(so hate that guy!), and even if I learn a plot point before it's shown on PBS, it'll be worth it. Not just yet, though-fortunately, I have plenty of good books on hand to allow me to savor the onscreen delights of Poldark with my fellow fans in shared surprise:

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