The year is 1810. Britain is at war with France and a mad king, George III, is at the helm. While Ross Poldark is working in London as a member of Parliament, the family feud with the Warleggans still rages, threatening the Poldark's very existence. Back in Cornwall, Ross's wife Demelza is alone with the two children. Jeremy is helping her in the struggle to keep the tin mine going, and Clowance is torn between the passion she feels for a mysterious stranger and the attentions of a young aristocrat.