The Citadel

A. J. Cronin

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19 September 2019
432 pages

A book which inspired the creation of the NHS introduced by bestseller writer, Adam Kay.

The Citadel is a moving story of tragedy, triumph and redemption. With a foreword by Adam Kay, the bestselling author of This is Going to Hurt, Twas the Nighshift Before Christmas, Kay's Anatomy and Kay's Marvellous Medicine

When newly qualified doctor Andrew Manson takes up his first post in a Welsh mining community, the young Scot brings with him a bagful of idealism and enthusiasm. Both are soon strained to the limit as Andrew discovers the reality of performing operations on a kitchen table and washing in a scullery, of unspeakable sanitation, of common infantile cholera and systemic corruption. There are no X-rays, no ambulances – nothing to combat the disease and poverty.

It isn’t long before Andrew’s outspoken manner wins him both friends and enemies, but he risks losing his idealism when the fashionable, greedy world of London medicine claims him, with its private clinics, wealthy, spoilt patients and huge rewards.

A.J. Cronin was perhaps the most successful novelist of the 1930s … probably as significant a figure as J.B. Priestley

The English Historical Review

Immensely successful, utterly ruthless

The Spectator

Cronin was a master of melodrama

The Herald