I have had a Winston Graham summer. I read and enjoyed a couple of his novels two decades ago, but hadn’t given him much thought until recently when I became an avid devotee of the new Poldark television series, starring Aidan Turner. Now I am on book 7 of the Poldark saga and I am absolutely loving these books. I think they are beautifully written, with clever plots and complex relationships, involving well-drawn characters. The novels have everything; tension, drama, romance and humour, as well as numerous unpredictable twists and turns. After Ross Poldark, my favourite character is the incorrigible Jud Paynter, Poldark’s manservant, portrayed as a lazy scoundrel on the one hand, yet possessing hidden depths and loyalty. Some of the best dialogue comes from Jud, speaking in his broad Cornish brogue. ‘T’ent right, t’ent proper’ etc.
Although Graham is probably most famous for writing novels about Cornwall, I wonder how many people know he was actually a Lancastrian? He was born in Manchester in 1908 to a wealthy tea importer, moving to Cornwall (where he subsequently lived for over thirty years) when he was just seventeen.
Graham was a prolific writer, not only penning the twelve Poldark novels, first published in 1945, but at least thirty suspense novels, historical novels and several spy thrillers. His autobiography, ‘Memoirs of a Private Man’ was published in 2003, the year in which he died, aged 95. Winston Graham’s books have been translated into 24 languages, outlining the universal appeal of this talented writer.
I usually read books on my Kindle these days, but I have bought the paperback versions of the Poldark novels and am enjoying reading from ‘real books’ for a change. Give them a try if you enjoy long, historical sagas or if you just fancy escaping to a different world.
Amazon link: http://goo.gl/RRcnQW