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Ross Poldark: Moving On From Elizabeth

Ross Poldark Elizabeth and Demelza with bluebells at Nampara

"Before I found you, when I came home from America things looked black for me. You know why, because I'd hoped to Marry Elizabeth and returned to find her with other plans. That winter it was Verity alone who saved me ....."
Ross to Demelza  'Ross Poldark' Internal  Book 3 Chapter 3 

As the extract above refers to, Ross was in a dark place when after the American war he returned to Cornwall in 1783. His long held dream was shattered to pieces when confronted with the betrayal of his first love, Elizabeth, who having agreed to marry him on his return had failed to 'keep the faith' or rather to prove her love of him and wait. Instead Elizabeth got engaged to, and later married his cousin Francis Poldark. Indeed things seemed to look black to Ross for a long time thereafter. He was essentially in a state of depression living a celibate life for years during which Winston Graham wrote that one of Ross's usual occupations was '....reading and drinking himself to bed.' A post to follow called 'Marrying Demelza (Ross's Satisfying Decision)' covers that life changing development in his life where Ross decided to marry Demelza. She, being a character that Winston Graham referred to as a 'vital' character that would alter the course of his life and whom Ross would eventually secure with, what Graham stated was a 'happy ending'. That post will cover Ross's reasons for marrying Demelza and why it was her that he chose. However there is important pretext that contributed to making marrying Demelza a viable consideration for Ross at the time. One of the reasons was that Ross was ready from an emotional point of view to marry in summer 1787, where he had not been beforehand.  He was ready to move on from Elizabeth and also from wallowing over her. 

Indeed there was an important occurrence that played a part in Ross's decision to marry Demelza and which made it one that he felt free and most importantly happy with. Or otherwise, at least in the first instance, made it a decision Ross was satisfied with. The occurrence was that over time his heartbroken state of mind and also heart, over Elizabeth, had progressed to where she had less and less of a hold over him. From this he was able to open his mind to move on and consider a life not just without her, but with someone else. This posts primarily looks at Ross’s heartbreak healing journey, how he was able move on over the course of seven phases and the role Demelza played in this towards the end. A follow up post 'Ross Poldark- Resisting Elizabeth The Provocateur' will address how given that Elizabeth was a woman that Ross idealised as a fantasy woman who had gotten away from him, and how she sought to disrupt his moving on from her, he is really in many ways to be admired for not caving in to her overtures thereafter. 

The Darkest Times For Ross

'He had sought this encounter and now did not know what to say.' 
Ross before meeting Elizabeth at her wedding reception
'Ross Poldark' Internal Book 1 Chapter 4 Pt 1

Without being so noticeable Winston Graham was quite methodical in plotting the progress of Ross's healing from his initial upset after finding out that Elizabeth was to marry Francis. 

To start with, leaving Francis and Elizabeth's engagement dinner at Trenwith, Graham wrote that Ross '…had suffered the worst knock of his life.' He also wrote that despite him being filled with pleasure earlier in the day in relation to the thought of returning home to his own land, that after the shock he had gotten of his first love Elizabeth's defection, the impact was that to him then '...nothing seemed to matter.' That first of the three internal books in 'Ross Poldark' documented how Ross struggled with this betrayal and was essentially heartbroken and showing very little progress with getting over this in those early days. 

Before Elizabeth's wedding Graham wrote that Francis had expected Ross's disappointment and resentment but realised by Ross’s snappy and aggressive reaction when he had invited him to their wedding, that there was more extent and emotion behind it. Then of course Graham shared more of this extent at the actual wedding reception where he wrote of how Ross had geared himself up to have an encounter with Elizabeth during which he directed his bitterness towards her mother, Joan Chynoweth. In her typical fashion of re-victimising the victim of her hurt instead of showing some empathy, this prompted Elizabeth to call Ross 'hateful'. Nevertheless Graham also wrote that while talking to Elizabeth there, 
'With death in his heart Ross watched her husband (Francis) approach.' As well as that, having had what was a mini and stilted showdown with Elizabeth where she maintained that she made her decision of her own mind and not her mother's, as Ross returned home later that day, Graham wrote that for Ross 'This was the darkest hour of all.' 

Graham conveyed that in light of his heartbreak, along with throwing himself into work, Ross had a winter of being depressed and hermit like. Such was the case that it was an achievement for Verity to convince Ross six months later to attend an Easter ball in Truro. However, she did manage to do so since Ross primarily sought to please her by making it possible for Verity to attend if he served as her escort. Nevertheless, just when Ross at this ball was finally trying to enjoy himself and was flirting and dancing with Ruth Teague, 'at the unexpected sight of Elizabeth his make-believe enjoyment had crumbled away.' Graham went on to write that 'Elizabeth's beauty struck him afresh...' and that it was 'the torture of damnation' for Ross to watch another man (Francis) enjoy Elizabeth's company. Indeed this was Graham laying a narrative that at this point Ross was still too heavily invested in Elizabeth and wallowing in heartbreak over her, for him to be able to move on.

Phase 1: Heartbroken Ross Looking for a Cure From Another Woman

No Cure: No Other Girl Would Do 

So for his narrative, Graham had indeed showed that Ross had tried to make an effort to start to get over Elizabeth at this Easter ball and to move on with his life, and possibly to consider courting. Yet Ross had failed with this intention. As he tried to be enthusiastic about this to start with, Ross had told himself that there were other women in the world besides Elizabeth. Graham wrote that Ross thought that they might be  'common clay perhaps, but charming enough...' Although this shows the power of Ross’s idealisation of Elizabeth at this early stage in the story, to the extent that he felt that all other women could never really compare to Elizabeth, it was a start. Ross had an outlook for him to build on in trying to move on. Indeed, it would eventually be the case that as a testament to her ‘vital’ and positively derailing character, Ross would later be comparing Demelza against Elizabeth aside it were not so uneven competition to do so. However, at this time in the story, upon seeing Elizabeth at the ball, and indeed, as if any other woman against her did truly pale into insignificance, Ross thought that 'To continue to flirt with a plain little pleasant schoolgirl was out of the question.' 

The extent of Ross's inability to function and to try to enjoy himself in Elizabeth's presence at the Truro ball, while wanting but not being able to have her, was seriously notable. A manifestation of this was Ross’s physical response and Graham described this quite particularly. Where Ross had previously presented as being more relaxed and flirty with Ruth Teague, Ross then suddenly presented as 'stiff and preoccupied' with her during their last dance.  Also, after leaving the ball (since Elizabeth's presence destroyed his mood), Graham wrote that Ross's hand closed around a cold railing under a tree as '...he fought to overcome his jealousy and pain, as one will to overcome a fainting fit.' Again, from this it was clear that six months on from his heartbreak of Elizabeth, with her still in his mind, Ross really was not at all ready to consider dancing and flirting with another girl in Elizabeth’s presence, let alone courting and marrying one.

No Cure: Seeking Lust Through A One Night Stand

Ross did not leave it there after leaving this Easter ball. He did consider to himself that he had to 'break his infatuation for Elizabeth'. Indeed he attempted to do that by way of a ‘no strings attached’ sexual rendezvous with a woman. As written in the first edition of 'Ross Poldark' he was 'bitter and desperate' and drowning his sorrows in a bar at the time that the opportunity presented itself to him. This was from the prostitute Margaret. Ross decided to take up her offer to sleep with her. It was only afterwards that Ross found that this did not help him and he thought that 'If his adventure with her on the night of the ball had not cured him of his love for Elizabeth, it had proved to him that to seek lust for it's own sake was no solution.' ('Ross Poldark' Internal Book 1 Chapter 10 pt2) It would be from then on that Ross lived a celibate life until he broke this celibacy with Demelza three years later.

Phase 2: Seeking Answers, Seeking Closure

Empty After A Final Showdown With Elizabeth

'Well, he told himself, that was over. The subject was closed. If that queer perverted pleasure which came from striking with his barbed tongue at her composure-if that were satisfaction, then he had found some in the interview.'
'Ross Poldark' Internal Book 1 Chapter 8

In light of what had seemed pointless and unsuccessful attempts by Ross to get over Elizabeth, yet another attempt to do so on the face of it proved to be fruitless when he had a final showdown with her at Trenwith days after the Easter ball. That was the day after Ross had met Demelza at Redruth market and hired her to be his kitchen maid.  Here, at this showdown he had been left with a feeling of ‘ashen desolation' and 'an emptiness'. This feeling had been the outcome for Ross of finally challenging Elizabeth about how she failed to wait for him to return from war and how this was while he, devoted only to her, had relied on this, had not been interested in any other woman and had been devastated to find she was marrying his cousin instead. It was a significant meeting because in this final showdown Ross did not skirt around the issue and sought to get some 'to the point' answers from Elizabeth. In general terms these answers ended up being that she had grown up while he was at war and found that she fell in love with Francis. The nature of Elizabeth's delivery was harsh in how it lacked compassion and how she painted herself as the victim and that Ross was unfair in demonstrating his distress. That aspect is explored in the post called 'Just A Boy And Girl Attachment'. However, in light of that, although it was the case that after this, that Ross considered the matter closed, and although he was pleased that he gave her a sharp piece of his mind, his heart was not yet over it. This is especially as Ross had indicated that there was a ‘danger’ that pushed to temptation he might not be minded to respect her marriage vows with Francis (see blow). Accordingly, Graham wrote that later that day 'He (Ross) rode down the valley, too full of a deadly inertia of spirit to find satisfaction in the sight of his land, which was at last beginning to show signs of attention it was receiving.' So Ross was still a sad man whose joy was stolen from the things that would ordinarily bring him this. However, time would provide some healing in due course!

Phase 3: Acceptance & Moving Away From Pain

Ross had felt a 'stab of pain' when after his last meeting with Elizabeth before the end of the first internal book of 'Ross Poldark', Mrs Teague had referenced Elizabeth's pregnancy with Geoffrey Charles. However, soon after he had showed that he was making some progress in his heartbreak journey. This was when he had attended Geoffrey Charles’s christening in early December 1784. So this was just over a year after his initial heartbreak. He had seen Elizabeth there and noted her improved looks despite her having just given birth. He had thought that Elizabeth had been a host that went out of her way to be kind and even though the event was to celebrate the fruit of Francis and Elizabeth then love, on this occasion there were no references to Ross being ‘desolate’ or returning home with darkness or death in his heart. He was in a much more accepting position.

Despite Graham showing that Ross was healing from his heartbreak when having a positive attitude at Geoffrey Charles’s christening, Graham still alluded to Elizabeth nevertheless having a significant emotional hold over Ross. For instance, this was shown by Ross’s concern that Elizabeth might believe the gossip that he himself had overheard spoken at the christening about himself. This was of him having a relationship with his kitchen maid, Demelza. Evidently he still cared about what Elizabeth would think of this. But it is ironic that Ross was sure that Elizabeth would not believe these rumours and that he wanted to make it plain to her that it was not true. The irony is in how, when documenting Ross's progress with his Elizabeth related heartbreak, in less than three years time, Ross would no longer be ashamed of Demelza as his romantic partner. Instead he would be keen for Elizabeth to meet Demelza as his new wife and for Elizabeth '…to see that he had been content with no common substitute.' That would be a significant turnaround in Ross's attitude given that Elizabeth represented perfection to him. 

Phase 4: Losing His Resentment (Becoming Undangerous)

"My friendship with Francis is deep and of long standing, but friendships have a frailty when a woman comes between. So sometimes have marriage vows , however well meant.... I love you, Elizabeth, and that is dangerous." 
Ross to Elizabeth 'Ross Poldark' first edition Book 1 Chapter 11 Pt2

A Lifted Spirit-Away From Disappointment

If the above statement by Ross to Elizabeth at their
final showdown referred to above, and also Ross snapping at Francis over his wedding invitation (which caused him to fall in a pool of water), was an indication that Ross despite Elizabeth's weddings vows could fall into a 'dangerous' and romantic liaison with Elizabeth, then her awkward visit to Nampara in May 1787 showed that perhaps she was more than 'a day too late'. Indeed, with this being after a two year time jump, by then Ross had come along way from the early days of his heartbreak of Elizabeth. Indications were in the narrative of this and suggested that over that time period Demelza had also played some part in helping Ross to a better frame of mind. After Verity's heartbreak over Captain Blamey and therefore her visiting Ross less, Graham wrote as covered in 'Falling In Friendship' that Demelza had essentially replaced Verity as his best friend and was an ‘amenable companion’. So if Verity saved him in the first instance from his black life, Demelza definitely took up the baton thereafter. She certainly brought laughter and spirited conversation to his life along with their regular evening chats. He clearly was helped to some degree out of his deepest depression by Demelza, as Graham said that for Ross 'This spring, his spirit in spite of all drawbacks had climbed slowly but surely away from the greatest disappointment of his life.'

The progress Ross had made in his heartbreak healing journey was evidenced when Elizabeth came to see him the day after Ross had already slept with Demelza. As Graham wrote that Ross was genuinely concerned and wanted to help Elizabeth in relation to her distress over Francis, he also wrote that ‘His resentment of her marriage had quite gone.’ That is quite a significant step, quite far away from his meeting with Elizabeth at Trenwith three years before at his final showdown with her. For the avoidance of doubt on this, in the first edition of ‘Ross Poldark’, when Elizabeth expressed appreciation for his welcome, Ross replied to Elizabeth saying that for him "The days of resentment are long past". So Graham pressed the narrative further of Ross’s shifted position and the absence of bitterness for the hurt Elizabeth caused him and that she was with another man. Even though Graham wrote of Ross noticing her distress at Francis's behaviour with his gambling and that 'She had come to him.’, Ross did not take the opportunity to take advantage in the way he implied he might have been ‘dangerously’ tempted to do at that final showdown, and at a cost to her marriage vows. Clearly that thought was behind him and Ross was no longer intending or at risk of pursuing Elizabeth. Instead, quite ironically, and as a sign of his progress, rather than hinder them by way of a dangerous reconciliation, Ross agreed to help Elizabeth in her marriage problems.

Phase 5: Mentally Cutting Romantic Ties With Elizabeth

'He owed no one anything; certainly not Elizabeth; no fidelity of thought or body. She was nothing any longer to him.'
Ross's thoughts on Elizabeth  'Ross Poldark' Book2  Chapter6  Pt3

So in this meeting at Nampara, readers should see that evidently  Ross had come to a place of acceptance that Elizabeth was not to be his and she did not have power over his emotions in the same way as to start with. Instead, as Elizabeth led Ross to invite her to visit more often when she expressed her appreciation for him welcoming her, he was very proper with her in agreeing an ongoing friendship. There is no doubt about the significance of Demelza's attempted seduction of Ross the night before, as this had also caused Ross to reflect. It pushed Ross to review his life and how he was living it. In that, Ross made the most significant affirmation in his process of moving on from Elizabeth. This was that in considering starting something romantic with Demelza that night, that he owed nothing to Elizabeth. Ross's clarification that this was in respect of ' fidelity of thought or body' meant that he need not be faithful to Elizabeth physically or emotionally and his thought that 'She was nothing any longer to him." was him thinking in romantic terms. This was a turning point because it was a significant change of mentality and opened Ross up to the possibility of Demelza who he considered a 'fair desire' to him in her own right. 

Ross's change of mentality is why when Elizabeth visited, there was no thought of Ross to build a relationship that was closer to her than friendship.
Graham wrote that Ross knew that having achieved his first complete reconciliation with Elizabeth then, '...that the reconciliation had come just too late to count for what it might.' The danger was gone because mentally Ross had officially cut ties with Elizabeth romantically the night before and despite an element of sadness for what could have been, he was still not inclined to go back on thatClearly Ross's openness to Demelza where before he had been so closed off had come about because of the progress Ross had made in his journey. This was primarily in the second internal book of 'Ross Poldark' where the slow process of acceptance including acknowledging a separate path from Elizabeth. Any idea that Elizabeth had the same hold over him as before should be dispelled for the reader based on Ross's behaviour in the 'Bluebell scene' where inadvertently he would introduced his first love to his next love interest. That was despite Ross not knowing quite how much of a love interest Demelza would come to be at that point. Certainly Elizabeth upped and left Nampara knowing she had lost her grip too.

Phase 6: Ross Making An Alternative Choice Vs A Reconciliation with Elizabeth (The Girl With Bluebells For Everlasting Love)

Having decided that he would not pursue the 'first complete reconciliation' with Elizabeth, the 'Bluebell Scene' is so significant in presenting the alternative option that Ross would decide to pursue and marry! But this was not just presenting this to the reader, it was to Elizabeth too!  Also from that alternative option Ross made a choice between that and following up on this reconciliation. The 'Bluebell scene' is where Demelza accidentally intruded onto Ross's meeting with Elizabeth at Nampara and where realising Ross had something going on with Demelza, Elizabeth refused Demelza's offer of the sheaf of bluebells she was holding. With bluebells symbolising everlasting love, this is a key scene in relation to Graham's theme pitching Demelza, the underdog, up against the fantasy woman, Elizabeth, and ensuring that the Bluebells remained with Demelza. It is relevant to remember that
 previously Ross's thoughts of Elizabeth caused him to dismiss Ruth as an option for being just a 'plain little pleasant schoolgirl'. This was despite the fact that she was at least a member of the gentry. In that case Demelza should not have stood a chance as an acceptable option for him compared against Elizabeth. As a mere miner's daughter and his kitchen maid up against a lady, his first love, Elizabeth, Demelza should really have been 'out of the question' even more so than Ruth was. Interestingly Ross clearly now had an altered and unique attitude towards Demelza compared to the rest. Furthermore Elizabeth picked up on this!  

A Suspicious introduction - Earthenware & Porcelain

'I cant come here again, she thought. After all this time, and now it is too late.' 
Elizabeth's thoughts after realising there was something between Ross and Demelza.
'Ross Poldark' Internal Book 2 Chapter 8

This is not a true depiction of the original story where Ross 
does not present as ashamed and where it is Demelza that turns
to leave and instead Ross proceeds to introduce the women to
each other as if he were not ashamed. 
Ross really was far from being ashamed of Demelza or embarrassed that he had slept with his kitchen maid who Graham described as dishevelled in appearance. As evidence of this when Demelza was turning to leave the room Ross proceeded to say “This is Demelza of whom you’ve heard me speak" He continued to Demelza "….This is mistress Elizabeth Poldark.” It is therefore understandable in this moment for Elizabeth at that point to think ‘Oh God, so there is something between them.’ This is because despite Ross’s more than average egalitarian mentality it would still be unusual for a gentleman such as him to introduce his kitchen maid to a lady who had come visiting. This is just as it would have been if he had done the same with Jud, Prudie, Jinny or the Gimlets if they happened to pass through the room accidentally. Nor would it have been usual for Ross to do this in such a pointed way too. The last adaptation endorses that in how it deviates from the book by not having Ross make this introduction and instead presented him as looking quite shifty. In a sense the deviation in the adaptation makes the point of just how significant it was in the book that Ross made this introduction. Indeed through this act, as it was in the original story, Ross knowing of the rumours about him and Demelza and that he had now confirmed them by having slept with her the night before, he was revealing or certainly not hiding to Elizabeth that he did hold Demelza up as a person of more value to him than a mere servant and there indeed might be something between them. Unlike with Ruth he was not ashamed or embarrassed to flaunt Demelza as a possibility right before Elizabeth and this was a key sign of Ross's mentally and him emotionally moving on quite meaningfully from Elizabeth at this stage.   

Phase 7: - Marrying A Special Woman & Finding Real & True Love

'..she had never looked so charming before. In her own queer way this evening she rivalled Elizabeth, who started any such competition with advantages of feature and colouring over almost all women.'
'Ross Poldark' Internal Book 3 Chapter 9

Where as with two women from the same class Ross could not begin to compare Ruth against Elizabeth, it is quite an endorsement of Demelza by Ross that he would entertain comparing her against Elizabeth at such and early stage. Graham wrote of Ross in the 'Bluebell Scene' 
‘Two women, he (Ross) thought. Made of the same substance? Earthenware and porcelain.’ Whatever were the exact conclusions from his comparison clearly Demelza did not come up so short since Ross would later tell Demelza she was not of common stock and after they were married he wanted to show Elizabeth that she was not. As further evidence of Ross having moved on significantly in mentality from Elizabeth Ross was not ashamed of his marriage to his fellow gentry and also Graham laid a narrative that Elizabeth’s presence was not derailing for him, and that it did not crushed his attraction or the appeal of Demelza as it did with Ruth Teague. Where he could not bring himself to continue to flirt with Ruth when she was up against the perfection of Elizabeth, in respect of Demelza he decided to marry her and as he did not in the ‘bluebell scene’, he also did not shy away from flaunting her before Elizabeth soon after too.  

Flaunting & Relishing Demelza

'He wanted Elizabeth to see that he had been content with no common substitute, either from his own class or another. He believed that she would be genuinely pleased to see him over his infatuation for her at last happy and settled.' 
'Ross Poldark' Internal Book 3 Chapter 7 Pt 1

So Ross’s behaviour with Demelza in Elizabeth’s presence was more that a stark contrast to his concerns at Geoffrey Charles's Christening day when he was fretting that Elizabeth must be reassured that there was nothing between him and Demelza, as if it would be impossible and shaming on him. Following his flaunting of her as an option  in Elizabeth's face during the 'Bluebell scene', he continued this when he was proud to show her off as his new wife at Trenwith for a Christmas gathering six month later. Again it is significant as evidence of moving on, that Ross as referenced in the extract of his thought above, did not just think of himself as ‘settled’ and ‘happy’, but also, even if not completely true, that he was ‘…over his infatuation for her (Elizabeth).’ The fact that he entertained such a thought which was not possible years before showed progress. And so, Ross  had actually looked forward to showing Elizabeth that he had married someone worthy and someone who should not be considered as common despite her background. Graham wrote that when the invitation came from Trenwith that '...Ross had begun to see real advantages in going. He was not in the least ashamed of Demelza....' The reader would see that it was Demelza that feared that she would come off badly against Elizabeth. It is therefore notable that on that first Christmas visit to Trenwith. Ross even thought that Demelza had been a ‘triumph’. Hence, he had found a woman better than he had hoped for. One that was not ‘common clay’ and one that was indeed more than ‘charming enough’

‘He had hoped to find himself immune (from emotions over Elizabeth) as if his marriage and love for Demelza were the inoculation…But Demelza, he found, was not an inoculation, though she might be a separate fever.’
'Ross Poldark' Internal Book 3 Chapter 7 Pt 1

Even though, due to Ross's comparisons post 9th May 1793 it would transpire that indirectly Demelza would indeed end up being the inoculant for Ross's residual romantic feelings on Elizabeth, the extract above suggests that marrying and falling in love with Demelza did not have the immediate impact Ross in his impatience hoped it would be in clearing out all his feeling for Elizabeth when taking Demelza to Trenwith that first time. However in many ways the fact that Ross still had feeling for Elizabeth is not only realistic since feelings do not often vanish so instantly, but it highlights what a fierce whilst inactive competitor Demelza really was against Elizabeth. Against supposed perfection Demelza did well to retain Ross's captivation in her.

Ross's captivation with Demelza was evident during that Christmas Trenwith visit when he had that impatient thought. For instance, Ross still thought that Demelza rivalled Elizabeth that night when Elizabeth had the advantage. To both ladies' surprise Demelza had grabbed, held on to and reaffirmed Ross's love for her and to himself. Graham wrote that Ross felt that their relationship had no flaw before they made love that evening and in the 
closing scenes of Ross Poldark and particularly the extended first edition version, reference was made to Ross's incredulity of feeling happy. This then confirms the journey Ross had gone on from his original heartbreak. Ross no longer felt devastated by Elizabeth's faithlessness, hard done by due to it, or as if he had been robbed of a happiness he could not find elsewhere where life was still quite black for him. That was not just because he found another woman but because of who that woman was. After all it is possible that if Ross had married Ruth Teague or the daughter of the new rich, he could still have felt quite empty if that person did not have the qualities and character to bring him to happiness.

Elizabeth: Disturbing Ross Happiness Of Mind 

'I have all I ever want...This is all I ever ask of God. Let me hold it. Let me hold it!'
Ross's thoughts on Demelza 'Ross Poldark' (first edition -Internal book 3 last Chapter) 

So it can be seen that Graham set a clear narrative for Ross in that first book. Where at the beginning of 'Ross Poldark' it was Ross's heartbreak hotel era with him devastated from this and struggling to move on, at the end of it Graham was elaborate in how he wrote of Ross's happiness across the two versions of the book, including that this was ' a new and less ephemeral way than before (the greatest of all).' However, despite writing that due to his love of Demelza and their relationship. that 'He (Ross) was filled with a tremendous (queer sense) of enlightenment', in her role an antagonist the next phase of the saga was to show how Elizabeth unhappy with this development would take '...pains to see if she could rebuild her ascendancy over Ross...' ('Demelza' Internal book 1 chapter 3). With this mission over a period of time she would prod and provoke Ross to try and get him to be romantically reinvested in her again. Though readers would find that ultimately Elizabeth's mission would fail (simply because Ross had genuinely found a love that he later would declare was true, real and over and above what he felt for Elizabeth), she did rattle Ross's outlook on the way. This was to the extent that there were times when Ross began, mostly on superficial grounds to compare the two women in a way that Elizabeth's value became artificially inflated over the real and true love that as shown in the extract above, Ross had prayed to hold on to. Still, Ross would nevertheless attempt to resisted Elizabeth in her role as provocateur. This and how his idealisation of her played a part in this will be explored separately.


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