Blogger: Michelle Ule
Location: Drizzly Santa Rosa, Calif., main office
I never had paid a lot of attention to my boyfriend’s reading while we dated. We attended college sixty miles apart, and while I was immersed in Milton, Shakespeare, Chaucer and the horrors of Joyce’s Ulysses, my intended spent his hours fiddling with mathematical equations and engineering tomes. Because my fiance was, and continues to be as my husband, eclectic in his interests, we also enjoyed seeing Shakespeare plays together. Did it really matter, what we were reading as long as we enjoyed it?
We bought a television with our scant savings after my husband learned The Hobbit would appear on network television. Prior to that we had been committed to not owning a TV the first year of our marriage. It didn’t much matter since upstate New York at the time only had four stations in that pre-cable dark ages. But then we got hooked on Masterpiece Theater, in particular a sudsy romantic series called Poldark 2. Apparently Poldark 1 had aired back when we were in college.
Winston Graham began writing what turned out to be a lengthy series of books, after the end of World War II. Since some seven of these books had been required to produce the Poldark series, and we obviously were behind, we fell into an orgy of reading all the Poldark novels.
Thus began a halcyon period in our early marriage. Working shift work at a training nuclear reactor, my husband kept odd hours. Fortunately, the tiny library in Ballston Spa carried the old Graham novels. We tried to ration ourselves: one book a day. I’d start and then pass it along, picking up the next one while my husband read to keep up with me.
We finished in about two weeks, awash in the romance of a Cornwall couple and their efforts to keep tin mines alive in the nineteenth century. Mining–you know–pumps, motors, gears. Romance–a young wife awaiting her husband’s return.
We’re certainly nicer than Ross and Demelza Poldark–but they made for a great fantasy couple on long summer days many years ago.
How about you? What kind of stories do you and your favorite snuggler like the best?