Smollett, Welcome back!!
I tend to agree with you. Writers (mostly) change over time, simply because of their lives developing, different experiences and general maturity. WG did begin his career very early, and as with nearly all young, thrusting talent he looked back at his first books and was dissatisfied with them. Unlike some authors, though, he got down to re-writing some of them. By the time he was writing the Poldarks, he was married, had children and probably many of his ideas, views, had been revised.
Jane Austin began her writing even younger than WG; she also re-wrote, so perhaps it is just the perfectionist in them that compelled these two people to hone and re-shape.
I believe that writers, as part of the Artistic /creative sections of society, evolve over time. It makes sense that as society changes, what the the Artist reflects does too. WG was always organically connected to the world, that's why his stories ring so true. Opinions change, experience teaches. He was a humble man too; perhaps , as his expertise increased, so did his appreciation of his earlier works sharpen. He told me once, (& I'm sure he was being kind as well as self effacing) that an early script of mine that I'd shown him was 'far superior" to any of his own "early attempts at script writing". Regardless of this, his work deserves to be regarded as Classic. I sincerely hope that some day soon it will be. The popularity of POLDARK on TV is sometimes considered a travesty, but enough of WG's original tales and beloved characters have been retained within the production & have inspired viewers to read the novels. After Poldark, they may continue onto his other worthy work from the earliest, to the more recent.
I'm beginning to think it's becoming necessary to open a thread to a much younger and almost certainly a much more impressionable Winston Graham, and not restricting it to just the older one whom we all now know so very well.
Perhaps in many ways parallel to Jane Austin in her by the standards of the day flamboyant youth too, and perhaps start by examining whether his own final interpretation of Elizabeth in the first four books based on Hermann Sudermann's depiction of the woman on the train, is for example a perceptive and sound one or not.
More importantly could Hermann and his story for example have subsequently influenced or released something in him as he grew up, not only for the remaining eight Poldark books but perhaps for all his future books and films given that he eventually disowned his earlier books before starting Poldark ?
Or could there perhaps have been some other reason or reasons why he disowned his earlier books ? For example being a young and not very healthy child much doted upon, and one would assume from his autobiography presumably spoilt by his mother and soon to lose his father at a time when he most likely needed them both more than anything, when taking his first tentative steps out into the big wide world of publishing and learning the hard way ?
I've always felt there's a lot of hidden clues about him in his autobiography as well, for example his infatuation with the Australian lady in Paris or that he called himself a ladies' man during his long and highly successful career.
Just some initial thoughts....
"Perfection is a full stop .... Ever the climbing but never the attaining Of the mountain top." W.G.