Fun Facts Friday: A.J. Cronin
Fun Facts Friday , Latest Posts / July 19, 2019

A.J. Cronin (19 July, 1896 – 6 January,1981) was a Scottish novelist, best known for his 1937 book The Citadel. © the artist. Photo credit: West Dunbartonshire Council Image from: https://www.artuk.org/discover/artworks/a-j-cronin-18961981-194889 Books by A. J. Cronin* 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. At school Mr. Cronin was a gifted athlete as well as a student, wining prizes in many disciplines. Mr. Cronin was an avid golfer and salmon fisherman. 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. 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. Once done with school, the author opened a general practice of Clyde, Garelochhead, a small mining town in South Wales. By 1924 Mr. Cronin was appointed Medical Inspector of Mines for Great Britain. When diagnosed with chronic ulcer in1930, Mr. Cronin took…

Fun Facts Friday: Kenneth Grahame
Fun Facts Friday , Latest Posts / March 8, 2019

Kenneth Grahame (8 March, 1859 – 6 July, 1932) was a Scottish writer mostly known for his children’s classic The Wind in the Willows. Drawing by John Singer Sargent Books by Kenneth Grahame* Grahame was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. His mother died when he was five years old, and he was brought up by his grandmother Granny Ingles in the village of Cookham (his father, a sheriff, had a drinking problem). It is believed by Mr. Grahame’s biographer that the ambiance at Cookham (Quarry Wood and the River Thames) inspired the setting for The Wind in the Willows. Even though he was an excellent student, Mr. Grahame was unable to attend Oxford University due to cost. In his 20s, Mr. Grahame published stories in London periodicals including St. James Gazette, The Yellow Book, and the National Observer. These stories were later published as collections. In 1899 Mr. Grahame married Elspeth Thomson. The couple had one child, Alastair (nicknamed Mouse), who suffered from health problems all his life. The author’s classic children’s books are based on bedtime stories he told Alastair, who inspired Mr. Toad. In 1903, while working at the Bank of England, Mr. Grahame was shot at three times…

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