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A.J. Cronin

A.J. Cronin was the pen-name of the Scottish novelist Archibald Joseph Cronin (July 19, 1896 - January 9, 1981). He is remembered chiefly as the author of the Dr Finlay stories, which were made into a long-running BBC drama series.

Born on in a small cottage in Cardross, then in Dunbartonshire and now in Argyll and Bute, Scotland, Cronin was from a Vale of Leven family of Irish origin. He was brought up in Dumbarton, and was a pupil at Dumbarton Academy. [see beneath].

Cronin trained as a doctor before serving as a Royal Navy surgeon during World War I. After the war he set up a practice in a mining area of South Wales but he was forced to retire through ill-health and attempted a new career as a writer. He achieved immediate success with his first novel, Hatter's Castle, the story of a family brought to ruin by the pride, stubbornness and bigotry of its patriarch. Cronin's father-in-law, Archibald Montgomerie had been a hatter, but, it seems, not really the ogre portrayed as Brodie in the book. The book, as did a number of his stories based in Scotland, employed fictional place names. Levenford, e.g., is the town of Dumbarton.

Many of his later novels and stories draw on his medical experiences, dramatically mixing realism, romance, and social criticism. For the last 35 years of his life, he lived in Switzerland. He died on January 9, 1981, in Montreux, Switzerland.


Many of the following books were made into films under the same title.

External Links

A.J. Cronin at Scottish Authors A.J. Cronin -- Biography and bibliography