Fun Facts Friday: A.J. Cronin

A.J. Cronin (19 July, 1896 – 6 January,1981) was a Scottish novelist, best known for his 1937 book The Citadel.

Books by A. J. Cronin*
© the artist. Photo credit: West Dunbartonshire Council
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Books by A. J. Cronin*

  1. The author was born in Cardross, Dunbartonshire as Archibald Joseph Cronin. His father, an insurance agent, died from tuberculosis when the boy was just 7 years old.
  2. At school Mr. Cronin was a gifted athlete as well as a student, wining prizes in many disciplines.
  3. Mr. Cronin was an avid golfer and salmon fisherman.
  4. When it came time to choose a profession, the Cronin family gave him a choice: join the church or study medicine. Mr. Cronin chose “the lesser of two evils” and wen to study medicine at the University of Glasgow. Of course, he won a scholarship.
  5. In World War I, Mr. Cronin was a surgeon sub-lieutenant in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve. This was before he graduated from medical school.
  6. Once done with school, the author opened a general practice of Clyde, Garelochhead, a small mining town in South Wales.
  7. By 1924 Mr. Cronin was appointed Medical Inspector of Mines for Great Britain.
  8. When diagnosed with chronic ulcer in1930, Mr. Cronin took six months rest in the country (for a diet of milk) and was able to write a novel.
  9. The novel, Hatter’s Castle, took three months to write and was an immediate success. Mr. Cronin never practice medicine again.
  10. His novel, The Citadel, published in 1937 is credited with helping to establish the National Health Service (NHS).

Books by A. J. Cronin*

Zohar — Man of la Book
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account

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