Winston Graham

Winston Graham


Author of the Poldark novels

Winston Graham OBE was born in Victoria Park, Manchester 30th June 1908. When he was 17 years old he relocated to Perranporth. His first novel, The House with the Stained Glass Windows was published during 1934; his 1st Poldark novel, Ross Poldark, was published during 1945, and was succeeded by a series of 11 further titles, the last of which, Bella Poldark, was published during 2002. The series was set in and near Perranporth, where Graham spent much of his life.

Graham was one of the most successful and prolific novelists of the 20th century. He wrote in many genres but his best known body of work was undoubtedly the 12 historical novels set in Cornwall at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th centuries which became known as The Poldarks.

Other than the Poldark novels, Graham's most successful work was Marnie published in 1961, a thriller filmed by Alfred Hitchcock with Tippi Hedren and Sean Connery in the leads. The novel was also adapted as a play by Sean O'Connor (producer) in 2001 and returned the story to its original British setting and bleak ending. Five of Graham's other books were filmed, including The Walking Stick, Night Without Stars and Take My Life.

He married Jean Williamson during September 1939, a woman he had first met during 1926 when she was 13 years old. She died in December 1992. During his youth he was a keen tennis player, recording in his diaries how many sets he played each day. He lived in Perranporth from 1925 until 1959, briefly in the south of France during 1960 and then settled in East Sussex. He was Chairman of the Society of Authors and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and during 1983 was honoured with the Order of the British Empire.

Graham lived on, active and writing, enjoying the company of friends including many of the stars of Poldark, and regaling all with his vast memory store of poetry and anecdotes. He died in his home at Abbotswood, Buxted, East Sussex on 10th July 2003. He was 95 and had continued writing and publishing to the very end.


The House with the Stained Glass Windows...(1934) The Grove of Eagles...(1963)
Into the Fog...(1935) After the Act...(1965)
The Riddle of John Rowe...(1935) Night Journey (revised edition)...1966
Without Motive...(1936) The Walking Stick...(1967)
The Dangerous Pawn...(1937) Angell, Pearl and Little God...(1970)
The Giant's Chair...(1938) The Japanese Girl (short stories)...(1971)
Keys of Chance...(1939) The Spanish Armadas (non-fiction)...(1972)
Strangers Meeting...(1939) The Black Moon (5th Poldark)...(1973)
No Exit...(1940) Woman in the Mirror (formerly The Giant‘s Chair)...(1975)
Night Journey...(1941) The Four Swans (6th Poldark)...(1976)
My Turn Next...(1942) The Angry Tide (7th Poldark)...(1977)
The Merciless Ladies...(1944) The Merciless Ladies (revised edition)...(1979)
Ross Poldark...(1st Poldark) (1945) The Stranger from the Sea (8th Poldark)...(1981)
The Forgotten Story...(1945) The Miller's Dance (9th Poldark)...(1982)
Demelza (2nd Poldark)...(1946) The Cornish Farm (short stories)...(1982)
Take My Life...(1947) Poldark's Cornwall (semi-autobiographical)...(1983)
Cordelia...(1949) The Loving Cup (10th Poldark)...(1984)
Jeremy Poldark (3rd Poldark)...(1950) The Green Flash...(1986)
Night Without Stars...(1950) Cameo (revised edition of My Turn Next)...(1988)
Warleggan (4th Poldark)...(1953) The Twisted Sword (11th Poldark)...(1990)
Fortune is a Woman...(1953) Stephanie...(1992)
The Little Walls...(1955) Tremor...(1995)
The Sleeping Partner...(1956) The Ugly Sister...(1998)
Greek Fire...(1957) Bella Poldark (12th and final Poldark)...(2002)
The Tumbled House...(1959) Memoirs of a Private Man (autobiography)...(2003)
Marnie...(1961) Poldark's Cornwall...(re-published 2015)

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