Tag Archives: Verity Blamey

Poldark Character Review: Caroline Enys

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about Poldark, both the books and the television series. Read at your own risk.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using Winston Graham’s series of novels, Poldark and the subsequent television series to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

In the previous posts, I wrote about the title character, Ross Poldark , his wife, Demelza, Ross’s cousin, Francis, Francis’s wife, Elizabeth, Elizabeth’s second husband, George Warleggan, Ross’s cousin, Verity Blamey and Ross’s best friend, Dr. Dwight Enys. In this last post talking about the characters within the Poldark universe, I will be writing about Caroline Enys (nee Penvenen).

Caroline is introduced in book 3 and series 2 as the typical rich girl, a la Maria Bertram from  Mansfield Park. An orphan, she was raised by her uncle. At the age when she is eligible to marry, she comes with unwanted baggage: her potential fiance, Unwin Trevaunance.  Unwin makes Maria’s fiance, Mr. Rushworth look like Clark Gable, which is not saying much. A happy marriage, this is not destined to be.

Then Caroline falls for Dwight Enys, a doctor who chooses to practice medicine in Cornwall  among the lower classes instead of in fashionable Bath or London. While Caroline may appear to be the spoiled rich girl, she has a heart. She secretly pays off Ross’s debts and pays for the food that keeps the poorer denizens of Cornwall from dying of scurvy. She also marries Dwight, knowing full well that he is a step down and that her marriage will be frowned upon by some people.

Caroline could have easily been a paint by numbers character: the spoiled rich girl, the character who chooses to live by society’s rules instead of by their own rules. But because she takes a stand for what she wants out of life and gives back to others without expecting anything in return, she is revealed to be a character who surprises the audience.

To sum it up: The writer needs every now and again to surprise their audience. Just when the audience thinks that they know the character, throwing them a curve ball is another incentive to keep the audience engaged and involved. Dull and predictable characters will not hold your audience. Interesting and different characters will hold your audience.

On a personal note, I want to thank the readers who have allowed me to  experiment with a new series of blog posts. It has been a pleasure to examine how writers can create engaging and fully formed characters that keep the audience on their toes. In the next few weeks, I will be examining the characters from the original Star Wars trilogy. I’m looking forward to it.

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Filed under Books, Character Review, History, Mansfield Park, Television, Writing

Poldark Character Review: Dr. Dwight Enys

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about Poldark, both the books and the television series. Read at your own risk.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using Winston Graham’s series of novels, Poldark and the subsequent television series to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

In the previous posts, I wrote about the title character, Ross Poldark , his wife, Demelza, Ross’s cousin, Francis, Francis’s wife, Elizabeth, Elizabeth’s second husband, George Warleggan and Ross’s cousin, Verity Blamey. Today’s post will focus on Ross’s best friend, Dr. Dwight Enys.

In any good story, the hero or heroine needs another character to create an emotional balance.  It could be a romantic partner or it could be a close friend. In the world of Poldark, the character of Dr. Dwight Enys creates that balance. Dwight is the Oscar to Ross’s Felix. A doctor by profession, he could have easily chosen to practice among the well heeled ton of London or Bath. Instead he chose to live and work in Cornwall, an area where the majority of the residents are far from wealthy. Where Ross is temperamental and impulsive,  Dwight is practical and level headed. A generous soul, Dwight is known to treat patients for free who unable to pay. But no one is perfect, not even Dwight.

His affair with a miners wife that ended tragically  in both book 2 and series 1 allowed the specter of guilt and doubt to enter his life. That guilt and doubt plagued him until he met Caroline Penvenen, the heiress who he would later marry. Torn between his job and his heart in book 4 and series 2, Dwight nearly walks away from Caroline.

 

The thing that strikes me about Dwight is that in a universe where characters are temperamental, emotional and dramatic, Dwight is the opposite. He creates a balance that allows the characters on the other side of the emotional spectrum to be out there emotionally while he remains calm and collected.

To sum it up: There has to be a balance on the emotional spectrum when it comes to characters. For every Marianne Dashwood, there has to be an Elinor Dashwood. While one character rages on and explodes, the other is sitting there quietly, responding with a cool and level head. In the world of Poldark, Ross is Marianne and Dwight is Elinor. Without that contrast, the reader may find the characters to be monotone, predictable and the book unreadable. The worst thing a writer wants to hear is the p word. It has sounded the death knell for the many books that have been returned to the library or the bookstore unfinished and un-liked.

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Filed under Books, Character Review, Jane Austen, Poldark, Television, Writing

Poldark Character Review: Verity Blamey

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about Poldark, both the books and the television series. Read at your own risk.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using Winston Graham’s series of novels, Poldark and the subsequent television series to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

In the previous posts, I wrote about the title character, Ross Poldark , his wife, Demelza, Ross’s cousin, Francis, Francis’s wife, Elizabeth and Elizabeth’s second husband, George Warleggan. Today’s post will focus on Ross’s cousin, Verity Blamey (nee Poldark).

Three of the standard character tropes for women are the love interest, the ex-girlfriend and the girl next door. In the world of Poldark, Demelza is the love interest, Elizabeth is the ex-girlfriend and Verity is the girl next door. Winston Graham’s answer to Anne Elliot from Persuasion, Verity is Francis’s sister. Unmarried and dangerously near the age of spinsterhood, she is the put upon daughter that is seen, but unappreciated by both her father and brother.

Like Anne Elliot, Verity’s choice of a husband is not exactly what the family had in mind for her. Captain Andrew Blamey is a Navy Captain who is whispered to have ill-treated his  wife. A widower with growing children, Captain Blamey and Verity are mutually attracted to one another, but her family’s objections to him will force her to choose between the man she loves and the family she was born into.

In creating a character like Verity, Winston Graham created a universal character. There are so many who feel like Verity. They are the ones that are not spectacularly handsome or beautiful, but they keep hoping to find a partner. They are the ones that stay within the familiar circle of family and friends out of loyalty and respect, even if they are unhappy.  When they do find happiness, they take that bold step, even if it means moving out of the comfortable circle of home and family.

Out of all of the characters within the Poldark universe, Verity is my favorite. She followed her heart, knowing full well that she would be estranged from most of her family. She is brave and bold and even if she is not as physically beautiful as Elizabeth or Demelza, her bravery stands out and makes her beautiful.

To sum it up: While Verity might not be the most obvious choice to be a heroine, Winston Graham clearly created a heroine. When one is bold enough to follow their heart and their gut, despite the objections of well-meaning family and friends, they become a heroine who can be admired and appreciated long after the writer has finished telling their story.

 

 

 

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Filed under Books, Character Review, History, Jane Austen, Persuasion, Poldark, Television, Writing