Yes he was always much the same, He was a man of no great intellect, retiring habits and poor health and he was also something as we'd say now of a hypochondriac.
I can't see that he would ever have cared for London or a "life of Fashion". The fact that the Woodhouses did not have a London house does not mean that they were not rich. Many gentry families didn't care for London and did not go there, except for business. The Bennets are quite comfortably off but tehy dont have a house in town, and Mr B hates London. We are told that the Woodhouses are a rich family and certainly Emma's the only Austen heroine who has a large fortune like £30k.