The Women of Poldark
Before we say goodbye to Poldark, look back at its powerful women and celebrate five years of their brains, brawn, beauty, and general badassery!
“…I’m fierce and proud and steadfast and true. An’ I’ll not settle for second best.”
Whether she’s matchmaking, running a mine, or singing about plucking a fair rose, Demelza does it with a compassionate heart and ferocious strength. Over the course of five seasons, she’s learned to read and curtsy; to love and lose, to survive on next-to-nothing and give all she has; to accept respect and refuse injustice. For all the times we’ve cried for her, cheered for her, and wished the show were named after her, celebrate this generous, beautiful spirit, Demelza Poldark.
Watch The Best of Demelza. Are your favorite moments included?
“I can bear anything, now that I know I’ve not lost your love”
When Caroline first arrived in Cornwall and began her flirtation with Dwight, we didn’t know if she was Austen…or awful. But before long, this Horace-toting, orange-giving beauty had stolen our hearts along with Dwight’s. And while she sometimes perceives herself as frivolous and therefore a poor match for Dwight, she is in actuality a powerful force for good, whether she’s deploying her charm and wiles to extract charitable donations from the gentry, pull rank with a corrupt officer of the Crown, or spread the word about injustice to the society’s most powerful. She’s grown immeasurably over the course of Poldark—not in girth, like Horace, but in depth of character.
“This is not religion. This is faith.”
Arriving at Trenwith as Geoffrey Charles’ governess, Morwenna was innocence personified, an open-hearted soul that soon met its mate in Drake Carne. But before the winter primroses of their love could bloom, Morwenna was forced to marry Ossie in order to save Drake, a self-sacrifice for a beloved that was repeated when she said farewell forever to John Conan so that he might be happy with his grandmother. In spite of the abuse and trauma Morwenna endured, she retained her ability to love and to hope. And with the gentle kindness she first showed as a governess, she has found a purpose and usefulness teaching young children at the school. We couldn’t dream of a better teacher for the Ross Poldarks of the future!
Watch Morwenna and Drake’s best moments!
“…if we truly seek a better world, we should not wait for the life hereafter, but we should build it, here on earth.”
Armed with her voice, her passion, and her experience, Kitty advocates not just for her husband, but for justice and humanity. If that reminds you of another favorite, fiery character, it’s no coincidence! Like Demelza, Kitty married for love—love of a headstrong, impulsive man who has a problem with authority and a solution for a better world. Like Demelza (and Ross will be the first to tell you this!), she is her partner’s better half. Though we’re sad to see her go, we’re heartened to know that she will continue her fight.
Hear from actress Kerri McLean about playing Kitty and discovering her true story!
“I’m stronger than I look.”
She may not know how to properly season firewood, and would definitely have won the “Most Unlikely to Go into Childbirth in a Rowboat” superlative, but there was a fierce emotional strength to Elizabeth that attests to the quiet power of this under-appreciated character. She was long treated as little more than the object of so many men’s desires, an object to be sought and expected to shut up and look pretty. But she resisted in whatever ways she could; she survived one tumultuous setback after another; and ultimately, she became the agent of her own destiny. Elizabeth’s every decision after Francis’ death was in service to her family, trying to secure a future for Geoffrey Charles and later, Valentine. And those are the reasons why she was, as Verity lovingly proclaimed, a Poldark.
Hear from actress Heida Reed about Elizabeth’s—and her own—return to Season 5 of Poldark!
“‘Tis been so long since mistress let me bake, I’ve mislaid all my skillage.”
She’s Ross’ loyal servant, Demelza’s true friend, the Queen of Nampara, and in all likelihood, the one really taking care of those kids. She’s delivered countless messages, letters, and laughs, and while we wouldn’t ever want to eat her cooking, we’d be lucky to consider her a friend.
Find out all about Prudie! Read our exclusive interview with actress Beatie Edney, and hear her in-depth conversation with host Jace Lacob for the MASTERPIECE Studio podcast interview!
Aunt Agatha Poldark
“I’ve yet to meet the man that could better me.”
This gun-toting nonagenarian was Trenwith’s Greek chorus, our favorite Auntie, and the ultimate slinger of zingers. When she turned her tarot cards, we all held our breath; when she matched wits with George, we collectively cheered; and when she spooked Ossie from the balcony, we collapsed into guffaws. There’s a very special party in Heaven, I hope, for this grizzled old Poldark with a soft spot in her heart!
Check out these Poldark tarot cards and the story of their creation, and hear from Caroline Blakiston, the actress who played Aunt Agatha!
“It’s life’s greatest treasure, to love and be loved in return.”
Although we’re centuries apart from the characters of Poldark, Verity is pretty much the exact same person as that treasured friend who just recently stopped you from getting bangs or texting your ex. She’s a kind, selfless voice of reason, a bottomless source of comfort, and a devoted mother and wife. Pretty much the only thing wrong with Verity is that we never got enough of her!