Life & Times
Novels & Writing
Films & TV
Life & Times - more
Novels & Writing - more
Poldark on TV
Winston Graham Prize
Life & Times
Winston Graham was born on 30th June, 1908 in Victoria Park, Manchester, England. At the age of 17, following the illness of his father,
the family moved to Perranporth, Cornwall. Winston started writing as a child and apart from coastguard duty during the war he was a
full-time writer all his life. His first published novel, The House with the Stained Glass Windows, came out in 1934; his last, Bella Poldark,
was published in 2002. Just before he died he completed his autobiography, Memoires of a Private Man which was published
posthumously by Pan Macmillan in 2003. He was Chairman of the Society of Authors and fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. In
1963 he was honoured with an OBE.
Winston married Jean Williamson in September, 1939. He had first met her in 1926 when she was 13. Jean was a constant source of
encouragement, stories and ideas and the soul-mate with whom he talked over everything he wrote. Some have compared Jean to
Demelza (who, in the Poldarks, Ross first meets when Demelza was also 13). Winston denied this but both friends and family have often
remarked on the many similarities in character between Demelza and Jean. They had two children, Andrew and Rosamund. Andrew
became an academic and Master of Balliol College, Oxford (2001-2011). He lives in Oxford with his wife, Peggotty. Rosamund went to
the USA where she met her husband Douglas Barteau (sadly now deceased). They produced three grandchildren, Max, Dominic and
Anthea and, so far, there are seven great-grandchildren.
In his youth Winston was a keen tennis player, recording in his diaries how many sets he played each day, along with a daily comment on
the weather! He lived in Perranporth from 1925 until 1959, briefly in the South of France in 1960 and then settled in East Sussex.
However the call of Cornwall always remained strong, both for him and the rest of the family, and for many summers Rosamund and
Douglas and the grandchildren joined Winston and Jean at the Crantock Bay Hotel in West Pentire for a re-injection of Cornish air.
Although it is the Poldarks that brought Winston Graham the most fame, he wrote more than thirty other novels, six of which have been
filmed, including Marnie directed by Alfred Hitchcock in 1964. He also wrote short stories, historical works, plays and film scripts. For the
full list of novels click on the menu ‘Novels & Writing – more’. His novels are translated into well over twenty different languages.
 Perranporth Beach 2010 © Photo: Simon McBride
At Balliol with
Angharad Rees
Winston with his editor
 Marjory Chapman
Winston with Dominic,
Andrew and Max
Rosamund and Anthea
2021 © Official Winston Graham and Poldark website authorised by and copyright of the Winston Graham literary executors.
Winston Graham Literary Agents A.M.Heath & Company Ltd