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'T'Ain't Right, T'Ain't Fair, T'Ain't Proper': Examining the Representations of Women in Poldark

Sadler, Barbara (2023) 'T'Ain't Right, T'Ain't Fair, T'Ain't Proper': Examining the Representations of Women in Poldark. In: Gender, Sexuality and the UN's SDGs. SpringerNature. (In Press)

Item Type: Book Section


Media has a role to play in achieving Gender Equality (SDG Goal 5) as it is an influencer and is influenced by the culture it inhabits. The Poldark novels and adaptations offer a unique and useful case study due to the period setting and the time span of the writing and related broadcast iterations.
The 12 Winston Graham Poldark novels were written over a period spanning seven decades from 1945 to 2002 and yet set within 1783-1820. The popularity of the stories has led to three television adaptations: in 1975-77 for BBC, in 1996 by HTV, and 2015-2019 for BBC and Mammoth Screen. The latest of the adaptations has already received some academic scrutiny related to the depiction of masculinity (Taddeo 2015, Wheatley 2016, Goodman and Moseley 2018). And yet, the Poldark stories include some complex and well-loved female characters who have not had the same academic attention.
This chapter aims to redress this gender inequality and focus upon several of the female characters, with the story of Demelza as a central concern. Demelza is initially depicted as an abused teenager. However, she learns quickly and develops into a strong, respected woman by using her natural intelligence and instincts. By analysing how characters in a story are represented over time, some underlying assumptions about gender can be foregrounded with a view to promoting positive future change.

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Depositing User: Barbara Sadler


Item ID: 16110
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ORCID for Barbara Sadler: ORCID iD

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Date Deposited: 30 May 2023 18:04
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2023 02:38


Author: Barbara Sadler ORCID iD

University Divisions

Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries


Media > Media and Cultural Studies
Media > Television

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