As Highwaypersons and Poldark are both set in the Eighteenth Century, it is natural that people will want to make comparisons. Of course, you must make your own mind up, but I will say what I think.
- Highwaypersons is set in the years from 1713 to 1716 whereas Poldark is set in the 1780’s. However, a lot of things had not changed during the years in between. Poverty and injustice were very much present throughout that period and are reflected in my story just as they are in Winston Graham’s. You do need to be in the Jeremy Corbyn fan club to agree that those two phenomena are still with us.
- My novel is set mainly in Wales, not Cornwall. Many people think the Principality has a lot in Common with the Duchy, not just their similar Celtic languages. Yet there are differences. They do not have anything in Cornwall to match Snowdon.
- Poldark seems to stay in Cornwall, indeed in one part of the county. My story moves to London, Lancashire and the Highlands of Scotland before the final confrontation in Cardiff, but my main characters never forget their Welshness. They are indignant when Scotsmen call them ‘Sassenachs’.
- My main characters are less hot-headed than Ross Poldark. They tend to control their emotions better, but they certainly have strong emotions and feel just as angry at injustice, both social and personal, as does Ross.
- Unlike Poldark (so far) my characters get caught up in major national events. In the second book in the series they will get involved in international events too. Part of Poldark’s charm is its local focus.
- One thing Highwaypersons has, which Poldark does not, is a murder mystery. I personally enjoy a whodunit whether set in the past or the present, but do sometimes like to read and to write books which do not contain one. Variety is a good thing.
- Finally, you may wonder if my hero and heroine have as much sex as Ross Poldark. Oh, yes! That was something the Eighteenth Century was full of, from start to finish.
So, there you have my take on the comparison between the two stories. I wonder what you will think.