Het is vandaag veertig jaar geleden dat Archibald Joseph Cronin, de “vader van de doktersroman”, is overleden.
A.J.Cronin voltooide zijn studie medicijnen in 1925 aan de Universiteit van Glasgow. In 1930, after being diagnosed with a chronic duodenal ulcer, Cronin was told he must take six months’ complete rest in the country. At Dalchenna Farm by Loch Fyne, he was finally able to indulge his lifelong desire to write a novel, having theretofore “written nothing but prescriptions and scientific papers”.
He composed Hatter’s Castle in the span of three months. This novel, which was an immediate and sensational success, launched his career as a prolific author, and he never returned to practising medicine.
Toch was het werk van Cronin belangrijker dan de kwalificatie “doktersromannetjes” doet vermoeden. His best-known novel e.g. was The Citadel, about a doctor in a Welsh mining village who quickly moves up the career ladder in London. Cronin had observed this scene closely as a Medical Inspector of Mines. This book promoted controversial new ideas about medical ethics which largely inspired the launch of the National Health Service.
Another popular mining novel, set in the North East of England, was The Stars Look Down. Both these novels were adapted for film, as were Hatter’s Castle, The Keys of the Kingdom and The Green Years. His novella Country Doctor was adapted for a long-running BBC radio and TV series Dr. Finlay’s Casebook, revived many years later. (Wikipedia)