I have a habit of checking out source material before diving into a new show. Most times it doesn't pan out because I'm not interested enough to invest time or I prefer the medium of tv. Sometimes the universe gifts you with a little nugget that you keep around for the rest of your life. In this instance, it was a big beautiful shining nugget.
I took a gander at the first book before watching the first episode and at that point, I knew that this was one of those series that you were better off reading before watching. Before series one came to a close I'd finished the first two books, which the 8 episodes covered. By the time the year was out I had finished the first 7 Poldark books.
I'm so grateful for stumbling upon these, immensely human and, deeply flawed characters that often falter and fall from grace but aren't so far removed from us, the viewer, as to be unrealistic or inherently Literary. Demelza and Ross are some of the best-written, well-developed characters I've ever had the pleasure of reading.
The show is great on its own; enjoyable, interesting without being gimmicky, and importantly, heartbreaking without being cheap. I recommend the books if you're even remotely interested or have ever entertained the idea of maybe one day having a skim through one of them. It's worth your time and will increase your enjoyment of the characters and storylines tenfold.