Welcome to Cornwall, England's westernmost county. The year is 1780, and the political and social atmosphere, is as stormy as the sea that pounds the rocky shores. Into this landscape, Captain Ross Poldark returns from the American war to take up his inheritance and take up with his beloved Elizabeth. But with false reports of his death having reached Cornwall ahead of him, what will he find? and what of the young urchin Demelza, the new house keeper at Nampara? Can she console the heart-broken Ross? And just who is the father of her unborn child? All this aside, Ross must turn his mind to matters of business, if he's to keep his mines, his income and his home. There's a huge lode of copper down there, but to get at it, he must sell shares in the mines. But will he be able to keep the shares - and the mines - out of the hands of his arch-enemy, Warleggan?