Profs & Pints: Mining Poldark
Profs and Pints presents: Mining Poldark, a look at fantasy and reality in 18th Century England, with Julie Taddeo, professor of British history at the University of Maryland at College Park.
This month the final season of Poldark, one of televisions most popular period dramas, will have people glued to their screens. Many, for sure, will be taking in the sight of Aidan Turner, who stars as Captain Ross Poldark. He has been dubbed a Sunday night crumpet as scenes that depict his shirtless scything and nude swimming have gone viral. But this TV show about life in late 18th century Cornwall, England, isn't just about a pretty face.
Based on the series of novels by Winston Graham, published between 1945-2002, Poldark follows the titular hero upon his return to Cornwall from the war in the American colonies, offering intense drama and a sweeping depiction of life in England during that era. From his marriage to his kitchen maid, Demelza, to his ongoing rivalry with the upstart George Warleggan, Ross Poldark proves to be a complex hero who sometimes commits terrible deeds.
This talk will look at the larger world in which Captain Poldark lives, works and loves, examining its industrialization, banking, mining, and politics, and the plight of women and the poor in England during that era. Well also look at fan obsession with all things Poldark, which has caused Cornwall to become the most visited destination in the UK, actually prompting the local tourist board to beg travelers to go elsewhere
Why does Cornwall have such a special place in our historical imagination in the 21st Century and the current age of Brexit? Why does this TV series, dubbed "the new Downton Abbey," so appeal to 21st century audiences? What can seeing the swashbuckling Captain Poldark in action teach us about Georgian England?
Professor Taddeo, who previously gave a fascinating and hilarious Profs and Pints talk on depictions of sex in Downton Abbey, will tackle these questions in a manner that Poldark fans will love.
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