Today would have been Winston Graham’s 104th birthday!
He was born in 1908 in Manchester. His family moved to Perranporth in Cornwall in 1925 after his father died prematurely at 53.
There he married Jean Williamson–whom he’d first met when she was 13 (Demelza’s age when she first met Ross at the fair). He was just 18. They lived there for the next 25 years, bringing up their two children, Andrew and Rosamund.
Winston–a meticulous researcher as well as a great storyteller–steeped himself in Cornish history and customs. He wrote the first book of the saga–Ross Poldark--in 1945.
Eleven more books followed. The last in the saga– Bella Poldark–written when he was 92!
A month ago I checked out the Desert Island Discs archive ( a popular BBC radio series where guests choose eight recordings to comfort them after supposedly being shipwrecked on a desert island) . I remembered vaguely that Winston had been the subject some time around the screening of the series.
I found it and enjoyed listening to his choice and being reminded of his voice.
Last week when sitting with my back to his son Andrew–whose 70th birthday we had gone to Corfu to celebrate–I heard a voice say–“and what are you going to do this afternoon?”.
It was uncanny–the voice and the intonation were Winston’s!
I will always feel appreciative of Winston for writing such a wonderful tale that has meant so much in my own life.