Archibald Joseph Cronin

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AJ Cronin (1931)
AJ Cronin (1939)

Archibald Joseph Cronin (born July 19, 1896 in Cardross , Scotland , † January 6, 1981 in Glion , Switzerland ) was a Scottish doctor and writer . Some of his novels became worldwide hits. Exciting events, lifelike characters and pronounced social criticism characterize his story. In his autobiography, Adventure in Two Worlds , he unequivocally professes his Christian faith . Cronin stands in the tradition of the educational novel and uses the techniques of Victorian novel realism .


Archibald Joseph Cronin was the only child of Patrick Cronin and his wife Jessie Montgomerie. He later attended Dumbarton Academy and won several writing competitions. For his outstanding achievements he was a scholarship of medicine at the University of Glasgow granted. There he also met his future wife, Agnes Mary Gibson, who - like him - studied medicine.

Cronin first worked in various hospitals, as a ship's doctor and, during the First World War, as a surgeon in the service of the British Army . After the war he practiced in a mining district in south Wales . Experience from this activity later flowed into his novels The Stars Look Down (1935) and The Citadel (1937). He later moved to London and ran a thriving practice on Harley Street . However, Cronin struggled with his profane, profit and selfish desires, as he explains in his autobiography. While on vacation in the Scottish Highlands , he wrote his first novel, Hatter's Castle (1930), which was an instant hit.

In the 1930s, Cronin moved to the United States with his wife and three sons and settled in New Canaan , Connecticut . In later years he returned to Europe and lived in Switzerland for the last 25 years.

AJ Cronin died at the age of 84 and was buried in La Tour-de-Peilz , where his grave still stands.

His son Vincent Cronin has also published books, mainly biographies and works on the history of France .

Artistic creation

Cronin was best known for The Stars Look Down (1935), a miners novel with sharp attacks against the self-interest of the mine owners.

Works (in selection)

Stories, novels

  • Hatter's Castle, 1930 (Eng. The Tyrant ; also James Brodie, the hatter and his castle )
  • Three Loves, 1932 (German Lucy Moore ; also Three Loves )
  • Grand Canary , 1933 (Eng. The House of the Swans )
  • The Stars Look Down , 1935 (dt. The Stars Look Down )
  • The Citadel , 1937 (Eng. The Citadel )
  • Lady with Carnations , 1939
  • Vigil in the Night , 1940 (German: Die Schicksalsnacht )
  • The Keys of the Kingdom, 1942 (dt. Keys to the Kingdom )
  • The Green Years, 1944 (dt. The Green Years )
  • The Adventures of a Black Bag, 1946 (German: The New Assistant )
  • Shannon's Way, 1948 (German: Dr. Shannon's Way )
  • The Spanish Gardener, 1950 (German The Spanish Gardener )
  • Kaleidoscope in "K", 1950 (German kaleidoscope in "K" )
  • Beyond This Place , 1953 ( behind these walls )
  • Crusaders's Tomb, 1956 (German Late Victory )
  • The Valorous Years, 1958 (dt. The probation )
  • The Northern Light, 1958 (dt. The light )
  • The Innkeeper's Wife, 1958 (German Christmas story ; also the host's wife )
  • The Native Doctor ; also An Apple in Eden , 1959 (German Doctor Murray's order )
  • The Judas Tree , 1961 (dt. The Judas Tree )
  • A Song of Sixpence , 1964 (German go to the market ; also Bunter Vogel Sehnsucht )
  • A Pocketful of Rye , 1969 (German pediatrician Dr. Carroll )
  • Enchanted Snow , 1971 (German a professor from Heidelberg )
  • Desmonde , 1975; also The Minstrel Boy , 1975 (German: The women of my friend )
  • Gracie Lindsay , 1978 (German back then in the highlands )
  • Doctor Finlay of Tannochbrae , 1978 ( Eng . A hero in the shadow )


  • Jupiter Laughs , 1940


  • Adventures in Two Worlds. 1952.
    • German: Adventure in two worlds. My life as a doctor and a writer. Translated from the English by Alexandra Brun. Unabridged special edition. Eduard Kaiser, [Klagenfurt] [1964], DNB 450847217 (license from Scherz Verlag, Bern).

Film adaptations

Radio plays


First broadcast: July 30, 1957 | 76:10 minutes


  • Dale Salwak: AJ Cronin (= Twayne's English authors series. Volume 398). Twayne, Boston 1985, ISBN 0-8057-6884-X .
  • Dale Salwak: AJ Cronin. A reference guide. Hall, Boston, Mass. 1983, ISBN 0-8161-8595-6 .
  • Alan Davies: AJ Cronin. The man who created Dr Finlay. Alma Books, Richmond 2011, ISBN 978-1-8468-8112-1 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. On the question of how mankind suffered the horror of World War II , Cronin rejects the well-known explanations of an economic or psychological nature. Man's apostasy from God is responsible for him (p. 283). Anger at God is inappropriate; it is our own fault (p. 288). A consolation for all who do not or not yet believe in God: God in turn believes in us (p. 317). References to the unabridged special edition, no year, translated by Alexandra Brun from Eduard Kaiser Verlag (see section autobiography ).
  2. According to Cronin's autobiography (Eduard Kaiser Verlag edition, p. 259), the first work (by 1952) was translated into 21 languages ​​and sold at least three million times (see section Autobiography ).