Cornwall in the 1780s - when powerful forces of revolution and reaction are at large in the world. Tired from a grim war in America, Ross Poldark returns to his land and his family. But the joyful homecoming he has anticipated turns sour, for his father is dead, his estate is derelict and the girl he loves is engaged to his cousin. But his sympathy for the destitute miners and farmers of the district leads him to rescue a half-starved urchin girl from a fairground brawl and take her home - an act which alters the whole course of his life. 'From the incomparable Winston Graham...who has everything that anyone else has, then a whole lot more' - "Guardian".