Winston Graham, the author whose books were the source for Alfred Hitchcock’s “Marnie” and the popular British TV series “Poldark” series died in a nursing home south of London, his publisher announced July 10. He was 93. The exact day and cause of death were not immediately available.
Manchester native began writing novels as a young man. Many of his early novels were destroyed when the firm that published them was badly damaged in the blitz of London in 1941. He served in the British coast guard during World War II. Later he moved to Cornwall, where he wrote the first four Poldark books.
Graham wrote 40 novels, several of which were made into movies, including 1964 Sean Connery-Tippi Hedren starrer “Marnie,” and 1970’s “The Walking Stick.”
His best-known books were the historical novels that began with “Ross Poldark” in 1945, about a young British army captain returning from the American Revolution to his family estate and a feud with his neighbor. It was followed by “Demelza” in 1946 and “Jeremy Poldark” in 1950, and eventually extended to a series of 12.
The novels were set in Cornwall, the county in southwest England where Graham lived for 30 years, and examined the life and culture of the country at a time of great social upheaval.
The BBC made a miniseries of the saga in the 1970s, starring Robin Ellis as Ross Poldark and Angharad Rees as his wife, Demelza. It was shown in the U.S. on PBS and in 21 other countries as well.
He was made an officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1983.
In 1939 he married Jean Williamson, who died in 1992. They had a son and daughter.
There was no immediate word on survivors or funeral plans.