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The Magic of the 'Fall in Love' (Ross and Demelza Poldark: The Love Story -Pt5)

This is the fifth blog journeying through the Love story of Ross and Demelza Poldark. So far as documented in those earlier blogs we have seen them as strangers meeting and falling into friendship with each other as they seemed to offer each other something the other needed. Then there was Demelza under threat by her father to leave Nampara deciding on an romantic encounter with Ross. Next was the actual attempt by Demelza to seduce Ross with his mother's blue dress and a spirit of her at hand to open Ross's mind to Demelza so that the attempt ignited a 'raging desire' in Ross that brought them to be lovers in one night. The fourth blog 'Marry Demelza' explores the reasons why beyond Demelza dreams Ross' decided within two days of that night to make Demelza his wife. 

Without Demelza simply just becoming Ross's mistress (but instead his fiancĂ©'), the way was paved and Ross's mind sought for a union between them by way of holy matrimony. However, with him not initially being in love with Demelza this blog focuses on what was yet to be another milestone in the love story. This is whereby their romantic union on 6th August 1787 was eventually legitimised with Ross falling in love with his wife just six weeks after they were married against the backdrop of what was a magically inspired moonlit night.   

A Flowering Couple

Demelza Poldark lying in the grass with  her dog garrick after her night with Ross
Digital art of Vera Adxer 
It is important to set the scene before Ross realised he was in love with Demelza. The foundations were positive and Graham documented that against the blackness Ross confessed her felt after returning to Cornwall to marry Elizabeth and finding she had made other plans, Demelza was a light to shoo away the dark. In short Demelza was illuminating. She had already brought him some amusement and good company to Ross as his best friend replacing Verity in this role for some years beforehand. But as his new wife, a woman still blossoming, she had far more to bring and this made it easy for Ross to fall in love quite soon after they married. It came from within her. From Demelza's perspective, having already declared to Ross 'I live only for you.', Ross's decision to marry her within two days of their special night was a 'Golden crown to her happiness..' This was a happiness that was way beyond just being able to stay at Nampara instead of having to return to her father. And after the actual wedding readers are told that even more thereafter 'her personality flowered overnight.' However, though Ross was pleased that he at least still found her desirable, and it was also quite positive that he acknowledged that 'If one overlooked her humble beginnings she was a not an unsuitable match for an impoverished farmer squire.' that thought of his was still hardly romantic. So at this stage in the love story we have a married couple with only one spouse truly in love. Of course in those days with marriages of convenience being the lay of the land, this was not such an uncommon or disastrous happening and for Ross 'There was no going back for him, even if he had wished it, which he found he did not.' It is at least a happy relief that he was not regretful about both his first night with Demelza and then his decision to marry her. But as readers that is surely not good enough. Mutual love is the goal!

Growing Into Each Other

Demelza and Ross Poldark walking to nampara and visit wheel leisure mine
The first phase of Ross and Demelza's married life had him and Demelza in different places emotionally. Demelza enjoyed her haze of happiness and being a dutiful wife to Ross who '...did what he said, no less eagerly, no less unquestioningly, and with a radiant good will to illuminate it all.' The language and imagery Graham used in describing Demelza including as 'flowering overnight' and 'illuminating it all' is where readers can see how Graham certainly continued this theme of her still bringing beauty and warmth to Ross's life. Whatever it was it was something good! Also it should reinforce to the reader that the help Demelza was afforded in her attempted seduction of Ross was indeed in a positive cause. As a reminder that is where Graham had written that Demelza's initial attempt to seduce Ross (her coquetry) had failed painfully but that 'nature was coming to her help.' As Demelza radiated like a sunshine and Graham wrote that  'As id to collaborate with Demelza's happiness, the summer was the warmest for many years... ' he continue not just to personify Demelza as light and sunshine but also to document a positive union with with her and nature and as if this development in the story having had Ross's mother's blessing, continued to have natures and perhaps the author's too. That said it is clear that this together with true happiness was still an alien concept to Ross. Although he was proving to be a considerate husband and to her surprise and relish was granting Demelza's wifely domestic requests, such as room changes to protect her precious flowerbeds, in the early weeks of his marriage he struggled with embracing, recognising or understanding the flowering of his marriage before his own eyes and how they were becoming more of a unit.
Newly wed Ross and Demelza Poldark kissing in the nampara kitchenBefore Ross fell in love with Demelza there are three references to Demelza having 'already grown in to his life' or simply that she was 'growing' more and more into it. In this repetition it is clear that Graham was conveying to the reader the naturalness and 'meant to be' nature of the union whilst also documenting Ross's sense of confusion and unease about the transition of two separate Demelzas into one. This was Demelza servant and friend Demelza of the day and then the stranger Demelza of the night with the pretty face and fresh body that 'he took and owned as a plaything of passion,..' (*First edition text of Ross Poldark). Graham reported that Ross was 'perturbed' by this and that he 'half despised' it. It was not until he began to see Demelza as a complete wife as one woman instead of two separate entities of stranger and a friend, that a shift in Ross occurred. This coincided with him realising he had fallen in love with her and what he feared, he should not have despised after all.

Love By The Light Of The Silvery Moon

And 'Everything was just right'

Demelza and Ross Poldark walking while dark over the cliffs
Many readers will take Ross's declaration of love on the night of the pilchard catch as the day (or night) when he fell in love with Demelza. He did too. This was in early August. Sixth of August to be precise. Therefore it was six weeks after they were married. Of course it is not an unlikely concept that just like Demelza grew into his life that Ross falling in love was also a gradual process for him rather than a feeling that simply developed in a moment on a boat with her. One could easily speculate that the process had begun earlier and just wormed its way to fruition and also to Ross's consciousness that evening. In a way that had to be so as he feel in love with Demelza, the wife as a person and that occur with the peeling away of character and the liking of this. Earlier when Ross had supper with Demelza he had noted that there was no difference between that evening and the evening when he first slept with her. However his further thoughts (or narration) were 'But something had changed. He was content.' When suggesting the idea of watching the pilchard catch to an excited Demelza 'He could not work up such excitement over the trip, but he could and did find pleasure in her pleasure.' 

jDemelza and Ross Poldark hand in hand walking the cliffsIndeed the idea of Ross resisting or rather being in disbelief of his own happiness and his feelings in Demelza is repeated even during his boat trip with her. 'He found, quite to his surprise, that he was happy. Not merely happy in Demelza's happiness but in himself. He could not think why.' It is a wonder how long it had been that he felt this way before identifying why and attributing this to Demelza. Yet at this point he also had a feeling that 'Everything was just right.' With this there is a sense of this being a far cry from his doomed relationship with Elizabeth where everything had been just so wrong (and continued to be). Again the idea of everything being 'just right' conjures this image of the stars aligning to bring this to being and this being the same as that 'nature' that had helped to bring them together on the blue dress night. Now Ross's feeling seemed to confirm that this was indeed for a cause that was to eventually feel 'just right' to him and perhaps was meant to be.

Ten Moons Of Romance (A Magical Scene For A Fall In Love)

There is no doubt that the pilchard catch date night, was to excuse the pun, a magical foreplay for Ross's first official realisation of love for Demelza and secondly his declaration of it to her. The stage was quite literally set for this romantic landmark in their relationship with plenty of romantic trimmings thrown in. Ross and Demelza in a boat alone together and having worn his mother's old dress on the night she sought to seduce him, Graham now had Demelza wearing Ross's old skin coat that belonged to him as a boy. Typically with all else seeming to align perfectly and everything being 'just right', just at Grace's blue dress fit Demelza well Graham tells us also that Ross's old coat also 'now just fitted her.' Their surroundings seemed to conspire to add to the magically charged night since 'The sea was calm tonight...' and there was a 'moonlit sky'. Then there were the cottage lights, lanterns on the beach, blue white waters of the cove and additional movie magic scenery where 'The moon lit up the scene with an unreal twilight.' In addition to that there was a kind of isolated intimacy in the scene of Ross and Demelza in the boat. It was like them being at a party full of people but with them feeling themselves to be the only two in the room. Or perhaps it is the reader that might feel this way for them as we are told that they rowed away in the boat and '..all the voices and human activity slowly faded...into a little confined murmur in the great night'. Whilst Ross said "Everyone is happy tonight.", he is noted to have said this 'half to himself'. So it is as if there was a slow dawning to him of understanding and embracing what he was feeling, and on this occasion the reason why.

Poldark Hendrawna beach with boats for the pilchard catch at nightJust in case there should be doubt that Graham was making this an epic night of romance for them, even before Ross and Demelza return to the beach to head home together, and before the description of the 'unreal twilight' there had been ten references to the moon or it's moonlight in this section of the book setting out their romantic night out. Ahead of this when Ross had first asked Demelza about taking the boat out to watch the pilchard catch he introduced the concept of the moon as one the reader would gradually see was of significance when he said "And the moon is up. What if we rowed round to Sawle and watched them putting down the tuck net." But thereafter the ten references are all from Graham in narration. He started by setting the scene and telling the reader that it was a warm still evening with the 'three-quarter moon' already high. Two paragraphs later he narrated that the jutting rocks from the cliffs between Nampara Cove and Sawle Bay stood in silhouette 'against a moonlit sky' and as if to remind the reader, two paragraphs later from that having described Ross and Demelza sitting in their boat watching the locals pulling in their catch in calm weather, he devoted a one paragraph to a single sentence saying 'And tonight there was a moon.'  

So in light of all those references in quick succession if there is one visual that Graham sought to imprint on the reader's mind about what this night of Ross falling in love with Demelza was like for them, 
at the very least it was that it was 'moonlit'. But not just that. He continued so that we were told it was lit by a 'cornish' and 'friendly' moon. Again, nature appeared to be on Ross and Demelza's side with its good will towards them. And then Graham is more forward in how the moon was an active participant adding to the magic of the night. Apart from where he made it a fantasy scene referring to the 'unreal twilight.' he at one point described that '...the moonlight seemed to convert the fish into heaps of coins....' and that later 'the the moon on it's downward path came near the coast line and picked out a silver stitching on the water'. Graham also intermingled other elements of wonder into the scene. For instance at the moment of anticipation there were cheers when the fish came, the water was described as bubbling and frothing about them as Graham wrote of the catch Ross and Demelza watched, saying 'It was the miracle of Galilee enacted over again in the light of the cornish, as big as herrings, jumbled together in their thousands, jumping, wriggling, glinting....' 
As Graham wound the night down, he yet again highlighted the significance of the moon being such that it did not go unnoticed by Ross and Demelza. In fact he wrote that at a point they gave it their full attention stating that 'For a while neither of them made a move and they  watched the moon set.' As if to give the moon it's due it was only then that Ross and Demelza walked the beach hand in hand towards home. 

Indeed all this makes for a magical date and the perfect foreplay for when Ross took Demelza by surprise and lifted her out of the boat as if she were indeed his most precious and cherished woman. And then to kiss her! So if this was a movie, there might have been a few teary eyes and many a heart melted by the romance of it all.

A kiss like the first - A kiss of love

Demelza and Ross Poldark share a kiss after the pilchard catch on the cliff topDemelza and Ross's kiss on the beach is not to be under played either. In a way Graham made this as significant as if it were a first kiss. This is through Demelza's thoughts. It occurred to her that 'He had never kissed her before except in passion.' Therefore it also served as another marker and advance notice of the shift in Ross before his looming declaration of love. This is because the kiss really did mark the first time he had kissed her as a spontaneous urge based on his feelings rather than just in the throws and heat of sexual arousal. And so instead of Graham referring to Ross seeing Demelza as his friend, servant and stranger, they had reached a milestone and yet also this other marker where as they walked the beach with an element of unity hand in hand Graham emphasises this idea stating that now 'They were a man and a woman, with no inequality between them.' Indeed something had changed and this time Ross was not 'perturbed' by this. Instead, and once again Graham wrote of Ross  'I am happy, he thought again.' and that ' something is happening to me, to us, transmuting our shabby little love affair.' So for once he was able to identify the reason for his contentment and that it was to do with Demelza. He realised that his love affair with her was not at all shabby but instead meaningful and the cause of his happiness. Some twenty five years later Graham would confirm that Ross would continue to feel this when when in the 10th book The Miller's dance', he would write that Ross thought of how fortunate he was to '....have this woman whose nature is devoted to loving all life, appreciating the small things, seeking them out.......I follow behind her, knowing my happiness through her.'

Demelza and Ross Poldark walking home on the cliff from the pilchard catchIt was not often in all of the Poldark books that moths were referred to other than as an annoyance. But following the moth drawn to the flame on Demelza's blue dress seduction night of Ross, and this seeming to be a parallel with his attraction to something he thought he should not be, here Graham now notes that as they approached the house following their romantic adventure 'Moths fluttered away to the stars....'. And so Graham adding the stars into the mix, along with the moon, is just another element to what he earlier referred to as a 'great night'. Even the moths had a magical destination and experience that night! This time, like Ross, the moths were drawn to something that was not at all dangerous to them but quite magical. 

"I'm happy"- "I love you"

Demelza and Ross Poldark kiss on the cliff after the pilchard catchThe sense of oneness with Ross and Demelza is continued as with the 'air of conspirators' they climbed up the stairs to their room while laughing and where in a tender moment Ross kisses her again and declares "I love you and am your servant." With Ross having previously considered what he had with Demelza to be a 'shabby affair', tonight is the night where Graham writes that Ross found that what he had with her for him now '...carried the knowledge of beauty in its heart.' Ross's reference to himself as her servant is yet another confirmation of a significant change in the nature of this relationship. Although as stated above he had been a good husband and had already been submitting to some of her wifely requests, now fuelled by love, Ross was declaring a change to her that he would seek and dedicate himself to serve her as if he were her servant. A servant that would be meeting her needs rather than the one way dynamic of her being the only one duty bound at his beckon call to serve him. They now have a partnership. '...a man and a woman, with no inequality between them.' Graham confirmed this and here Ross embraced this idea himself.  In fact Ross's comment here, that he was a servant to Demelza was another way of saying what Demelza had first said to him before they married "I live only for you." They both were as in love and as committed to the other as the other was. Later in the story Graham would make a point of outsiders nothing the usual partnership of equality between Ross and Demelza that was untypical in that heavily patriarchal society.  

It is from this part of the story onwards where we are now engaged in a story of mutual love and whilst the blogs in this series will go on to look at their love in the real world, within their circle, in their time of strife and in facing marital temptations, the foundation established so far is heart warming and is surely designed to inspire the reader's support and goodwill going forward. But this foundation is yet to be built upon and strengthened by various test. The next blog 'The Greatest Love Above Any Other' focuses on this. It looks at how from this unexpected beginning and with the thread of nature, and the twist of fate and magic pulling them together, they go on to have a love where they mean more to each other than any other person. Naturally in this they would build a fortress that future obstacles might trouble, but ultimately not put asunder. 

(*) First edition Book one (Ross Poldark)

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