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A.J. Cronin Books In Order

Publication Order of Dr. Finlay Books

Short Stories from Dr. Finlay's Casebook (1978) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Doctor Finlay of Tannochbrae (1978) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Hatter's Castle (1931) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Three Loves (1932) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Grand Canary (1933) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Stars Look Down (1935) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Citadel (1939) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Vigil in the Night (1939) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Beyond This Place (1940) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Valorous Years (1940) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Keys of the Kingdom (1942) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Green Years (1944) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Adventures of a Black Bag (1947) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Shannon's Way (1948) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Spanish Gardener (1950) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Crusader's Tomb (1956) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Thing of Beauty (1956) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Northern Light (1958) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Judas Tree (1961) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Song of Sixpence (1964) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Pocket Full of Rye (1968) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Minstrel Boy (1975) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Desmonde (1975) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Lady with Carnations (1976) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Gracie Lindsay (1978) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Plays

Jupiter Laughs (1954) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

The Innkeeper's Wife (1958) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Adventures in Two Worlds (1952) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Great Unsolved Crimes (1975) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

A.J. Cronin was a Scottish author of nonfiction, literature and fiction novels. He is famously known for his novel The Citadel published in 1937. The book tells a story of a doctor of welsh origins who quickly climbs the ladder of success in London. Cronin closely included this scene as a Medical Inspector of Mines and later working as a doctor in Harley Street. The novel promoted what was then regarded as controversial new ideas related to medical ethics and also inspired the formation of National Health Service.

Cronin also published another mining-related book; The Stars Look Down set in the North East of England. This novel was adapted into a film version produced in 1939 and television adaptation in an Italian and British version produced in 1971 and 1975 respectively. Hatter’s Castle was adapted into a 1942 British film noir produced Isadore Goldsmith starring Deborah Kerr, Robert Newton, Emlyn William and James Mason. Additionally, The Citadel was adapted into a 1938 British film by the same name. King Vidor directed the film, and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer distributed the movie in the United Kingdom and the United States.

Country Doctor, Cronin’s novella was made as a long-running BBC TV and radio series by the name Dr. Finlay’s Casebook.

Cronin was born in Cardross, Scotland. He was the only child of a Catholic father Patrick Cronin and a Protestant mother, Jessie Cronin. At the age of seven years, his father died from tuberculosis, and as a result, Cronin and his mother relocated to Dumbarton in Glasgow.

Cronin was not only a brave student who won many prizes, but he was also an excellent athlete and a footballer as well. From a tender age, he was an avid golfer and enjoyed participating in sports throughout his life. His family later relocated to Yorkhill, Glasgow where he joined St. Aloysius College. While in college, Cronin actively participated in playing football, an experience he shares in one of his last novels.

Cronin’s writing career all began in 1930 after he was diagnosed with a chronic duodenal ulcer. He was instructed to take six months of complete rest on a milk diet. It was during this time that he was able to indulge himself in his lifelong desire to be an author. He composed his debut novel Hatter’s Castle in three months. The book was a success and skyrocketed Cronin’s career as an author, and as a result, he switched to full-time writing and never returned to practicing medicine.

Many of Cronin’s novels were bestsellers during their days and have been translated into over dozen languages. Some of his books touch some aspects of his medical career and mixes realism, social criticism, and romance. His works mainly focus on the moral conflict that exists between people and the society as his main characters pursue justice for the common man.

A surprisingly fast writer, Cronin wrote on average 5000 words per day having carefully planned details of his plots in advance. The author also contributed to many essays and stories for various international publication, and during the WWII, he served in the British Ministry of Information but not limited to writing articles, and participating in radio broadcasts.

The Citadel

First published in 1937, The Citadel upon its release was groundbreaking mainly due to its focus on the theme of medical ethics. The book has been attributed with laying the foundation in Great Britain for the formation of the National Health Service a decade after it was first published. In the United States, the novel won the National Book Award.

In 1924, Andrew Manson, a newly qualified doctor arrived in Scotland to work as an assistant to Doctor Page in Drineffy, a fictional Welsh town. He soon discovers that doctor Page is invalid and that he has to do all the work for peanut wage. Shocked by the poor conditions he finds, he strives to improve matters and manages to receive the support of Dr. Phillip Denny, a semi-alcoholic who Mason later discovers that has taken as an assistant doctor after falling from grace.

Resigning from his job, Manson finds a job as an assistant in a miner’s medical scheme in a neighboring coal mining town. He later marries Christine Barlow, a teacher. Christine assists her husband with his research, and while eager to improve the lives of his patients, Manson dedicates lots of his hours to research in his field of lung disease. His research is granted MRCP, and after it’s published, it allowed an MD, and as a result, he gains a post with the Mines Fatigue Board based in London but resigns half a year later to set up a private practice.

Driven by the thought of easy money from his affluent clients rather than the principles of his profession, Manson drifts from away from his wife and gets involved with pampered private patients and surgeons. After a patient dies because of a surgeon’s negligence, Manson abandons his career and seeks to mend the broken relationship with his wife.

The Citadel is a story of falling apart and then getting back up again. It is wonderfully narrated, with great characters and lots of the ins and outs.

The Keys of the Kingdom

First published in 1941, and spanning six decades, The Keys of the Kingdom is a story about Father Francis Chisholm, a Scottish Catholic priest who desperately struggles to establish a mission in China. Bedeviled by a tragic event in his youth, as a missionary, Francis endures years of hardships mostly characterized by plague, famine, and the war in the Chinese province where is assigned. But through a life led by compassion and tolerance, the priest finally earns the respect of the Chinese and his fellow clergy who mistrusted him with his high minded, kindly and courageous ways.

Despite the conflicting events in The Keys of the Kingdom, the central concept behind the story seems to be pointing to a way of peace, treating your brother with love regardless of how you’re treated. The plot is well crafted, and each chapter connects well to the next- the characters are wonderfully created and wonderfully connects with the readers from the first page to the last.

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