ARCHIBALD JOSEPH CRONIN, MBChB, MD, DPH, MRCP (19 July 1896 – 6 January 1981) was a Scottish novelist and physician .
His best-known novel is The Citadel (1937), the story of a doctor
from a Welsh mining village who quickly moves up the career ladder in
London. Cronin had observed this scene closely as a Medical Inspector
of Mines and later as a doctor in
* 1 Early life * 2 Medical career * 3 Writing career * 4 Influence of The Citadel * 5 Religion * 6 Family * 7 Later years * 8 Honours * 9 Bibliography * 10 Selected periodical publications * 11 Film adaptations * 12 Selected television credits * 13 Selected radio credits * 14 See also * 15 References * 16 Further reading * 17 External links
Rosebank Cottage, Cronin's birthplace
Cronin was born in Cardross, Scotland, the only child of a Protestant
mother, Jessie Cronin (née Montgomerie), and a Catholic father,
Patrick Cronin. Cronin often wrote of young men from similarly mixed
backgrounds. His paternal grandparents had emigrated from County
Armagh , Ireland, and become glass and china merchants in Alexandria .
Owen Cronin, his grandfather, had had his surname changed from
Cronague in 1870. His maternal grandfather, Archibald Montgomerie, was
a hatter who owned a shop in
Cronin was not only a precocious student at
The family later moved to
First World War
In 1930 Cronin was diagnosed with a chronic duodenal ulcer and was
told that he must take six months' complete rest in the country on a
milk diet. At Dalchenna Farm by
Loch Fyne he was finally able to
indulge his lifelong desire to write a novel, having previously
"written nothing but prescriptions and scientific papers". From
Dalchenna Farm he travelled to
Many of Cronin's books were bestsellers in their day and have been translated into many languages. Some of his stories draw on his medical career, dramatically mixing realism, romance and social criticism. Cronin's works examine moral conflicts between the individual and society, as his idealistic heroes pursue justice for the common man. One of his early novels, The Stars Look Down (1935), chronicles transgressions in a mining community in Northeast England and an ambitious miner's rise to be a Member of Parliament .
A prodigiously fast writer, Cronin liked to average 5,000 words a day, meticulously planning the details of his plots in advance. He was known to be tough in business dealings, although in private life he was a person whose "pawky humour ... peppered his conversations," according to one of his editors, Peter Haining .
Cronin also contributed many stories and essays to various
international publications. During the
Second World War
INFLUENCE OF THE CITADEL
The Citadel (1937), a tale of a mining company doctor's struggle to
balance scientific integrity with social obligations, helped to incite
the establishment of the
National Health Service (NHS) in the United
Kingdom by exposing the inequity and incompetence of medical practice
at the time. In the novel Cronin advocated a free public health
service in order to defeat the wiles of those doctors who "raised
guinea -snatching and the bamboozling of patients to an art form." Dr
By contrast, according to one of Cronin's biographers, Alan Davies, the book's reception was mixed. A few of the more vociferous medical practitioners of the day took exception to one of its many messages: that a few well-heeled doctors in fashionable practices were ripping off their equally well-off patients. Some pointed to the lack of balance between criticism and praise for hard-working doctors. The majority accepted it for what it was, a topical novel. The press attempted to incite passions within the profession in an attempt to sell copy, while Victor Gollancz followed suit in an attempt to promote the book, all overlooking the fact that it was a work of fiction, not a scientific piece of research, and not autobiographical.
In the United States The Citadel won the National Book Award , Favorite Fiction of 1937, voted by members of the American Booksellers Association . According to a Gallup poll conducted in 1939, The Citadel was voted the most interesting book readers had ever read.
Some of Cronin's novels also deal with religion, which had grown away from during his medical training and career, but which he reacquainted himself with during the 1930s. At medical school, as he recounts in his autobiography, he had become an agnostic: "When I thought of God it was with a superior smile, indicative of biological scorn for such an outworn myth." During his practice in Wales, however, the deep religious faith of the people he worked among made him start to wonder whether "the compass of existence held more than my text-books had revealed, more than I had ever dreamed of. In short I lost my superiority, and this, though I was not then aware of it, is the first step towards finding God."
Cronin also came to feel that "If we consider the physical universe ,... we cannot escape the notion of a primary Creator.... Accept evolution with its fossils and elementary species , its scientific doctrine of natural causes. And still you are confronted with the same mystery, primary and profound. Ex nihilo nihil , as the Latin tag of our schooldays has it: nothing can come of nothing." This was brought home to him in London, where in his spare time he had organized a working boys' club. One day he invited a distinguished zoologist to deliver a lecture to the members. The speaker, adopting "a frankly atheistic approach," described the sequence of events leading to the emergence, "though he did not say how," of the first primitive life-form from lifeless matter . When he concluded, there was polite applause. Then, "a mild and very average youngster rose nervously to his feet" and with a slight stammer asked how there came to be anything in the first place. The naïve question took everyone by surprise. The lecturer "looked annoyed, hesitated, slowly turned red. Then, before he could answer, the whole club burst into a howl of laughter. The elaborate structure of logic offered by the test-tube realist had been crumpled by one word of challenge from a simple-minded boy."
Cronin with family in 1938
It was at university that Cronin met his future wife, Agnes Mary
Gibson (May) (1898–1981), who was also a medical student. She was
the daughter of Robert Gibson, a master baker , and Agnes Thomson
Gibson (née Gilchrist) of Hamilton , Lanarkshire. The couple married
on 31 August 1921. As a physician, May worked with her husband briefly
in the dispensary while he was employed by the
With his stories being adapted to
Ultimately Cronin returned to Europe, to reside in
Although the latter part of his life was spent entirely abroad,
Cronin retained a great affection for the district of his childhood,
writing in 1972 to a local teacher: "Although I have travelled the
world over I must say in all sincerity that my heart belongs to
Dumbarton. ... In my study there is a beautiful 17th-century coloured
print of the Rock ... I even follow with great fervour the fortunes of
Cronin died on 6 January 1981 in Montreux, and is interred at La
Tour-de-Peilz . Many of Cronin's writings, including published an
unpublished literary manuscripts, drafts, letters, school exercise
books and essays, laboratory books, and his M.D. thesis, are held at
National Library of Scotland and at the
Harry Ransom Center
* National Book Award (U.S.), Favorite
Cronin in 1939
* Hatter\'s Castle (novel , 1931), ISBN 0-450-03486-0 * Three Loves (novel, 1932), ISBN 0-450-02202-1 * Kaleidoscope in "K" (novella , 1933) * Grand Canary (serial novel, 1933), ISBN 0-450-02047-9 * Woman of the Earth (novella, 1933) ISBN 978-1543185812 * Country Doctor (novella, 1935) ISBN 978-1523347100 * The Stars Look Down (novel, 1935), ISBN 0-450-00497-X * Lady with Carnations (serial novel, 1935), ISBN 0-450-03631-6 * The Citadel (novel, 1937), ISBN 0-450-01041-4 * Vigil in the Night (serial novella, 1939) ISBN 978-0-9727439-6-9 * Jupiter Laughs (play, 1940), ISBN B000OHEBC2 * Child of Compassion (novelette, 1940), ISBN 978-1530135349 * Enchanted Snow (novel, 1940), ISBN 978-1523950119 * The Valorous Years (serial novella, 1940) ISBN 978-0-9727439-7-6 * The Keys of the Kingdom (novel, 1941), ISBN 0-450-01042-2 * Adventures of a Black Bag (short stories, 1943, rev. 1969), ISBN 0-450-00306-X * The Green Years (novel, 1944), ISBN 0-450-01820-2 * The Man Who Couldn\'t Spend Money (novelette, 1946), ISBN 978-1530135349 * Shannon\'s Way (novel, 1948; sequel to The Green Years), ISBN 0-450-03313-9 * Gracie Lindsay (serial novel, 1949), ISBN 0-450-04536-6 * The Spanish Gardener (novel, 1950), ISBN 0-450-01108-9 * Adventures in Two Worlds (autobiography, 1952), ISBN 0-450-03195-0
* Beyond This Place (novel, 1953), ISBN 0-450-01708-7 * Escape from Fear (serial novella, 1954), ISBN 978-1523326921 * A Thing of Beauty (novel, 1956), ISBN 0-515-03379-0 ; also published as Crusader\'s Tomb (1956), ISBN 0-450-01394-4 * The Northern Light (novel, 1958), ISBN 0-450-01538-6 * The Innkeeper\'s Wife (short story republished as a book, 1958), ISBN 978-1543220940 * The Cronin Omnibus (three earlier novels, collected in 1958), ISBN 0-575-05836-6 * The Native Doctor ; also published as An Apple in Eden (novel, 1959), ISBN 978-1523392537 * The Judas Tree (novel, 1961), ISBN 0-450-01393-6 * A Song of Sixpence (novel, 1964), ISBN 0-450-03312-0 * Further Adventures of a Black Bag (short stories, 1966), ISBN 0-563-49432-8 * A Pocketful of Rye (novel, 1969; sequel to A Song of Sixpence), ISBN 0-450-39010-1 * Desmonde (novel, 1975), ISBN 0-316-16163-2 ; also published as The Minstrel Boy (1975), ISBN 0-450-03279-5 * Doctor Finlay of Tannochbrae (short stories, 1978), ISBN 0-450-04246-4 * Dr Finlay's Casebook (omnibus edition – 2010), ISBN 978-1-84158-854-4 * Further Adventures of a Country Doctor (twelve late-1930s short stories, collected in 2017), ISBN 978-1543289190
SELECTED PERIODICAL PUBLICATIONS
* "Lily of the Valley," Hearst's International-Cosmopolitan,
(February 1936), ISBN 978-1543220940
* "Mascot for Uncle," Good Housekeeping, (February 1938), ISBN
* "The Most Unforgettable Character I Ever Met: The Doctor of
Lennox," Reader's Digest, 35 (September 1939): 26–30.
* "The Portrait," Hearst's International-Cosmopolitan, (December
1940), ISBN 978-1543220940
* "Turning Point of My Career," Reader's Digest, 38 (May 1941):
* "Diogenes in Maine," Reader's Digest, 39 (August 1941): 11–13.
* "Reward of Mercy," Reader's Digest, 39 (September 1941): 25–37.
* "How I Came to Write a
Once to Every Woman (from short story, Kaleidoscope in "K"
)–directed by Lambert Hillyer, featuring
Ralph Bellamy ,
SELECTED TELEVISION CREDITS
* 1955–Escape From Fear (
* Novels portal * Biography portal
* ^ The University of
* t * e
A. J. Cronin
* Hatter\'s Castle * Three Loves * Grand Canary * Woman of the Earth * Country Doctor * The Stars Look Down * The Citadel * Vigil in the Night * Enchanted Snow * The Valorous Years * The Keys of the Kingdom * The Green Years * Shannon\'s Way * The Spanish Gardener * Beyond This Place * Escape from Fear * A Thing of Beauty/Crusader\'s Tomb * The Northern Light * The Native Doctor/An Apple in Eden * The Judas Tree * A Song of Sixpence * A Pocketful of Rye * The Minstrel Boy/ Desmonde * Lady with Carnations * Gracie Lindsay
* " Kaleidoscope in "K" " * "The Innkeeper\'s Wife "
* Once to Every Woman * Grand Canary * The Citadel * Vigil in the Night * The Stars Look Down * Shining Victory * Hatter\'s Castle * The Keys of the Kingdom * The Green Years * The Spanish Gardener * Web of Evidence
* Escape From Fear * Beyond This Place * Nicholas * The Citadel (1960 American) * The Citadel (1960 British) * Dr. Finlay\'s Casebook * The Ordeal of Dr. Shannon * Memorandum van een dokter * La Cittadella (1964) * Novi asistent * O Jardineiro Espanhol * E le stelle stanno a guardare * The Stars Look Down * Les Années d\'illusion * The Citadel (1983) * Doctor Finlay * La Cittadella (2003)
* v * t * e
A. J. Cronin's Beyond This Place
* Beyond This Place (1957)
* v * t * e
A. J. Cronin's The Citadel
* The Citadel (1960 US) * The Citadel (1960 UK) * La Cittadella (1964) * The Citadel (1983) * La Cittadella (2003)
* v * t * e
A. J. Cronin's The Stars Look Down
* The Stars Look Down (1975)
* WorldCat Identities * VIAF : 29726795 * LCCN : n50018375 * ISNI : 0000 0000 8108 9908 * GND : 11867739X * SELIBR : 238057 * SUDOC : 026805979 * BNF : cb11898204d (data) * NLA : 36281947 * NDL : 00436922 * NKC : jn19990001552 * ICCU : ITICCUCFIV061 * BNE : XX889567 * IATH : w6kd27fq
Links: ------ /wiki/Scottish_people /wiki/Novelist /wiki/Physician /#cite_note-university-1 /wiki/The_Citadel_(novel) /wiki/Coal_mining /wiki/Harley_Street