15 thoughts on “Just How Fashionable Are Poldark’s Ladies? Part 3: The Middling Sorts

  1. Thanks love your analysis and careful screen capping dress & hair! You probably have figured out by now that PBS aired ep 7 & 8 back to back (like they often do) of which 8 was the only left untrimmed to fit the timeslot. iTunes and DVD has the complete original UK broadcast.

  2. I would love to have your reactions to the costuming of the original POLDARK with Robin Ellis, Angharad Rees, et all. I don’t know the period or the local styles portrayed, but I suspect they are… suspect.

    The 1975 version with its two seasons had some masterful casting that makes me forgive Demelza’s odd garments: Paul Curran as Jud is one of my favorite characters of POLDARK, book and first production. Much as I have liked Phil Davis in some other things (BLEAK HOUSE comes to mind) he is not owning Jud the way Curran did.

    1. I’m the only one of the Frock Flicks team who (is old enough to have) watched the original Poldark. Much like this reboot, there are some very historically accurate costumes & wigs, & some very, um, romanticized ones! Yes, it would be great if we could get around to do more comparison.

      1. I have been re-watching it, courtesy of Amazon which offers it an episode or season at a time. I have to recommend reading the books, too: I didn’t get into the show way back when until I began reading the books. Winston Graham writes with such a dry wit, he reminds me of Jane Austen.

        1. The books are wonderful! I had never heard of the books (but have noticed Poldark in catalogs) so was surprised at how good they are! Love at first read!

  3. I really hated the way Demelza’s gold ball dress looked because they didn’t give her proper underpinnings. Where was her corset? Why was the bodice WRINKLED? I decided everyone was staring at her wondering why she was in such a badly-fitted dress. Arrrrggh! Especially arrrrggh because that was a bombshell of a color on a redhead. Gorgeous, except for the totally appalling fit.

  4. Seeing Demelza’s stays reminded me that I have a question for you, Frock Flicks team, related to the Poldark books. This quote from “Ross Poldark” regarding underthings gave me pause: “[Demelza] had heard it whispered that many good-class town women wore white stockings and no drawers. What with hooped skirts it was disgusting and they deserved to catch their death.” As far as I understand, when drawers were gradually introduced to women’s fashion, it would have been upperclass women who adopted them first, not working-class women like Demelza. Also as far as “hooped skirts”, panniers were largely out by the 1780s, right? Is Winston Graham confused here or I am I?

    1. You’re very right, Becca! There’s a lot of debate as to when exactly drawers came in to general use — for certain, by about the 1830s/40s, but how much earlier is questionable. I can’t say for certain which class would be likely to adopt them first, but I can imagine that they might have seemed superfluous to lower class ladies until they were really ubiquitous. In terms of hoops, they’d still be worn sometimes for more formal events, but they were definitely on their way out. So yeah, I think Graham is confused. :)

  5. Demelza also wears a hat when she goes to visit Captain Blamey to discover if he’s still in love with Verity.

  6. The fit of the ballgown bodice may be deliberate. In the book as well as the TV drama, the gown is a surprise, and was made from measurements, but Demelza never had a fitting. When the dress was delivered, Ross was still in no mood to attend the ball, so she never had TIME for a fitting.

  7. Just hoping someone as old as me noted that the original Margaret (1970s) was played by Trudie Styler (Mrs. Sting)

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