By Alan Davies
A.J. Cronin, author of some of the best-loved novels of the mid-twentieth century and the creator of Dr Finlay, has been unjustly overlooked by literary biographers. In this, the first full-length life of this eminent and unjustly neglected writer, Alan Davies recounts the story of Cronin’s Scottish childhood as the son of a Protestant mother and Catholic father, his subsequent medical career and his rise to literary prominence, emphasizing throughout the importance of holding at arm’s length many of the apocryphal tales that have accumulated around the memory of the author of Hatter’s Castle, The Citadel and The Stars Look Down, many of which are based on mistaken autobiographical readings of Cronin’s fiction itself.
Incorporating an account of Cronin’s tempestuous relationship with his publisher, Victor Gollancz, and new revelations about the author’s private life, Davies’s book paints a clearer portrait of both Cronin the writer and Cronin the man.
A sympathetic and thorough biography.
In establishing the facts, Davies has been painstaking in his labours … this gives his book an undeniable authority.
Alan Davies provides some fascinating glimpses into the mind of this brilliant but complex and enigmatic figure. The book is meticulously researched and documented.
Born in Pontnewydd in South Wales, Alan Davies read Anthropology at University College London. After a career in industry, he turned to writing and the study of the life and works of A.J. Cronin, one of his lifelong passions. He has two children and lives in Shropshire with his wife.