It has always seemed to me that no matter how many times you read his books, new angles and little surprises emerge, forcing one to re-assess previous assumptions and knowledge. For instance, it was not until my son-in-law read the series that he drew to my attention to the paragraph about Nick Vigus dying. (The Black Moon) It says he left, 'a widow, a son, three daughters, and two daughters by his eldest daughter'. Previously, it had escaped my notice that Nick had been incestuous.
So there is always something 'new' turning up, and I love that.
WG's characters often begin by just a casual mention and before you are aware of it, leap fully formed from the page. The threads which are woven around them gradually unravel to reveal subtle nuances which the reader becomes aware of almost without realising. Then before you know it, you feel you know the character and how they might react to most things.
Winston must have had a remarkable gift to get into the head of so many varied characters, not only in the Poldark books, but all his other novels too.
In his book 'Memoirs of a Private Man', Winston Graham tells us ... "I had no thought when I began 'Ross Poldark' of a continuing series of books. It was just to be a story of eighteenth century Cornwall, with a gloomy beginning and a happy ending, and that that that. I rewrote and rewrote and rewrote, polishing and pruning, adding and subtracting, trying to get the perfect balance in each chapter between emotion and restraint. Some chapters I wrote nine times: each time I went to them they responded to something different in my own mood and had to be done again. In some ways I was very young - younger than my years - in spite of having been a professional writer so long; and I was too romantic. My approach to women was too romantic - it still is- but it was by then a part of my nature and was too inbred to be changed."
For me, the fact that WG was such a self-professed romantic and wrote so masterfully about the relationships between his characters is key to my continuing fascination and love of his books. He always manages to create the perfect balance in each scenario, always finely descriptive and utterly believable. This coupled with the fact that he just had the knack of seemingly being able to get inside the very skins of his characters and put their thoughts and feelings into words on a page with absolute authenticity. It is clearly evident that he most definitely knew a thing or two about how women tick too, he must have had what we call a very well developed and intuitive female side to his nature. His female characters are wonderful and the sorts of women most other women would like to be. His romantic side not only comes out in the relationships between his fabulous characters, but is also unforgettable in the way that he describes everything from the colour and shape of flowers to the majestic splendour of the Cornish landscape and the people who lived there.
So what makes you love WG's writing? ..............
Tide was nearly full. Mist lay in a grey scarf along the line of the cliffs. .. and they walked home hand in hand through the slanting shadows of the new darkness.
What do you enjoy most about Winston Graham's writing style. What brings you back to read his Poldark books time after time and what do you most love about the way he creates his characters?