From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. January 6age 84 in Montreux, Switzerland. Sign in with Facebook Other Sign in options. As a physician, May worked with her husband briefly in the dispensary while he was employed by the Tredegar Medical Aid Society ; she also assisted him with his practice in London. Their second son, Patrickwas born in London in Cronin drew on his experiences practising medicine in the coal mining communities of the South Wales Valleysas he had for The Stars Look Down two years earlier. The Citadel — Archibald Joseph Cronin — Google Books Unfortunately, our editorial approach may not be able ioseph accommodate all contributions.
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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 His maternal grandfather, Archibald Montgomerie, was a hatter who owned a shop in Dumbarton.
When he was seven years old, his father, an insurance agent and commercial traveller, died from tuberculosis. Cronin was not only a precocious student at Dumbarton Academy ,  who won prizes in writing competitions, but an excellent athlete and footballer. From an early age he was an avid golfer, and he enjoyed the sport throughout his life.
He also loved salmon fishing. A family decision that he should study either to join the church or to practise medicine was settled by Cronin himself when he chose "the lesser of two evils". Having been absent in — for naval service, he graduated in with highest honours in the degree of MBChB. Cronin went on to earn additional qualifications, including a Diploma in Public Health and Membership of the Royal College of Physicians Medical career[ edit ] During the First World War , Cronin served as a surgeon sub-lieutenant in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve before graduating from medical school.
He undertook general practice in a small village on the Clyde , Garelochhead , and in Tredegar , a mining town in South Wales. His survey of medical regulations in collieries and his reports on the correlation between coal-dust inhalation and pulmonary disease were published over the next few years.
Cronin drew on his medical experience and research on the occupational hazards of the mining industry for his later novels — The Citadel , set in Wales, and The Stars Look Down , set in Northumberland.
He subsequently moved to London, where he practised in Harley Street before opening a thriving medical practice of his own in Notting Hill. Cronin was also the medical officer for the Whiteleys department store at this time and becoming increasingly interested in ophthalmology.
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. He never returned to practising medicine. Some of his stories draw on his medical career, dramatically mixing realism, romance and social criticism. A prodigiously fast writer, Cronin liked to average 5, words a day, meticulously planning the details of his plots in advance.
During the Second World War he worked for the British Ministry of Information , writing articles as well as participating in radio broadcasts to foreign countries. In the novel Cronin advocated a free public health service in order to defeat the wiles of doctors who "raised guinea -snatching and the bamboozling of patients to an art form.
The author quickly made enemies in the medical profession, and there was a concerted effort by one group of specialists to get The Citadel banned. 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 a 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.
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. In short I lost my superiority, and this, though I was not then aware of it, is the first step towards finding God.
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.
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 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.
A. J. Cronin
Plot summary[ edit ] In October , Andrew Manson, an idealistic, newly qualified doctor, arrives from Scotland to work as assistant to Doctor Page in the small fictitious Welsh mining town of Drineffy Blaenelly is the name given in some adaptations. He quickly realises that Page is unwell and disabled and that he has to do all the work for a meagre wage. Shocked by the unsanitary conditions he discovers, Manson works to improve matters and receives the support of Dr Philip Denny, a cynical semi-alcoholic who, Manson finds out in due course, took a post as an assistant doctor after having fallen from grace as a surgeon. On the strength of this job, Manson marries Christine Barlow, a junior school teacher. Christine helps her husband with his silicosis research. Eager to improve the lives of his patients, mainly coal miners, Manson dedicates many hours to research in his chosen field of lung disease. Seduced by the thought of easy money from wealthy clients rather than the principles he started out with, Manson becomes involved with pampered private patients and fashionable surgeons and drifts away from his wife.