Social History Made Super Sexy

It’s not hard to see why millions of fans worldwide have fallen in love with the Poldark phenomenon. I mean, what not to like? Staggeringly good looking protagonists, glorious locations, bodice ripping story lines and apparently endless sunshine with an array of wild flowers in every field enough to make a worker bee pack up its hive and head for Cornwall immediately. However for some, apparently, it’s just another history based costume drama showing the multifaceted social structure of eighteenth century Britain and highlighting the fact that we had yet to embrace internal plumbing or discover effective antibiotics. Wrong!

Poldark is a social history comment on the lengthy and tortuous demise of the Cornish mining industry. An industry which made – and continues to make – its mark on every mining community around the world. Cornish mining techniques, the invention of the beam engine here for pumping out and lowering deadly water tables therein (and we have A LOT of water in Cornwall, believe me!!) enabling mining at ever greater depths, have transformed mining of every known mineral in the world, and discovered others.

Poldark's Cornwall social history

Wheal Owles in its role as Ross Poldark’s Wheal Leisure copper mine

So, hurray! for Cousin Jack, the affectionate term by which expat Cornish miners are known throughout the world. Hurray for the Cornish pasty, the tasty and carb laden snack which sustained them without the risk of poisoning them by disposal of the crimped crust by which they held said yummies. Now of course we can add hurray for improved realism of film techniques over those of the 1970’s, hurray for unabashed post-restoration porn, thank you BBC, you have managed to make Cornwall even sexier, and yes, we’re a little smug about it!

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